You Are Stardust, by Owlkids and Think33, is a wonderful book turned app that no child should miss out on! Written by Elin Kelsey – author, educator, and environmentalist with illustrations by Soyeon Kim, it is a spectacular tribute to nature and our delicate relationship with it. With the use of similes and metaphors, the serene text takes you on a journey like no other. The story opens with the idea that every tiny atom in our bodies came from a star that exploded long before we were born. From the beginning, the book suggests that we are intimately connected to the natural world. You will be exposed to numerous habitats and be given a virtual tour of earth and space as the Earth cycles through the seasons, renewing and replacing its surface and making comparisons and eschewing fascinating facts all throughout. You Are Stardust will instill imagination and foster creativity all along the way.
In addition, the app features narration by the author and a wonderful glimpse behind-the-scenes to discover how Soyeon Kim created her gorgeous 3-D dioramas. As an added perk, the music is an original score by renowned music producer Paul Aucoin. This perfect combination of art and science gets kids engaged with nature. Animations and interactivity are sparse and low-key, which complement the books tone. The app includes a section by the artist explaining how she created the dioramas, a note from the author with even more scientific facts and a build-your-own-diorama activity. The book ends with these words: We are all connected. We are all nature. We are all stardust. This non-fiction picture book app is intended to inform young children about their personal connection to nature, we feel they have succeeded brilliantly!
Teachers With Apps got raves reviews all around while sharing this book-app with students. Here are some comments from the kids:
“Friendship; it shows all the people, animals, trees and sky and how we need to help each other.”
“I learned that we grow most when we are sleeping, and in summer.”
“Wow, it’s so 3-D and so cool! – I learned that people spread pollen like the bees.
“I want to stay here all day with this music, it’s so calming and I’ve learned so many different things about how we all grew up together”
Tip: Try viewing this app in the dark, the results are dramatic and it makes the experience even more special!