Book Review: Older than the Stars
Reviewed by: Allen G. Taylor
Title: Older than the Stars
Author: Karen C. Fox and Nancy Davis
Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing
Date: February 2010
Retail Price: $29.95
Older than the Stars is a lavishly illustrated book targeted at 4 to 9 year olds that will also appeal to younger children. It can be read on three distinct levels or as a combination of the three.
The first level consists of the illustrations by Nancy Davis, which all by themselves will capture a child’s attention. Every page glistens with vibrant colors and bold images, rendered in a primitive, childlike style.
The second level consists of a recursive poem that threads its way throughout the book. The poem was written by author Karen C. Fox, but rendered by illustrator Nancy Davis. The large hand-drawn words resonate with a rhythm that is sure to keep a child engaged from the first page to the end of the book. The poem repeatedly emphasizes the main point of the book, which is that your child is made of stuff that has existed since the beginning of the Universe, and she is thus older than the stars.
The third level consists of paragraphs of text on each page that give a simple, but technically accurate description of the history of the Universe, from the Big Bang all the way to the present day, when you are sitting with your child reading this book. At the end, there is a simplified timeline of the history of the Universe, and a glossary of terms that were introduced in the book.
This book is a great way to introduce your child to the idea that she is an integral part of something that has been going on for a long time. It can be appreciated at one level at a very young age, at another level a little later, and finally at an advanced level at an older age. My favorite part is the running poem, which builds from one page to the next, until it encompasses the entire span of time up to the present day.
© 2010 Allen G. Taylor