When Bailey was eight years old, she was watching the TV program Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey with her family. In that evening’s episode, the host and narrator Neil deGrasse Tyson said, “The planets, the stars, the galaxies, we ourselves and all of life—the same star stuff.” Bailey was so excited by this idea that she immediately went up to the family computer, opened a new document, and started writing what eventually became this book, so that she could share what she had learned with children everywhere.
Bailey worked with her father over the next year to develop a story that they felt would teach children this idea, along with other areas of science such as evolution and astronomy, most effectively. After various versions of the story, and feedback from numerous parents and children, the story for My Name is Stardust was finalized.
Bailey and her father knew that the book’s illustrations would be essential to helping children learn and engage in the story, so they partnered with Natalie Malan, an artist with a wonderful talent for bright and colorful visuals. The remarkable images in this book are all individual drawings that start with sketches and are finished with traditional watercolor and gouache. The artist digitally overlays the watercolor paintings onto the imagery on the drawing page, then adds more paint to the illustration to introduce texture. The result is a very special painting that helps bring life and color to this beautiful story.
We hope that this book helps you and your children feel the same passion for our universe, the solar system, our earth, and our own bodies that Bailey was so excited to share that day after watching Cosmos.
Bailey & Douglas Harris
"This book is wonderful! A real breath of fresh air. "—Mother of 3
"OMG this is awesome!!! "—Mother of 5
Page Spreads / Illustrations:
The book will consist of 26 pages with full-color illustrations. Each beautiful painting will cover two pages and teach an important topic in the history of our universe and earth. Here is an example of the text on three page spreads:
Here is a list of all 13 page spreads:
- Solar System
- The Sun
- The Planets
- The Earth
- Single-Celled Ancestors
- Unicorns, Pixies, & Fairies - No Evidence
- Stardust & You
- Amazing World
The book will also include a glossary with science terms & definitions.
Are We Really Made Of Stardust?
Yes! Everything in our solar system is made of stardust - this includes YOU! It's pretty amazing for most people to learn this beautiful truth in science. The fact that everything is made of stardust helps us understand our connection to the cosmos and everything in the world around us.
We worked with professional scientists to review all of the book's content to ensure that every fact was 100% accurate. We are very grateful to Dr. Eric Meikle, Former Education Project Director at the National Center for Science Education, for the time he spent helping us with this.
Here is how some of our favorite scientists explain this beautiful truth:
“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” ― Carl Sagan, Cosmos
“We are, in fact, made from the stars. Our atoms were forged in the interior of ancient stars that ended their lives in spectacular paroxysms of supernova explosions that dispersed those atoms into space, where they coalesced into new solar systems with planets, life, and sentient beings capable of such sublime knowledge and moral wisdom.” ― Michael Shermer, The Moral Arc
“The planets, the stars, the galaxies, we ourselves and all of life—the same star stuff.” ― Neil Degrasse Tyson, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
Michael Shermer, in his amazing book The Moral Arc, researched the origin of the idea and stated the following: "The astronomer Carl Sagan was fond of saying that we are made of 'starstuff '. According to Sagan’s co-author, collaborator, and wife, Ann Druyan, the originator of the idea was the astronomer Harlow Shapley, who first referenced it in a 1926 publication called The Universe of Stars, which was a transcript of a lecture series first broadcast on WEEI radio in which he said: 'We are therefore made out of star stuff . . . we feed upon sunbeams, we are kept warm by the radiation of the sun and we are made out of the same materials that constitute the stars'."
Stretch Goal 1 (Unlocked!)
- All hardcover books will come with a limited-edition, full-color bookmark using illustrations from the book.
- All backers with pledges of at least $20 (Lucy Level) will receive a car window decal (vinyl sticker) with the saying "I Am Stardust".
You don’t need to do anything extra to receive your bookmarks and stickers - they will automatically be added to your rewards.
Stretch Goal 2: 1,000 Backers or $21,000 In Pledges
Once we have 1,000 total backers or $21,000 in pledges, we will unlock the following rewards:
- All backers with pledges of $10 or more will receive two beautiful screensaver images from the illustrations.
- We will donate 10 books to 30 school libraries.
- We will have the book translated into Spanish, French, and German for the ebook version of My Name Is Stardust!!!
Risks and challenges
The text of the book is finalized and professionally edited. It has also been reviewed by professional scientists to ensure that the scientific facts are 100% correct. We have the cover and three illustrations completed as well. All projects have some level of risk, and ours is no different, but we don't anticipate any issues with being able to publish the book within the next six months. We are in the process of having nine more pages illustrated and expect to have these completed by March. We expect to be able to print and release the book in April of 2017.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)