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Older than The Stars

4.27  ·  Rating Details ·  209 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
How old are you?--Older than you think.

In a way, we are all as old as the universe itself. In fact, every bit of every one of us was created in the Big Bang, billions of years ago.

Stunning illustrations and lively verse tell the story of the cosmic connections that tie human beings to the beginning of the universe. Simple, informative prose provides additional facts.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published February 1st 2010 by Charlesbridge (first published 2010)
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Abby Johnson
Mar 27, 2010 Abby Johnson rated it really liked it
Shelves: blogged
This picture book about the Big Bang and the formation of the universe is a great introduction for elementary students. The author starts with the BANG and then describes how atoms were created and how stars (including our sun) and planets were formed. Bright illustrations interact whimsically with the text.
This cumulative tale about the formation of the universe is entertaining and makes a challenging topic accessible to young readers. The brightly colored, funky illustrations add visual interest and the sidebars offer detailed information about the science behind the story.
Arapahoe Libraries
What a great explanation of the Big Bang theory. Written for young children but made some good sense to this non science-minded adult. Great illustrations and an emphasis on the idea that we are all made of some very old parts. What kid doesn't want to think they are breathing the same oxygen as the dinosaurs!
Marjorie Ingall
Nov 30, 2010 Marjorie Ingall rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-6-12
I freaking LOVED this. It’s a “this is the house that Jack built”-style poem about the Big Bang Theory. Sounds off-putting, but I swear, it’s delightful. Works as a straight-up poem, but there are also text boxes on each page that go deeper into the science of cosmology. And the art is wonderful. Gorgeous, gorgeous book. I'm not sure how big the audience is for an odd-duck hybrid like this, but I hope there *is* an audience.
Sarah Sammis
Oct 12, 2011 Sarah Sammis rated it really liked it
Older Than the Stars by Karen C. Fox and illustrated by Nancy Davis and illustrated by Nancy Davis uses the cumulative rhyming to teach children about the Big Bang Theory. I read it as part of my astronomy themed grad school project. It was the only Big Bang book I found for the 5 to 8 year old range.

The text is in two parts: a "House that Jack Built" style rhyme written into the illustrations and a block of typed text that elaborates on the introduced concepts. Children will learn about the uni
Courtney Sharpton
This book talks about the big bang theory. It is informational, however it is in verse and is beautifully written. I have never read a book quite like it. I loved the illustrations and I would maybe use this when discussing the Big Bang Theory. It have a time line in the back that is very visual and it also has a wonderful glossary.
Feb 16, 2012 Renee added it
The “Big Bang” seems like an incredibly complicated thing and how would you ever explain it to a child simply? Well in Older Than the Stars Karen C. Fox does just that. Using bright pictures and snappy rhymes followed up by a concise narrative Fox boils the “Big Bang” and the creation of our solar system down so just about anyone can get the gist of what happened. She explains the creation of a star with, “This is the star of red-hot stuff that burst from the gas in a giant puff that spun from t ...more
Mistiemae1 Downs
Feb 16, 2012 Mistiemae1 Downs rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
Older Than the Stars explains the formation of our universe, solar system, sun, planet, and humans themselves in language that children can understand. It is a clever, rhyming rendition along the lines of "This is the House that Jack Built." My children had it memorized after just a few readings. The book begins, "You are older than the dinosaurs. Older than the earth." I could see the eyes of the children light up after just these first two sentences.

The illustrations are bright and engaging ab
Sandy Brehl
Mar 12, 2012 Sandy Brehl rated it really liked it
Using a "This is the house that Jack built" pattern, combined with bleeding double-page spreads of brilliant color and inset boxes of accessible non-fiction text, this picture book explains the creation of the universe., Remarkably well.
Sarah Souther
This is an attempt to help kids conceptualize the Big Bang theory and the elements of the universe, and it works for the most part. It starts with the bang when the world began and continues with the cumulative story. Sidebars give a more complete explanation of each event. The illustrations are bright, swirly, and vibrant and convey the sense of energy in the text. Unfortunately, while the font looks great, it's a bit hard to read. There is a "Timeline of the Universe" at the end and a glossary ...more
Alex Tierney
Apr 22, 2012 Alex Tierney added it
Shelves: eced-221
Older Than the Stars explains the Big Bang Theory and evolution in a simple easy to read way for children. Her story connects the reader and all the plants and animals on the Earth to the beginning of time when the Big Bang created the the protons, neutrons and electrons that became the building blocks of all elements and life. You breathe the same oxygen the dinosaurs breathed. Your fingernails contain carbon that might have been part of a plant. She follows the format of “This is the House Tha ...more
Jul 25, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it
My niece loves science (thank God). When we went to the library today, she wanted a non-fiction book about astronomy, and my nephew (who is extremely talented at choosing good books) randomly pulled this off the shelf, handed it to his sister, and said, "Here you go, Sister. You'll like this one."

This book was absolutely fantastic! The whole idea of the formation of the universe, and all of the extremely complex chemistry, physics, and things-I-can't-even-fathom, were boiled down into an intelli
Oct 19, 2012 Liz rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2012-13
Picture book of the "Big Bang" theory and the start of the universe. A very complex topic, made a little easier to think about in this cumulative tale that also includes a few more facts on the topic. No real documentation about the facts presented, so I would need to look further. Interesting to ponder...
Hillary Hunt
Nov 19, 2013 Hillary Hunt rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-the-kids
I love the concept and purpose of this book, and the text is sing-songy and cute. Every page has a small blurb that delves into the science behind the concept that you can read or not read depending on your child's age. But the illustrations are really mediocre and uninspiring. That's my biggest disappointment here because given the subject this could've been a gorgeous book.
Jan 15, 2013 Heather rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children, own, science
I really enjoyed this one and so did my 3-year-old son. The poetry and illustrations are really fun. Each page also has a small explanation of the science. A mini history of the Universe, our solar system, Earth, and ourselves are all packed into this exciting book for kids.
Jun 10, 2013 Carol marked it as to-read
This is the story of the Big Bang, told in a cumulative style, like This Is the House That Jack Built or The Twelve Days of Christmas. Author Karen Fox begins her story with a very heavy speck of dust that grows into a universe: electrons, neutrons, protons, all dancing together to make atoms. The illustrations expand and spread out over the pages using carefully considered color that looks like the messy/fun work of pre-schooler on Red Bull. “These are the bits that were born in the bang when t ...more
Don Tucker
Jun 12, 2013 Don Tucker rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 27, 2013 Teresa rated it it was amazing
This is a lovely two-layered book spanning from the start of the universe to you, the reader. One layer is a cumulative, poetic one for younger kids and the other layer is prose that expands on the explanation for older kids. The scientific explanation, in my opinion, was quite well done.

I don't care as much for the art style but I know the bright colors and primitive look is appealing to a lot of kids.
Mattathias Westwood
A fun 'house that jack built' rhyme about the Big Bang, atoms, gas clouds, stars, supernovae, planets, etc. A side bar on each page provides more in-depth scientific explanation. The art starts out abstract and minimalist when representing subatomic 'bits' and 'blocks' of matter and becomes more representational as it shows the sun ('our daily view'), earth ('the planet, green and blue'), animal life, and humans. The title comes from the book's final observation that since our bodies are made of ...more
Apr 03, 2015 Mike rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bibliopapa
"You are older than the dinosaurs.
Older than the earth.
Older than the sun and all the planets.
You are older than the stars.
You are as old as the universe itself."

Thus begins Karen C. Fox's outstanding kid's cosmology book, Older Than the Stars, launching a narrative journey that starts at the singularity just before the big bang (without using the word 'singularity'), going through stellar formation, fusion, and supernovae, before arriving at the development and differentiation of life on Earth,
Allison DeMeo
personal Reaction: Such a fun book! Wasn't expecting an information book to have rhymes, but it definitely made it more enjoyable to read.

Read Aloud- 100% read out loud to the younger students. This is such a good way to teach about the solar system and the universe. You learn about the big bang theory and how it all works. The rhymes in this book are fun and will keep the students engaged. This is a good way to have the students remember information because the rhymes will be stuck in
Jan 15, 2016 Kris rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I really enjoyed this picture explanation of the big bang theory. Fun rhymes, with easy to understand information. My only reservation is that it seems geared toward two different age groups - younger children who will like the rhymes that build throughout the book may have a heard time with the facts on every page that seem to be geared for older children, who may in turn be bored by the rhymes. Other than that small confusion, I recommend it.
Jun 05, 2015 Shay rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Will White
Jun 30, 2015 Will White rated it it was amazing
It has always been difficult for me to explain to my kids how the universe began. This book makes it easy. Not only have I got a better grasp, but my kids have a picture book that lays it out in simple text. The rhythm of the words make it easy to remember, and the author also provides more detail of the events in sidebars that helped me answer questions.
Jul 14, 2015 Julie rated it liked it
Shelves: school, s-read, m-read, 2014-15
This was a simple, sing-song-rhyming book (similar to The House That Jack Built) which introduces the Big Bang concept to kids. On each page there is a box with non-rhyming information that takes understanding a bit further. My kids enjoyed it, but some of the drawings led my youngest to the wrong conclusions about things.... especially when the book discussed protons, neutrons, and electrons. Based on this, I would give the book only two stars, because the pictures really did lead to more probl ...more
The Bookloft
Jan 14, 2016 The Bookloft rated it it was amazing
Bookseller: Lauren

Just as "The House That Jack Built" lets you peek into the home of Jack & see who lives with him - this book welcomes young children into the Universe - to learn about the smallnesses that make the vastness of our World.

A rhythmic book to grow a solid world view upon.
Grace Livengood
Jun 06, 2016 Grace Livengood rated it it was amazing
Fox, K. C., & Davis, N. (2010). Older than the stars. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.
Written in verse, this picturebook walked the reader through the Big Bang that created the universe and how we eventually got to where we are now. Starting at the moment that started it all, we go through the first few seconds of the life of the universe and watch as it expands and other objects are formed through the process as well until we finally get to the present day. The media was very bright with it's
Jessica Freeman
This picturebook explains how we are as old as the universe itself and explains how the Big Bang theory works. This picturebook contains stunning illustrations, lively verses, and is simple yet very informative. Older Than the Stars is the story of cosmic connections that tie human beings to the beginning of the universe.

Ill: paint, ink
Christine Turner
Science -- evolution
Oct 17, 2016 Renée rated it it was amazing
An engaging introduction to physics for wee kids... and possibly for some adults! A great rhyming history of the universe with some rather pretty illustrations. One of my fave picture books I've accidentally stumbled across.
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