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 (www.nataliemalan.com). 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.