Friday, October 17, 2014

Author-illustrator Stephanie Roth Sisson

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you had a SUPER week! I am celebrating Star Stuff: Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos with author-illustrator Stephanie Roth Sisson. I wrote the words in red, and she wrote the words in black. Thank you, Stephanie! 


Did you know that Carl Sagan was an excellent basketball player in high school?

Science is a way of thinking about and looking at the world. 


The illustrations for Star Stuff were done with mixed media: traditional drawings on paper, acrylic paint and digital collage.

Nonfiction picture books are becoming  more fun and innovative-  not like the non-fiction picture books I grew up with. 


School libraries are a great place to discover and explore new ideas. When I go to the library I try to go to a new section every time and pull books off the shelf at random. This way I learn about things that are outside of my comfort zone. 

Reading is magic. Carl Sagan once said “What an astonishing thing a book is. It's a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you're inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic."

[Cosmos, Part 11: The Persistence of Memory (1980)]”

Here is a YouTube snippet from Cosmos with the quote: 


Mr. Schu, you should have asked me why did you write a book about Carl Sagan? When I was a kid, science was a dull subject to me. It seemed distant and unrelatable. Then, in 1980, something happened that changed how I thought about science: Carl Sagan's Cosmos: A Personal Voyage aired on TV.  Cosmos changed everything- Carl Sagan was able to ignite imagination and wonder and pull science out of the the antiseptic staleness it existed in in my classroom and make it relevant to me and millions of people around the globe.  In Cosmos, Carl Sagan explained that the stars in the night sky are related to us- that we too are made of the same stuff- star stuff.  Carl Sagan forever change the way that I experience the world.  I think of  STAR STUFF: Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos,  as an introduction to the life of this great man and as a thank you from a grateful kid.



















Borrow Star Stuff: Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops. 

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