#WomenReadWomen2019 Award-Winning Books Early Readers Features Genre It's Monday What Are You Reading Lifespan of a Reader Picture Books Reading Themes Sisterhood and Female Bonds

[Monday Reading] Sisterhood Under The Stars And Skies in PictureBooks

"The Stuff Of Stars" by Marion Dane Bauer and Ekua Holmes | "Under The Same Sky" by Britta Teckentrup.


It's Monday! What Are You Reading

Myra here.

It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (new host of Monday reading: Kathryn T at Book Date). Since two of our friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have been joining this meme for quite awhile now, we thought of joining this warm and inviting community. 

Since the word brotherhood has been overused throughout history, I am referring to our shared humanity here as sisterhood under the stars and the skies as portrayed in glorious picturebooks.

Under The Same Sky

Written and Illustrated by Britta Teckentrup
Published by Caterpillar Books (2017)
ISBN: 1848577419 (ISBN13: 9781848577411). Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

Buy Under The Same Sky on Amazon | Book Depository

Using ingeniously positioned cutouts, Teckentrup has created a lovely story that shows just how creatures, big and small, share the same sky:

There is a rhythmic quality to the narrative that would appeal to younger readers, a chorus of the things that connect us, bind us together – different creatures breathing the same air.

While the message is one that has been shared before, what makes this unique is the overall layout and design of the book along with the whispered message of similar storms weathered, and same games played – wherever we happen to be in the world.

Somehow, Teckentrup managed to make the message sound new to me, despite my hearing this repeatedly in other stories.

The Stuff Of Stars

Written by Marion Dane Bauer Illustrated by Ekua Holmes
Published by Candlewick Press (2018)
ISBN: 076367883X (ISBN13: 9780763678838). Literary Award: Coretta Scott King Medal for Illustrator (2019). Borrowed from the NIE Library. Book photos taken by me.

Buy The Stuff Of Stars on Amazon | Book Depository

This is a book that refuses classification: it is a celebration of every single living thing that is around us – how it formed into existence, as told in lyrical verse, that is unapologetically sacred but also truthful.

It has condensed something complex into something accessible. I would not call it magical, although it has resonances of the fantastical in it – but more the beauty of science, the poetry in creation.

When humans finally entered the pages, it was stardust giving birth to stardust: showing human beings’ intimate connection and kinship with ferns, sharks, daisies, galloping horses – and always, always, the stars:

You took a big breath

of the same air

once breathed

by woolly mammoths.

You cried tears

that were once salty seas.

Your hair

once the carbon in a leaf.

I don’t know when was it that I felt just how small I am – a mere speck in the universe; yet that feeling was accompanied by a sense of magnitude, the profound knowledge of my connectedness with everything around me – that feeling was evoked once more, when I read this glorious picturebook. Find it, read it, and revel in our shared sisterhood.

#WomenReadWomen2019: 22 of 25 – Germany (Britta Teckentrup was born and currently lives in Germany)

United States of America (Marion Dane Bauer and Ekua Holmes)

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

8 comments on “[Monday Reading] Sisterhood Under The Stars And Skies in PictureBooks

  1. Sarah Sammis

    Both books look good. My week of reading and reviewing

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like your reviews of picture books, especially the way you show some of the pages within. My camera work is awful so I don’t even attempt it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I LOVE The Stuff of Stars! It is such a beautiful book!
    And I think that the other, Under the Same Sky, would be one that Trent and I both like. Going to go request it now 🙂
    Happy reading this week!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. lindabaie

    I loved The Stuff of Stars, hope that teachers are sharing it often! Under the Same Sky is new to me & it does look fun & creative. Thanks, Myra!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I thought The Stuff of Stars was beautiful and imaginative. And I remember the book being huge compared to all my other picture books. lol Under the Same Sky is a new title for me, so thanks for sharing, Myra! Have a wonderful reading week!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The Stuff of Stars the interest of a group of wrangy grade 7’s after lunch. I loved it before then, but that just goes to prove how amazing it really is!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: [Saturday Reads] My 2019 in Books: Favourite Reads Across Quarterly Reading Themes – Gathering Books

  8. Pingback: [Monday Reading] A 2-in-1 Britta Teckentrup Special – Gathering Books

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