The best children’s books about the origins of our universe

Marion Dane Bauer Author Of The Stuff of Stars
By Marion Dane Bauer

The Books I Picked & Why

First Light, First Life: A Worldwide Creation Story (Worldwide Stories)

By Paul Fleischman, Julie Paschkis

Book cover of First Light, First Life: A Worldwide Creation Story (Worldwide Stories)

Why this book?

This is a picture book with vibrant illustrations that takes on the topic of creation. It does so, however, not from a scientific perspective but from a mythic one. In a cohesive and fascinating narrative, Fleischman weaves together tales from around the world, identifying each to its source. And yet he emerges with a single story, a story that will capture readers of all ages.


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How Did It All Start? Where Did We Come From?

By Biku Ghosh

Book cover of How Did It All Start? Where Did We Come From?

Why this book?

This fascinating book presents science side by side with creation stories drawn from every part of the world. Ghosh’s scientific explanations of the origins of our universe are succinct and clear. He tells us what is known about our beginnings, what is supposed, and what we do not know and may never understand. And he lays out creation stories from many parts of the world along with information about the cultures from which those stories came. How Did It All Start? is perfect for older children or for adults who want to deepen their understanding of both the science and the myths that surround our beginnings.


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The Mysteries of the Universe: Discover the Best-Kept Secrets of Space

By Will Gater

Book cover of The Mysteries of the Universe: Discover the Best-Kept Secrets of Space

Why this book?

The Mysteries of the Universe doesn’t focus on our Earth but rather on what we see when we look out from Earth. It takes on fascinating topics from moonwalking and Martian dust devils to cliffs on a comet and supernovas. A combination of amazing photographs and artists’ depictions accompanying an accessible text will hold even very young readers.  


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It Started with a Big Bang: The Origin of Earth, You and Everything Else

By Floor Bal, Sebastiaan Van Doninck

Book cover of It Started with a Big Bang: The Origin of Earth, You and Everything Else

Why this book?

It Started with a Big Bang: The Origin of Earth, You and Everything Else is another picture book that covers the same territory for the very young as The Stuff of Stars. The writing is conversational and accessible. The illustrations are compelling. The two books read side by side would support and inform one another.  


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My Name is Stardust

By Bailey Harris, Douglas Harris

Book cover of My Name is Stardust

Why this book?

What makes the picture book My Name is Stardust intriguing is that it was written by a nine-year-old girl with, apparently, some help from her dad. The text is clear, interesting, sometimes even playful. It is personal, too. When it introduces the dinosaurs, for instance, the author tells us why the brachiosaurus is her favorite. Young readers will be intrigued to know that this book came from another child.


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