nonfiction nuggets…even dust is amazing!

stars beneath your bed cover imageStars Beneath Your Bed: The Surprising Story of Dust, by April Pulley Sayre, illustrated by Ann Jonas

Remember the Pig-Pen character from the Peanuts comic, who perpetually wafts up clouds of dust whenever he moves?  Most of the characters are disgusted with his messy ways.  Lucy, in particular, worries he’ll take the curl out of pig penher naturally curly hair.  Charlie Brown, however, defends him.  Think of it as the dust of far-off lands, perhaps from ancient civilizations, perhaps even a bit of the soil that King Solomon or Nebuchadnezzar trod on, he says.

This thought-provoking book explores dust, something so ordinary, so ubiquitous, and usually so annoying, it never occurs to us to wonder about it!  It is worth a helping of curiosity, though.

For dust is made up of fascinating fragments of stuff — sands whirled up from exotic deserts; filmy orange scales from a monarch’s wing; pollen from an orchid blooming in the tropics; even stardust!


And dust has an impressively long lifespan.  It lasts for thousands of years!  So, the powder from Martha Washington’s wig may still be on the loose, or the marble dust created by Michelangelo’s chisel.

Although dust isn’t welcome in lots of places, it comes in handy for sunsets and raindrops and even for feeding forests!

stars beneath your bed illustration ann jonasApril Pulley Sayre easily, minimally  converses about this commonplace,  fascinating stuff.  Her prose is elegant and clear and will light sparklers of wonderment in children ages 3 or 4 and older.  Ann Jonas’ child-friendly watercolors are warm,  pleasant, and bright, adding understanding to the ideas in the text.  A lengthy explanation of dust in an afterword answers even more questions for middle-elementary ages and up.

As an added bonus, this may make dusting the furniture a far more intriguing task!

Here’s the Amazon link:  Stars Beneath Your Bed: The Surprising Story of Dust (Ala Notable Children’s Books. Younger Readers (Awards))