There Once Was a Sky
Full of Stars
by Bob Crelin, illustrated by Amie Ziner
paperback - 36 pages
from Sky Publishing (available online at: http://www.skyandtelescope.com )
Books can and should be formative experiences in every child's life. They can excite new interests, open unforeseen vistas, and challenge the reader (child or adult) to reach farther for goals thought beyond our grasp. A single good book, at the right time, can change a child's life and so the world.
Most children are fascinated to discover that the world was not always as they know and experience it today. This is especially true of the everyday things that we all take for granted. Sadly, many children grow up not realizing the simple wonder of the night sky. All that many of them have ever seen is the light congested sky of the city in which, on a clear night, they may be lucky to see a dozen stars. Only by making people, especially children, realize the depth of this loss and the existence of the problem, will there ever be hope of curbing wasteful light pollution and bringing back the stars.
Bob Crelin's There Once Was a Sky Filled With Stars, charmingly illustrated by Amie Ziner, is a loving evocation of those star emblazoned, Milky Way arched skies before they were taken from us by the insidious creep of excess light. Crelin is a "Dark Skies" evangelist who founded the Wandering Star Project (an astronomy-education organization for children). He doesn't "shout" his message but illustrates, with Ziner's lovely illustrations, the beauty that has been lost to all those who live in or near major cities. Perhaps a gift of There Once Was a Sky Filled With Stars and a simple star chart may nurture a budding amateur astronomer in your family. And a portion of the proceeds from each book sale goes to the International Dark Sky Association to aid in the campaign to bring back those skies full of stars.