About the book:
You don’t need to be a physics major or interested in science at all to appreciate Kelsey Oseid’s What We See In The Stars: An Illustrated Tour of the Night SkyAs an illustrated guide to the sky, Oseid’s book aims to connect our human pasts with the great beyond – and the result is STUNNING.
At first glance, What we See In The Stars might appear to be a children’s book. You know, one of those informative picture books that waters down facts to spoonful goo that barely explains anything. I had my reservations when the book arrived, wondering if I received a middle grade storybook. What We See In The Stars, however, is not that kind book.
Let me just say the illustrations and artistry are beautiful. Oseid blends shades of silver, white, gray, blue, and black to create astonishing works of art that pop from the pages. The artwork is reminiscent of Starry Night by Van Gogh, with brilliant water colors bleeding together to create the heavens. I think this is to mimic the natural beauty of space. It might also be a way to exaggerate the dialogue and facts splashed all over the pages.
Oseid begins with the most basic detail: Our solar system. What We See In The Stars explores the vastness of space and the celestial bodies inhabiting it. Constellations, galaxies, the planets, lunar phases, and the history of the human perspective of space. Oseid easily explains concepts such a gravity, the lifespan of our Sun, and natural celestial phenomena such as outer planets and nebulae.
Although only 159 pages (and that’s counting the index section), there’s a story attached to every section, weaving how we, as humans, have perceived the night sky. Oseid takes that a step further by opening a portal to the past, where lives depended on the cycle of the moon or using the sun to determine season.
The short length of this book might be a turn off for some. Considering the artistry, however, I chose to overlook this because the author not only wrote the book, but also created the imagery to accompany it. I wouldn’t consider this middle grade or a child’s book, though I do think children might enjoy it.
In my opinion, Oseid’s work is simple and curious enough to entertain adults as well as children as young as 10. There’s nothing inappropriate, and it’s not so watered down that someone like me, who has taken astronomy before, wouldn’t like it.
What We See In The Stars is thought-provoking, combining science with mythology and art. The illustrations are amazing, perfect companions to the myths and dashes of information blended together to create a work of art that offers an enriching experience.
I love Oseid’s playful, yet sentimental illustrative style, and her seamless meld of opposing elements, such as myth and fact, which are normally at conflict with each other.
About the author:
Kelsey Oseid is an illustrator, painter, artist, and amateur naturalist who has illustrated a variety of children’s books and runs an online shop where she sells prints and original pieces of her nature-themed work. Her work has been featured on Design*Sponge, Oh So Beautiful Paper and in magazines including Good Housekeeping, as well as in her constellation book What We See in the Stars.