The Fire of Stars:
The Life and Brilliance of the Woman Who Discovered What Stars Are Made Of
Chronicle Books, 2023, 48 pp., Hardcover. $18.99. www.chroniclebooks.com
The Fire of Stars is a poetic picture book celebrating the life and scientific discoveries of the groundbreaking astronomer Cecilia Payne, an astronomer and astrophysicist who was the first person to discover what burns at the heart of stars. But she didn’t start out as the groundbreaking scientist she would eventually become. She started out as a girl full of curiosity, hoping one day to unlock the mysteries of the universe. With lyrical, evocative text by Kirsten Larson and extraordinary illustrations by award-winning illustrator Katherine Roy, this moving biography powerfully parallels the kindling of Payne’s own curiosity and her scientific career with the process of a star’s birth, from mere possibility in an expanse of space to an eventual, breathtaking explosion of light. For ages 5–8.