By Karin Keller, intern
I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of stars. I grew up reading stories and watching movies of heroes going on epic quests and the stars always seemed to play an important part. Namely in Disney’s Hercules which is perhaps my favorite Disney Movie— probably because I’m a huge mythology nerd, not to mention there’s a flying horse who was literally made out of a cloud from Olympus (even if you don’t like the movie you’ve got to admit that’s super cool). In Hercules, the stars tell stories, they immortalize heroes in the sky forever. And although I don’t necessarily want to see myself in the stars like Hercules does, that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t very much like to see the stars as they are.
Often I wonder what it would be like to lay in a field and look up at a sky full of stars, I wonder if I’ll ever be able to see stars the way people did hundreds or thousands of years ago when light pollution was very much out of the question. Due to the fact that I grew up in Miami where the city is still buzzing at three a.m., the only way I could see any stars other than the sun would have been to go to an observatory or planetarium. Unfortunately, observatories and planetariums aren’t very accessible and in a city as busy as Miami there’s hardly any extra time to be spent looking up.
I am a firm believer that stories shape people’s lives. I especially think children’s books can completely impact someone’s character and impact their ambitions. When I read Cassandra and the Night Sky by Amy Jackson I immediately loved it. This might sound a little ridiculous considering I’m about to be twenty and this is a picture book, but its true—I loved it, still do. I first read it while it was still in the process of getting published and I’m so glad I could assistant in the production.
Cassandra and the Night Sky is about a princess who goes on a rather unexpected quest to return the stars to the sky after a greedy king steals them all and hides them away. When I read this book, I though it was a perfect balance of story telling and imagery and learning. Towards the end of the book there’s further explanation and history behind the constellations mentioned and a map of all of the constellations in the milky way. I think this book could be someone’s Hercules. Who knows, maybe a little princess somewhere in the world will read this book and be inspired to find a way to stop light pollution so we can all see the stars. Cassandra in the Night Sky is a new classic in my mind, and I think you will find, as I did, it will instantly inspire you to star gaze.