Inside: Children’s books about space, both fiction and nonfiction, capture the imagination and intrigue of every child. And guess what? We’ve got the ultimate list for you here. Come check it out!
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Children’s Books About Space are Out of This World!
There is nothing better than watching a child marvel at the wonders of space. It’s amazing, really, the way we can look up at the inky black sky and let our imaginations take flight. Sure, we know there are planets and stars and a whole galaxy out there. But there is so much we don’t know, and that’s where the magic happens.
Imaginations Soar with Children’s Books About Space!
I love the way kids books about space let children explore and imagine.
From what it’s like to walk on the moon to wondering about life on other planets to imagining riding on a rocket ship and blasting off into the great expanse of the sky, books about space are phenomenal for unleashing creativity and inspiring hours of pretend play.
Kids books about space can interest those who love the stars, those obsessed with rocket ships and astronauts, and those who wonder if aliens and martians truly are real. The possibilities are endless, and with fabulous books in tow, you will capture your kids’ imaginations and set them off on a world of wondrous exploration.
But that’s not all.
Children’s Books About Space Teach Kids About Perseverance, Courage and the Importance of Having a Growth Mindset.
Space books for kids can also teach your children some important qualities. There are fabulous non-fiction stories about space exploration, the Apollo Missions, and what it really feels like to walk on the moon. These stories — and the astronauts they highlight — teach children those qualities we all try to emulate for our kids.
They convey messages of courage, because being among the first people to walk on the moon was terrifying and required a huge dose of bravery.
They convey messages of perseverance, because getting the first men into space required endless amounts of determination, studying, building and experimenting.
They convey messages about the importance of maintaining a growth mindset, because for each successful mission, there were many more failed attempts at victory.
So grab a hold of some of these books and blast off into space. Your children will love them, you will learn a great deal, and its a win-win all around.
These are the children’s books about space we think are absolutely out of this world! Enjoy!
RELATED: We’ve got all of the best children’s books for you on Happily Ever Elephants, so make sure to check ’em out!
Children’s Books About Space: Nonfiction Books About the Moon and More!
A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars, by Seth Fishman and illustrated by Isabel Greenberg: This book explores our universe, from its biggest numbers to its smallest. From a hundred billion trillion stars to one unique you, this fabulous work of nonfiction mesmerizes children with its enormous numbers and makes a perfect read aloud not just for storytime, but for science, math and STEM classes too.
Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space, by Dr. Dominic Walliman and Ben Newton: We adore everything about the Professor Astro Cat series and its vibrant, retro-colored art, and Frontiers of Space is no exception! This fabulous installment takes readers on a tour of the galaxy, from the sun to the planets, teaching about everything from gravity to extraterrestrial life. Professor Astro Cat is one heck of a tour guide, and readers will be delighted to adventure through space with him. We also love the Space Rockets version, for another great book about space!
Fly Guy Presents: Space, by Tedd Arnold: Perfect for new readers, Fly Guy and his human, Buzz, walk readers through the galaxy. Featuring illustrations, photographs, and Arnold’s trademark humor, young space enthusiasts will love this book — especially those who are eager to begin reading on their own.
The Astronaut Who Painted the Moon: The True Story of Alan Bean: by Dean Robbins and illustrated by Sean Rubin: When he was a child, Alan Bean wanted to fly planes. But as he grew up, he had an even bigger dream — to go to the moon! Bean succeeded, and in 1969 became the fourth man and first artist on the moon. Though he took many photographs, none showed what he say from his artistic viewpoint, so upon his return home, he began to paint what he saw. His paintings captured the wonder and awe of space, and they allowed all of mankind to experience what it was like to walk on the moon.
Moon! Earth’s Best Friend, by Stacy McAnulty and illustrated by Stevie Lewis: In this fun book, young readers learn about the formation of the moon from — you guessed it — the moon itself! The moon is more than a rock – she is Earth’s best friend, one who never turns her back on her pal. With humor and charm, your family will love this “autobiography”!
If You had Your Birthday Party on the Moon, by Joyce Lapin and illustrated by Simona Ceccarelli: What would it be like to have your birthday party on the moon? You just have to blast off to find out! With humor and good fun, this fabulously illustrated romp through space teaches kids everything about the moon through fun trivia and and fabulous factual commentary. After all, wouldn’t you want to celebrate your birthday on the moon when a day isn’t just 24 hours, but 709 instead?
Space: The Definitive Visual Catalog of the Universe, by Sean Callery and Miranda Smith: This fabulously detailed book of photographs gives young space enthusiasts a plethora of information about all things space. It is chock full of fascinating facts and intriguing information about the galaxy, from planets to stars and all things in between. This is the perfect book for upper elementary readers who can’t get enough about space!
Planetarium: Welcome to the Museum, curated by Chris Wormell and Raman Prinja: To say I love this series is an understatement. The Welcome to the Museum series is another stunner, with a goal of bringing readers a museum right to their own living rooms. This curated installment teaches space enthusiasts about the universe and makes a gorgeous gift or coffee table book. There is no doubt that parents will adore it just as much as their children!
Children’s Books About Space: Nonfiction Books About the Apollo Missions
Earthrise: Apollo 8 and the Photo that Changed the World, by James Gladstone and illustrated by Christy Lundy: Many of us learned about the Apollo 8 mission to explore space. But did you know about the photograph astronauts took from the spaceship that sparked hope worldwide and electrified the environmental movement? This book elegantly weaves facts into an accessible, mesmerizing narrative, and I fell in love with its simplicity, beauty and profound message.
Apollo 8: The Mission that Changed Everything, by Martin W. Sandler: Apollo 8 sought more than a mission to orbit the earth. Instead? It would take astronauts to see the dark side of the moon. In this stunning book for upper elementary and middle grade children, readers are given an in depth look at the Space Race with the USSR as the Cold War raged between nations. With archival photographs (including the iconic Earthrise photo) and incredible detail, this is the story that gave Americans something to believe in at an otherwise turbulent time in America’s history.
Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon, by Catherine Thimmesh: This fabulous book showcases and illuminates all the people that helped Apollo 11 land on the moon, not just the astronauts in space! From the seamstresses who assembled the spacesuits to the team who trained the astronauts to photograph the moon to the engineers, telescope crew and more, this fabulous book captures the magnitude, ingenuity, and dedication of the enormous team that helped the first astronauts walk on the moon.
One Giant Leap, by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Mike Winner: I love this book! For those of you with kids who wonder what it’s like to be in space, this fabulous story provides such a fabulous take on Armstrong and Aldrin’s first moments walking on the moon. The immediacy and up close perspective truly had me holding my breath in anticipation, and I simply loved the way this team enabled young readers to feel as if they were taking those first steps right along with the most important astronauts of our time.
Go for the Moon: A Rocket, A Boy, and the First Moon Landing, by Chris Gall: A young boy makes his own preparations for the moon landing, just like the Apollo 11 astronauts who have prepared to be the very first men to land on the moon! The boy walks readers through the design of the shuttle, how it will fly from earth to the moon, and how it will actually land. But he also prepares for his own special adventure right in his own home! A fabulous, accessible look at the moon landing, a perfect STEM read, and all around fun for space enthusiasts!
Papa Put a Man on the Moon, by Kristy Dempsey and Sarah Green: This fascinating picture book tells the story of the author’s own family who worked in a textile mill that created the fabric for the Apollo 11 space suits. Marthanne feels so much pride that her father is helping the mission to get the first man on the moon, knowing his work in producing fabric that forms one layer of the astronauts’ spacesuits is a part of something really big. Marthanne’s exuberance is balanced by her dad’s humility, and it makes for one fascinating, intriguing and inspiring read, especially when Marthanne watches in awe as Neil Armstrong takes his first steps on the moon.
Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11, by Brian Floca: This is the book showcasing the flight of Apollo 11, highlighting the astronauts gearing up in their spacesuits, strapping themselves into their seats, and getting ready for an adventure like none other. From the roar of the blast off to the silence of the moon to the remarkable contributions of so many men and women to ensure a successful mission, this award winning book takes readers on an epic journey through one of the most spectacular times in American history.
Children’s Books About Space – Fiction
Field Trip to the Moon, by John Hare: We are in love with this wordless picture book about one lucky class’ field trip to the moon! Zip up your space suits and hop aboard the spaceship bus for one fantastic adventure. The students land and wander around with their teacher, but — uh oh! When one student takes a break to paint some pictures of his extraordinary surroundings, he falls asleep… and when he wakes up, it’s not his classmates he finds, but some other creatures instead. We adore this imaginative, out of this world romp! For our full review of Field Trip to the Moon, click here!
Life on Mars, by Jon Agee: This book, about a boy searching for life on Mars, kills me every single time. I don’t know what it is that makes me love it so much, but it’s just ridiculously fun. For those of you that have been following me for a while, you know my favorite kinds of picture books are those where the text and illustrations tell different stories– and sometimes totally contradict each other. There is something so wondrous about watching kids read and interpret these books, and when they truly understand the interplay between the two different narratives, it’s like witnessing a little piece of magic. For our full review of Life on Mars, click here!
Penguinaut!, by Marice Colleen and illustrated by Emma Yarlett: Orville is a little penguin who lives in a big zoo, and he is a bit envious of all of his friends who have gigantic adventures. He wants one of his own! One day, Orville knows just what he is going to do — he’s going to build a spaceship and travel all the way to the moon. We love this fabulous growth mindset book for kids! Oriville’s staunch determination to succeed, coupled with his realization that adventures can be even more amazing when shared with friends, make this one a winner!
A Kite for Moon, by Jane Yolen and Heidi E.Y. Stemple and illustrated by Matt Phelan: One day, when a little boy is out flying his kite, he notices the moon looks sad. In an effort to cheer her up, the boy sends his kite up to her, together with notes promising he will visit her one day. After years of studying and training to be an astronaut, the boy eventually makes good on his promise, zooming to the moon in a big rocket ship. A tender beauty, we simply adore this gem!
The Darkest Dark, by Chris Hadfield and illustrated by the Fan Brothers: Inspired and written by a real life astronaut, this is the story of a child who is scared of the dark. Yet, when he sees the Apollo 11 landing on television, the boy realizes that space is the darkest dark there is. If he truly wants to be an astronaut, he has to open his eyes to the wonders of the deep, dark sky — even if it’s awfully scary and intimidating at first.
How to Be On the Moon, by Viviane Schwarz: It’s pretty challenging to get to the moon, but leave it to Anna and Crocodile to find a way! The two need to harness some special skills, like having a lot of patience, and they also need to learn a lot of math and how to build a rocket ship. But when these two put their minds together, their imaginative play becomes out of this world!
Mousetrronaut: Based on a (Partially) True Story, by Mark Kelly and illustrated by C.F. Payne: Based on the space shuttle Endeavor, this is the story of a small mouse who trains alongside the astronauts to become part of the 2001 mission. When Meteor the mouse heads up to space, he tries to prove himself by working just as hard as the bigger mice do. And when disaster strikes, its only the smallest mouse that has the ability to save the day. We love this fun story of perseverance and courage!
A Big Mooncake for Little Star, by Grace Lin: In this whimsical book, Little Star cannot stay away from the great Mooncake her mama bakes her — she simply can’t resist a nibble! This wonderful book, a modern day myth, tells an enchanting — and totally delightful — story about the different phases of the moon.
Moon: A Peek-Through Picture Book, by Britta Teckentrup: Teckentrup’s Peek-Through Picture Book series is simply gorgeous, and this book about the different phases of the moon is no exception. Little ones will be enthralled with seeing how the moon changes from day to day, as the lunar cycle is perfectly captured through Teckentrup’s trademark die cut, peek-through holes. Gorgeous, soothing, and a perfect bedtime story book!
The Way Back Home, by Oliver Jeffers: One little boy finds an airplane – and he takes it for a ride way out into outer space! But – uh oh. Soon the plane is sputtering, and the fuel tank is low, so he carefully and daringly lands on the moon. How will he ever get home? And who is lurking in the darkness? Will an Earthling be able to befriend a — gasp! — martian? We love Oliver Jeffers!
Best Frints in the Whole Universe, by Antoinette Portis: This zany and hilarious story is about two residents of the planet Boborp who have been best buds — or “Frints” — since they were just little blobbies. But when Omek decides to take Yelfred’s spaceship out for a spin — without asking — their “frintship” hits a universe-sized snag. Will they eventually make up and get past it? Or are they destined to be “alienated” from each other forever? For our full review of Best Frints in the Whole Universe, click here!
Touch the Brightest Star, by Christie Matheson: Your kids will find magic in the night sky with this fabulous interactive board book that takes kids on a journey from sunset to sunrise. Interactive in nature, it requires you to shake, wiggle, and tap its pages. Little ones will marvel at the way their efforts help the sun go to bed, and they will love wishing on stars. Talk about magic! While this isn’t a “space” book per se, it’s a wonderful book for the younger set to introduce them to the marvels of nighttime.
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Looking for more space themed books and activities? Check out these amazing bloggers and resources!
Teach Kids About Space on the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11, by Kid World Citizen.
Moon Landing Books: Celebrate 50 Years, by All Done Monkey
Going to the Moon Easy Reader Book, by 3 Dinosaurs
Space Activities and Crafts for Toddlers, by My Bored Toddler
Blast off to the Moon With These Great Books, by Growing Book by Book
Process Art: Water Color Moon, by 3 Dinosaurs