Space Books for Kids

Look up, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a spaceship! We’ve rounded up some of the newest books about space exploration to take you and your kid(s) out of this world.

Astro Girl
By Ken Wilson-Max
32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536209464 | Candlewick
Astrid has loved the stars and space for as long as she can remember. “I want to be an astronaut!” she says to everyone who will listen. While her mama is away, Astrid and her papa have fun acting out the challenges an astronaut faces on a space mission – like being in zero gravity (“I can do that all day long!” she says), eating food from a kind of tube, and doing science experiments with the help of cookie sheets. When at last it’s time to meet Mama at the air base, Astrid wears her favorite space T-shirt to greet her. But where exactly has Mama been? Channeling a sense of childlike delight, Ken Wilson-Max brings space travel up close for young readers and offers an inspiring ending.

Astronaut Training
By Aneta Cruz
Illustrated by Olivia Aserr
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781635922882 | Boyds Mills Press
Astrid is training to go to space! But as she builds her shuttle, cooks astronaut food, and practices floating in zero gravity, Dad tells Astrid that the ship’s construction is too dangerous, she’s too little to cook alone, and she’s not allowed to flood the bathroom. That night, when Astrid dreams she’s an astronaut, the challenges she encounters are overwhelming. Astrid realizes she isn’t as ready as she thought. Back on Earth, Astrid turns to her loving and supportive Dad, who helps Astrid continue her astronaut training.

Big and Small, Room for All
By Jo Ellen Bogart
Illustrated by Gillian Newland
30 Pages | Ages 0-2 | Board Book
ISBN 9780143198932 | Tundra Books
For the first time in board book format, this concept book by award-winning author Jo Ellen Bogart explores the size of animate and inanimate objects and their places in the universe. She introduces children to the concept of “we” – that humans are a big part of the world, but a small part of all of existence. From the immensity of the cosmos to the miraculous world of things too small to see, this stunning board book is a celebration of how we are all connected to the universe and to each other.

Curiosity: The Story of a Mars Rover
By Markus Motum
56 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780763695040 | Candlewick
Maybe you remember when a little robotic spacecraft landed on a far-off planet. On August 6, 2012, the rover Curiosity touched down on the rocky surface of Mars – and now she’s ready to guide you through her journey firsthand. From idea to creation and beyond, this fact-filled, stylish book introduces readers to Curiosity and her mission: to discover more about the red planet and search for evidence of life. How did Curiosity get her name? What tools does she use to carry out her tasks? In her own voice, the popular NASA rover tells how and why she traveled more than 350,000,000 miles to explore a planet no human has ever visited . . . and what she’s been doing there. In his debut picture book, Markus Motum brings Curiosity’s story to life in vivid color: the deep blues of space set off the warm, rusted hues of Mars’s dusty red surface, marking this lovable rover and her mission as something special – truly a world apart.

Eyewitness: Space Exploration
By Carole Stott
72 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Paperback
ISBN 9781465426161 | DK Children
Learn how rockets work, find out about the various missions to the Moon and Mars, and know about all the rovers and landers with Eyewitness Space Exploration. Train with the astronauts to find out about the equipment they use to work in space. Trace the evolution of spacesuits and know how many components they have and how much they weigh. Share a meal with the astronauts and see how they carry on their day-to-day tasks in zero gravity. Follow the various spacecraft in space – from distant explorers such as Voyager to sample-gathering rovers on Mars, such as Curiosity.

Eye Wonder: Space
By Carole Stott
56 Pages | Ages 5-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781465418562 | DK Children
Explore the solar system, study astronomy, and discover fun facts about space shuttles with Eye Wonder: Space. From the huge volcanoes of Venus to the massive storms on Jupiter, Pluto, and the comets, plus how astronauts sleep in space, the secrets of the stars, and our future in space, every page lets the reader discover new and fascinating facts about our universe.

Goodnight, Astronaut
By Scott Kelly
Illustrated by Izzy Burton
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735263451 | Puffin Canada
As an astronaut, Scott Kelly is one of the few people who know what it’s like to sleep in space. But that’s not the only unusual place he’s slept! As a child, he slept in treehouses, boats, and tents, but his thrill-seeking nature has led to him snatching shuteye in every place imaginable. From the bottom of the ocean, to Mount Everest Base Camp, to the International Space Station, Scott will send readers to sleep dreaming of exploring the wildest places. This sweet and adventurous story is the perfect bedtime tale for future astronauts and adventurers!

Journey to the Moon: Astronaut Girl #1
By Cathy Hapka and Ellen Vandenberg
Illustrated by Gillian Reid
96 Pages | Ages 6-8 | Paperback
ISBN 9780593095713 | Penguin Workshop
Val, aka Astronaut Girl, is just your typical eight-year-old scientist. She has her own laboratory and conducts experiments with her crew – her cat and baby brother. She loves science and knows everything about outer space. That’s why she’s surprised to learn that her new neighbor Wallace would rather talk about a fake space show than about real missions. But when Astronaut Girl, Wallace, and the Astro crew get lost on their own lunar adventure, they must all work together to find their way back home.

Professor Astro Cat’s Stargazing
By Dr. Dominic Walliman
Illustrated by Ben Newman
32 Pages | Ages 5-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781912497836 | Flying Eye Books
Welcome back, stargazers! Have you ever looked up at the night sky and wondered what a star looks like up close? Ever thought about how long it would take to walk a light-year? Join Professor Astro Cat and his friends on another stellar mission! From scientific discoveries to the constellations dreamed up by humans centuries ago, the adventurous and wise Professor Astro Cat will guide young readers through fascinating facts.

Rocket Science: A Beginner’s Guide to the Fundamentals of Spaceflight
By Andrew Rader
Illustrated by Galen Frazer
64 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536207422 | Candlewick
Earth’s gravity keeps our feet on the ground, and also prevents us from soaring into space. So how do we explore that vast frontier? We use rockets! Discover how rockets work – from staging to orbits to power generation, from thermal control to navigation and more. Learn how rockets and other spacecraft travel to and explore the moon, Mars, Jupiter, and beyond. Speculate about the future of space exploration – and the possibility of extraterrestrial life. In a guide ideal for aspiring rocket engineers, planetary scientists, and others who love learning about space exploration, Galen Frazer’s distinctive yet accessible illustrations pair perfectly with Andrew Rader’s straightforward text, together taking readers to the edge of our knowledge of space travel.

Space: A Visual Encyclopedia
By DK
256 Pages | Ages 9-12 | Paperback
ISBN 9781465494252 | DK Children
The most up-to-date images from space agencies such as NASA and ESA combine with info panels, timelines, interviews, diagrams, and activities you can do at home to help you understand the majesty and wonder of space.  Learn about the Space Race, the Apollo Moon Landings, the Voyager craft that first probed the outer planets, the Hubble telescope, and the International Space Station (ISS) – the state-of-the-art laboratory orbiting Earth. Find out about future missions, space tourism, and the latest discoveries in the furthest reaches of our galaxy. Discover how to find constellations and where to look for stars and planets, including Venus and Mars, in the night sky. Learn how galaxies such as our Milky Way were formed. Part of a series of best-selling encyclopedias for children, Space: A Visual Encyclopedia is a rocket ride from the beginning of time to the near future, and from planet Earth out to the furthest reaches of the Universe.

The Darkest Dark: Glow-in-the-Dark Edition
By Chris Hadfield
Illustrated by The Fan Brothers
48 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Paperback
ISBN 9780735264823 | Tundra Books
Chris loves rockets and planets and pretending he’s a brave astronaut, exploring the universe. Only one problem – at night, Chris doesn’t feel so brave. He’s afraid of the dark.
But when he watches the groundbreaking moon landing on TV, he realizes that space is the darkest dark there is – and the dark is beautiful and exciting, especially when you have big dreams to keep you company.  The internationally bestselling picture book, now with a glow-in-the-dark cover! Inspired by the childhood of real-life astronaut Chris Hadfield and brought to life by Terry and Eric Fan’s lush, evocative illustrations, The Darkest Dark will encourage readers to dream the impossible.

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