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.

Tundra Top Ten: February 2021

Want to know what everyone else has been reading and loving lately? Every month we will share our list of top ten kids’ books that we publish into North America. Here are the Tundra and Puffin Canada titles for the month of February 2021 – how many have you read?

narwhal unincorn of the sea1. Narwhal and Jelly Series
Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea

By Ben Clanton
64 Pages | Ages 6-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781101918265 | Tundra Books
Narwhal is a happy-go-lucky narwhal. Jelly is a no-nonsense jellyfish. The two might not have a lot in common, but they do they love waffles, parties and adventures. Join Narwhal and Jelly as they discover the whole wide ocean together. A wonderfully silly early graphic novel series featuring three stories. In the first, Jelly learns that Narwhal is a really good friend. Then Narwhal and Jelly form their own pod of awesomeness with their ocean friends. And finally, Narwhal and Jelly read the best book ever – even though it doesn’t have any words . . . or pictures!

The Barnabus Project2. The Barnabus Project
By The Fan Brothers
72 Pages | Ages 5-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735263260 | Tundra Books
Deep underground beneath Perfect Pets, where children can buy genetically engineered “perfect” creatures, there is a secret lab. Barnabus and his friends live in this lab, but none of them is perfect. They are all Failed Projects. Barnabus has never been outside his tiny bell jar, yet he dreams of one day seeing the world above ground that his pal Pip the cockroach has told him about: a world with green hills and trees, and buildings that reach all the way to the sky, lit with their own stars. But Barnabus may have to reach the outside world sooner than he thought, because the Green Rubber Suits are about to recycle all Failed Projects . . . and Barnabus doesn’t want to be made into a fluffier pet with bigger eyes. He just wants to be himself. So he decides it’s time for he and the others to escape. With his little trunk and a lot of cooperation and courage, Barnabus sets out to find freedom – and a place where he and his friends can finally be accepted for who they are. This suspenseful, poignant and magical story about following your dreams and finding where you truly belong will draw readers into a surreal, lushly detailed world in which perfection really means being true to yourself and your friends.

The Barren Grounds3. The Barren Grounds
By David A. Robertson
256 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735266100 | Puffin Canada
Morgan and Eli, two Indigenous children forced away from their families and communities, are brought together in a foster home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They each feel disconnected, from their culture and each other, and struggle to fit in at school and at their new home – until they find a secret place, walled off in an unfinished attic bedroom. A portal opens to another reality, Askí, bringing them onto frozen, barren grounds, where they meet Ochek (Fisher). The only hunter supporting his starving community, Misewa, Ochek welcomes the human children, teaching them traditional ways to survive. But as the need for food becomes desperate, they embark on a dangerous mission. Accompanied by Arik, a sassy Squirrel they catch stealing from the trapline, they try to save Misewa before the icy grip of winter freezes everything – including them.

4. If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur
By Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Colin Jack
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781770495685 | Tundra Books
If you happen to have a dinosaur, lying around your living room, and you don’t know what to do with it . . . why don’t you use it as a can opener? It will make a terrific nutcracker too! There are oodles of uses for a dinosaur – from a fine umbrella to an excellent kite and a dandy pillow, not to mention a reliable burglar alarm and the perfect excuse to forget your homework. This delightfully absurd exploration of the domestic uses of dinosaurs – and the things dinos just aren’t good for at all – is guaranteed to tickle funny bones and spark imaginations. If you read carefully, you’ll learn how to make your dinosaur last a very long time.

5. This Is Sadie
By Sara O’Leary
Illustrated by Julie Morstad
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781770495326 | Tundra Books
Sadie is a little girl with a big imagination. She has been a girl who lived under the sea and a boy raised by wolves. She has had adventures in wonderland and visited the world of fairytales. She whispers to the dresses in her closet and talks to birds in the treetops. She has wings that take her anywhere she wants to go, but that always bring her home again. She likes to make things – boats out of boxes and castles out of cushions. But more than anything Sadie likes stories, because you can make them from nothing at all. For Sadie, the world is so full of wonderful possibilities . . . This is Sadie, and this is her story.

6. Carson Crosses Canada
By Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Kass Reich
36 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781101918838 | Tundra Books
Feisty Annie Magruder and her dog, Carson, live in British Columbia, Canada, and they’re setting out to visit her sister, Elsie, in Newfoundland. In their little rattlebang car, packed with Carson’s favorite toy, Squeaky Chicken, and plenty of baloney sandwiches, Annie and Carson hit the road! They travel province by province, taking in each unique landscape and experiencing something special to that particular part of this vast, grand country. For example, they marvel at the beauty of the big, open sky – and grasshoppers! – in Saskatchewan and discover the gorgeous red earth and delicious lobster rolls in PEI, before finally being greeted by Elsie – and a surprise for Carson!

7. The Darkest Dark
By Chris Hadfield and Kate Fillion
Illustrated by The Fan Brothers
48 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781101918623 | 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. 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.

8. Super Detectives: Simon and Chester #1
By Cale Atkinson
64 Pages | Ages 6-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735267428 | Tundra Books
Welcome to the world of Simon and Chester, ghost and boy duo extraordinaire.
They like to kick butt and take names.
They don’t like chores.
They are best friends.
And they are about to solve the mystery of a lifetime.
(Oh, and eat some snacks probably.)
Join Simon and Chester in their first adventure, and fall in love with this hilarious odd couple by fan favorite author and illustrator Cale Atkinson.

9. Shattered
By Eric Walters
216 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Paperback
ISBN 9780143187790 | Razorbill Canada
Fifteen-year-old Ian must complete community volunteer service to pass social studies. Choosing to work at “The Club” sounds like fun, until he arrives at what turns out to be a soup kitchen for the homeless. It is here that he meets Sarge, the pipe-wielding homeless man who saved Ian from a near-mugging. His real name is Jacques, and he was a soldier in the Canadian Armed Forces. His last tour of duty was as a peacekeeper stationed in Rwanda, an African nation Ian knows little about. What he learns will change Ian’s view of the world – and may just help Jacques, too. With a Foreword by Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire (Ret’d), force commander for the United Nations Mission to Rwanda, Shattered is an unforgettable story, one that asks what one person can do to make a difference.

10. Underground to Canada
By Barbara Smucker
216 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Paperback
ISBN 9780143187899 | Puffin Canada
There’s a place the slaves been whisperin’ around called Canada. The law don’t allow no slavery there. They say you follow the North Star, and when you step onto this land you are free. . . . Taken away from her mother by a ruthless slave trader, all Julilly has left is the dream of freedom. Every day that she spends huddled in the slaver trader’s wagon travelling south or working on the brutal new plantation, she thinks about the land where it is possible to be free, a land she and her friend Liza may reach someday. So when workers from the Underground Railroad offer to help the two girls escape, they are ready. But the slave catchers and their dogs will soon be after them. . . .

50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing

Fifty years ago on July 16, 1969 Apollo 11 launched to go to the moon! July 20, 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing and the first steps on the Moon. This event inspired a young boy on an Ontario corn farm to become the first Canadian to walk in space.

Celebrate this event with The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield and Kate Fillion, illustrated by the Fan Brothers.

the-darkest-dark

 

Science Literacy Week

Science Literacy Week is a nationwide celebration of science and on September 20, they will be hosting their second National Science Reading Day! Here is a list of our suggested titles to look out for next month and to read. And if you read one this week, use the hashtag #SciLit to share!

the-darkest-darkThe Darkest Dark
By Commander Chris Hadfield and Kate Fillion
Illustrated by the Fan Brothers
ISBN 9781101918623, Tundra Books
Hardcover | 48 Pages
Ages 3-7 | Preschool-Grade 2
Chris is an astronaut. A very busy astronaut. Saving the planet from aliens is much more important than taking baths or going to bed, because in the darkness that comes before sleep, the worst sorts of aliens appear. These aliens plague Chris – and his dog – every night at bedtime. But when Chris watches the first televised lunar landing, he realizes that there’s a dark out in space that’s much darker than what he’s used to, the darkest dark ever, and he discovers that the unknown can be … exciting!

Red Sky At Night
By Elly MacKay
ISBN 9781101917831, Tundra Books
Hardcover | 40 Pages
Ages 3-7 | Preschool-Grade 2
Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. And, the next morning, when the dew is on the grass, no rain will come to pass. These are the perfect conditions for a grandfather to take his grandchildren out on a fishing trip. Acclaimed paper artist Elly MacKay illustrates a lovely family narrative through the use of weather aphorisms, creating a beautiful and informational story which will appeal to children’s timeless fascination with the natural world.

Dr JoDr. Jo: How Sara Josephine Baker Saved the Lives of America’s Children
By Monica Kulling
Illustrated by Julianna Swaney
ISBN 9781101917893, Tundra Books
Hardcover | 32 Pages
Ages 5-8 | Kindergarten-Grade 3
When she graduated in 1898, Dr. Jo still faced prejudice against women in her field. She accepted a job in public health and was sent to Hell’s Kitchen, one of New York’s poorest neighborhoods where many immigrants lived. There, she was able to treat the most vulnerable patients: babies and children. She realized that the best treatment was to help babies get a stronger start in life. Babies need fresh air, clean and safe environments, and proper food. Dr. Jo’s successes, fueled by her determination, compassion and ingenuity, made her famous across the nation for saving the lives of 90,000 inner city infants and children.

The Fog
By Kyo Maclear
Illustrated by Kenard Pak
ISBN 9781770494923, Tundra Books
Hardcover | 48 Pages
Ages 4-8 | Preschool-Grade 3
Warble is a small yellow warbler who lives on the beautiful island of Icyland, where he pursues his hobby of human watching. But on a warm day, a deep fog rolls in and obscures his view. The rest of the birds don’t seem to notice the fog or the other changes Warble observes on the island. The more the fog is ignored, the more it spreads. When a Red-hooded Spectacled Female (Juvenile) appears, Warble discovers that he’s not the only one who notices the fog. Will they be able to find others who can see it too? And is the fog here to stay? Kyo Maclear’s witty story, brought to life with the delicate, misty artwork of Kenard Pak, is a poignant yet humorous reminder of the importance of environmental awareness.

The Golden Glow
By Benjamin Flouw
ISBN 9780735264120, Tundra Books
Hardcover | 48 Pages
Ages 4-8 | Preschool-Grade 3
Fox loves nature. There’s nothing he enjoys more than reading about and picking flowers. One evening, he comes across a rare specimen in his old botany book — the golden glow, a plant from the Wellhidden family, found only in the mountains, that has yet to be described. Fascinated, Fox decides to set off on a quest in search of the mysterious golden glow. With spreads of educational content interspersed throughout, The Golden Glow is a charming story that details the simple pleasures of a nature hike and celebrates observing the beauty of nature.

My Journey to the StarsMy Journey to the Stars
By Scott Kelly
Illustrated by André Ceolin
ISBN 9780735263482, Puffin Canada
Hardcover | 48 Pages
Ages 5-8 | Kindergarten-Grade 3
In this debut autobiographical picture book, celebrated astronaut Scott Kelly describes how he – and his twin brother – grew up to achieve his dream of becoming an astronaut. As Scott Kelly prepares to blast back to Earth after a record-breaking year spent on the International Space Station, he thinks about what brought him here and what awaits him at home.

The ToadThe Toad
By Elise Gravel
ISBN 9781770496675, Tundra Books
Hardcover | 32 Pages
Ages 6-9 | Grades 1-4
She’s good for the environment … and she’s disgusting! The Toad is the next installment of the Disgusting Critter series. Hilarious illustrated non-fiction about toads perfect for beginning readers. Humorous text and funny illustrations will leave young readers croaking for more.

Innovation NationInnovation Nation: How Canadian Innovators Made the World Smarter, Smaller, Kinder, Safer, Healthier, Wealthier, Happier
By David Johnston and Tom Jenkins
Illustrated by Josh Holinaty
ISBN 9780735263017, Tundra Books
Hardcover | 128 Pages
Ages 8-12 | Grades 3-7
Successful innovation is always inspired by at least one of three forces — insight, necessity and simple luck. Innovation Nation moves through history to explore what circumstances, incidents, coincidences and collaborations motivated each great Canadian idea, and what twist of fate then brought that idea into public acceptance. From the marvels of aboriginal inventions such as the canoe, igloo and life jacket to the latest pioneering advances in medicine, education, science, engineering and the arts, Canadians have improvised and worked together to make the world a better place.

Endurance-Young Readers EditionEndurance, Young Readers Edition
By Scott Kelly
ISBN 9780735263420, Puffin Canada
Hardcover | 320 Pages
Ages 8-12 | Grades 3-7
Prepare to blast off with astronaut Scott Kelly as he takes readers on a journey through his year aboard the International Space Station. Discover the extreme challenges of long-term spaceflight, the pressures of living in close quarters with people from many countries, the extremely dangerous risk of colliding with space junk and the unnerving feeling of not being able to help if tragedy strikes at home. Find out the story of Kelly’s childhood, his struggles in school, and ultimately the inspiration that sparked his incredible career, and the training to become a test-pilot and then astronaut.

Case Covers

A few weeks back, we featured an interview between the founders of the newly minted Undies award – Carter Higgins and Travis Jonker. Now, we’re excited to share our eligible titles for the inaugural Undies:

If I Had a Gryphon_Undies
Picture Book: If I Had a Gryphon by Vikki VanSickle, illustrated by Cale Atkinson
Miss Moon_undies
Picture Book: Miss Moon, Wise Words from a Dog Governess by Janet Hill
Counting with Barefoot Critters
Picture Book: Counting with Barefoot Critters by Teagan White
The Darkest Dark_Undies
Picture Book: The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield, illustrated by the Fan Brothers

We also dipped into our back list titles to share some of the great jacket and case designs from the past few years:

This Is Sadie
Picture Book: This Is Sadie by Sara O’Leary, illustrated by Julie Morstad
Adventures with Barefoot Critters
Picture Book: Adventures with Barefoot Critters by Teagan White
Mos Mustache
Picture Book: Mo’s Mustache by Ben Clanton
Miss Petitfour.JPG
Middle Grade Novel: The Adventures of Miss Petitfour by Anne Michaels, illustrated by Emma Block

Which ones are your favorite?