This post contains affiliate links and those books marked with (*) were gifted to me by the publisher
This year marks 50 years since the moon landing. I can remember being interested in this for a period of time, but it wasn’t anything I studied in any particular detail – I think other than learning the names of the planets and those famous first steps on the moon, I didn’t really learn much more. I always found space a tricky concept to get my head around but it’s a subject I want to cover in detail with the children at some stage – I think it might be a summer time project for us.
We have been sent some lovely space-themed books over the last few months, as well as acquiring some that I’ve purchased for the children as I’ve spotted them so I thought I’d produce this round up of ten of the best space books for curious kids.
The Skies Above My Eyes (*) by Charlotte Gullian and illustrated by Yuval Zommer is a really innovative and clever book. It folds out into a really long 2.5 metres book that allows children to get up close to the subject matter and really get a sense of the different layers that the text refers to. There’s stacks of information in this book and lots to explore in both the man-made and natural elements to be found in the skies. It’s cleverly presented and is the perfect book to get children thinking. I’m keen to take a look at the companion book to this too at some stage (The Street Beneath My Feet) which I suspect is equally fascinating.
Discover our Solar System(*) by Colin Stuart and illustrated by Charlie Brandon-King is a great introduction to the solar system for kids. Each planet has a double page spread with plenty of illustrations and facts. There is a lot packed into this book including elements on the history of space travel, astronomy and more. A great solid introduction to the solar system.
When the Stars Come Out (*) by Nicola Edwards and illustrated by Lucy Cartwright is a really comprehensive book. It’s aimed at a slighter older audience (7-11) . There is stacks of information in this book ranging from snippets of facts and information to more detailed pieces. This is an impressive volume and covers subjects from moonbows (which I didn’t know were a thing!) to details about human sleep and animal habitats across the world. This is a less obvious space-themed book but lots to link to and helps engage children in the topic from a different angle. This book is beautifully illustrated and is a wonderful book to pour over together.
My Very First Space Book (Usborne) has been a long-standing hit here. It’s the sort of quality you’d expect from Usborne books and has been read time and time again by my three. It’s aimed at a younger audience (we have had it since Daniel was two) but it’s still enjoyed by them now they’re a little older. It’s well pitched with plenty to ignite curiosity in young minds. We have followed up with The Big Book of Stars and Planets which is aimed at a slightly older audience and has stacks of information to read through. Usborne books always do well here and these two are no exception.
Starry Skies by Samantha Chagollan illlustrated by Nila Aye is a really clever book that introduces the constellations to children in a fun and tactile way. It’s well done and we have used this a few times when we have looked at the stars and talked about the planets.
Exploring Space by Martin Jenkins illustrated by Stephen Biesty is another aimed at slightly older children and mixes text and images well. I really like the full page diagrams and illustrations which provide stacks of detail and I plan to use this for a project in the summer (we have the dates for our history fair and I’m tempted to cover the history of space travel with the children). It’s well done and pitched well to make some difficult concepts easy to understand. A real gem of a book.
The Moon (*) by Hannah Pang illustrated by Thomas Hegbrook is a truly fascinating read and details all manner of information about the moon. I find the moon truly fascinating and this book touches on ideas such as moon myths, the moon and out behaviour, man on the moon and the future of the moon. A really interesting book and one that I’ve read a few chapters of myself in recent months.
Moon by Britta Teckuntrup is a wonderful and beautiful introduction to the moon for small children. All three of mine love this book and we tend to read this a lot in the winter months, when the children see much more of the moon due to the dark evenings. It’s a really gentle book and wonderfully illustrated.
My final recommendation is Rocket to the Moon! (*) by Don Brown. This book is part of the Big Ideas that Changed the World series and I look forward to seeing more in this series. This book is fantastic and really appeals to Daniel. It follows the history of rocket building from ancient Chinese Rockets through to the Space Race and beyond. It’s presented as graphic book and is packed full of facts. I like the inclusion of the timeline of space travel and think this will be a key book when we look at the history of space travel in due course.