Books About Outer Space


Children's book list about outer space. Reviews of each. Choices for toddlers, preschoolers and elementary children. Fiction and non-fiction.

We read some great books about outer space!  My husband is a space fanatic, so we had quite a few books to begin with and enjoyed many others from the library as part of our Outer Space Theme Preschool Week.  The first part of this list contains Books About Outer Space that are fiction, and the second half has non-fiction choices.  Even though there is plenty of educational material to cover in an outer space unit, there are so many silly space stores that should be enjoyed as well.

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Space Case, part of children's book review list about outer space

Space Case by Edward Marshall

This book has a tremendous soft spot in my heart.  When I was little, my family checked out this book from our local library.  My sister colored all over it, and so we were obliged to buy it.  So we had owned Space Case, with the plasticy library cover and everything.  I actually got all misty eyed up when my mom gave my girls (and their cousins-- my sister's children) their own copies.  The story is so strange and quirky, but gets my girls giggling every time.  The illustrations are simple line drawings with bold, bright colors, and a sort of retro vibe.  It's great, trust me!  "It came from outer have a look around."  Love it!

Skippyjon Jones, Lost in Spice, part of children's book review list about outer space

Skippyjon Jones Lost in Spice by Judy Schachner

I'll be the first to admit that I actually cringe when my girls ask me to read a book from the "Skippyjon Jones" series.  Thankfully, it doesn't happen too often.  But I know that the series is tremendously popular, so this book needed to go on the list. Skippyjon imagines that he goes to space, to visit the red planet (Mars) which is actually just covered in spice.  There are silly creatures and lots of nonsense words. 

Arrow to the Sun, part of children's book review list about outer space

Arrow to the Sun: A Pueblo Indian Tale by Gerald McDermott 

This book deserves a place on your shelf, if for no other reason than the striking illustrations.  They're geometric, abstract, and done with bright colors on a stark black background.  We have read this story over and over this week, and each time we are able to notice more and more about the illustrations.  The story is a retelling of a Pueblo Indian tale, which, mirrors the Christ story in many ways.

Sheep Blast Off, part of children's book review list about outer space

Sheep Blast Off by Nancy E. Shaw

Pure silliness from the "Sheep in a Jeep" series!  A group of sheep accidentally wanders onto a spaceship that has crashed nearby.  They manage to get it to work again and off they go!  There is nothing educational here, but the rhymes and cadence are clever, and my girls ask for this one again and again.  It takes a little bit of examining the illustrations to determine the story, but that is part of what makes it fun!

Mousetronaut, part of children's book review list about outer space

Mousetronaut: Based on a (Partially) True Story by Mark Kelly

I really wanted to love this book.  The cover illustration is cute.  The idea of a mouse in space is cute.  The rest book was only so-so cute.  A tiny mouse is selected, along with five others, to go on a mission to the International Space Station.  He helps get a key out of crack where it has fallen and gotten stuck.  He's declared a hero.  I'm not quite sure which part of this book is true, and which is partially true, but I felt that the story fell right into the boring sort of middle ground.  Similarly, the illustrations didn't speak to me in any real way.

Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me, part of children's book review list about outer space

Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle

Everyone loves Eric Carle!  The illustrations in this book are typical Eric Carle style.  This book is about a young girl who asks her father to get the moon for her.  He gets ladder, goes to the moon, then waits for the moon to small enough for him to carry it back down to his daughter.  My girls enjoyed the fold out pages in this book, and the pretend idea of being able to get the moon.  I think that some children could get confused if this book was read during the same unit as some non-fiction booksIf your children are able to distinguish between pretend and reality then this is a good choice.

I Took the Moon for a Walk, part of children's book review list about outer space

I Took the Moon for a Walk by Carolyn Curtis

This book is beautiful, and perfect for a child's imagination.  The illustrations are almost dreamlike, with a soft color palate and whimsical settings.  The book is a little rhyme, as a boy simply takes a moon for a walk.  I know that my girls always squeal when they see the moon 'follow' them as we drive along in the car or walk in the neighborhood, so they really enjoyed this book.  This book is suitable for older babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.

There's No Place Like Space, part of children's book review list about outer space

There's No Place Like Space: All About Our Solar System by Tish Rabe

I just love all of the books in "The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That" series, and this one is no exception.  With a cast of familiar characters, the Cat and his friends visit all the planets.  The information about each planet is basic, but is just at the level that a preschooler or elementary aged child can understand and remember.  The clever rhymes make it fun to read. 

One Giant Leap, part of children's book review list about outer space

One Giant Leap: The Story of Neil Armstrong by Don Brown 

This is a children's biography about Neil Armstrong .  The author focuses primarily on his childhood and early life, and explains where Armstrong's love of flying came from, and how he pursued it throughout his life.  There was a notable lack of drama and excitement about the actual moon landing, though.  I found the illustrations to be a bit boring, though maybe accessible and relatable to children.  This is also a fairly long book.  My toddler lost interest.  Even my preschooler, who is usually a great listener, was getting squirmy towards the end.  This book is best suited for preschool or elementary aged children, or those who have expressed a particular interest in outer space or Neil Armstrong.

If You Decide To Go To The Moon, part of children's book review list about outer space

If You Decide To Go To The Moon by Faith McNulty

This book is a must-read during your outer space week.  It is written as though it is a manual for anyone travelling to the moon.  The book is just detailed enough to provide great information, without overwhelming or boring young children.  We read this one many times this week.   The realistic illustrations are great, as well.

Me and My Place in Space, part of children's book review list about outer space 

Me And My Place in Space by Joan Sweeney

Me And My Place in Space is the perfect introductory outer space book for toddlers.  The concepts of distance and time are tricky for little ones to understand, but this book does a great job putting it in terms that are easy to 'get.'  This book also provides a very short introduction to each of the planets (it's a bit outdated, and includes Pluto), along with the Milky Way and the rest of the universe beyond.  It attempts to help the child understand their place in the universe!  The drawings are simple, colorful, and appeal to young children.

On The Launch Pad, part of children's book review list about outer space

On The Launch Pad: A Counting Book About Rockets by Michael Dahl

This book is a counting book about the launching of a rockets.  It does count backwards, so that could be confusing for children just learning to count.  But there are things to count on each page, and the bright, colorful drawings draw in young readers.  Because of the simple text, this book is suitable for older babies.  Toddlers and preschoolers would enjoy it as well.

Our Stars, part of children's book review list about outer space

Our Stars by Anne Rockwell

This book is an excellent introduction to stars for young readers.  In very simple language, it explains what stars are, a little bit about our sun, and about constellations.  The illustrations are simple line drawings, perfect for older babies and toddlers.

The Planets In Our Solar System, part of children's book review list about outer space

The Planets in Our Solar System by Franklyn M. Branley

This was probably my least favorite book that we read this week.  While it is an introduction to the planets, they are not presented in a very clear way for young children.  Rather than talking first about one planet, and then another, it attempts to group them together or talk about their similarities and differences.  This approach may work for older children, but I feel the preschool aged children should have material presented in a very straightforward manner, and later be asked to sort or categorize the information that they know.  Additionally, the illustrations were bland and not captivating in any way.  I had to double check that this book was written by the same author, Franklyn Branley, as so many other wonderful books we read this week.

Floating In Space, part of children's book review list about outer space

Floating in Space by Franklyn M. Branley

This book by Franklyn Branley is fantastic.  It describes life on the International Space Station and the challenges the astronauts face while living in zero gravity.  It explains how astronauts eat, use the restroom, and sleep!  I learned quite a bit reading this book, as well!  The illustrations are detailed, and some are labeled with different elements of a space equipment.  Older toddlers or preschoolers could appreciate this book, and understand a bit about gravity.

The Moon Book, part of children's book review list about outer space

The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons

Gail Gibbons writes great non-fiction children's books on all kinds of topics.  They are crammed full of information, and I love the retro style drawings.  This one goes into great depth about exactly how the moon rotates and orbits around the Earth, and I think the information is a bit above the comprehension level of most preschoolers.  If the solar system were a strong interest for your child, they might be interested enough to follow the explanations, but your average child would probably just tune it out.  It does present an activity that children can do using an orange to help illustrate the moon's movements.

Moonshot, part of children's book review list about outer space

Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca

There's a reason why you see all those awards on the cover of Moonshot!  It tells the story of the Apollo 11 mission, with just the right level of detail and excitement for young readers.  The illustrations are clear and realistic.  We read this book from the library, but I went right to the book store to buy it for our home library.  I highly recommend this book for toddlers through elementary aged children.

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From Other Great Bloggers:

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Outer Space Play Dough from I Can Teach My Child 

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Cutting Tiny Bites: Books About Outer Space
Books About Outer Space
Children's book list about outer space. Reviews of each. Choices for toddlers, preschoolers and elementary children. Fiction and non-fiction.
Cutting Tiny Bites
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