Children's Books

The Space Booklist

Avatar photo
Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Looking for a great book to share with your kids? Try out these space-themed gems!

Reading is the perfect way to capture your child’s imagination, build crucial communication skills and above all, have loads of fun.

Sure, being a better communicator will help your little one enjoy their early learning experiences, develop stronger relationships and be more confident, but more than that, exploring new worlds with your kids is one of the true joys of parenthood. For dads, reading stories together during your baby’s early months is also a prime opportunity to start bonding.

If you don’t know how to get started, the Words for Life website – set up by the National Literacy Trust – is a great resource; featuring useful information on the ‘communication milestones’, fun activities for families and book giveaways.

This month, Words for Life want you to discover different planets with your youngsters and to make things easier for busy parents, they have even put together a jam-packed list of terrific titles. So what are you waiting for?

Baby to 3

Baby Brains (Simon James)

Meet the extraordinary Baby Brains! He reads the paper, mends the car and works as a doctor at the hospital. He’s so clever that some scientists ask him to go on their next space mission. And that’s when Baby Brains shows that in one way at least he’s like every other baby in the world: he wants his mummy!

Wonderwise: What’s Up?: A book about the sky and space (Mick Manning)

What’s Up? takes you on a journey of discovery up to the stars and beyond. Join two inquisitive children who travel higher and higher as they zoom past towering skyscrapers, gigantic mountains, jumbo jets, satellites and stars – until at last the two friends find out what really is up there. But how do they get down?

The Way Back Home (Oliver Jeffers)

One day a boy finds an aeroplane in his cupboard. Up, up and away he flies, past clouds and stars until suddenly, phut, phut phut, the plane runs out of petrol and the boy crash lands on the moon. Just as he is beginning to get cold and lonely, a Martian appears from the darkness – could this be the start of an unlikely friendship? And will the boy ever manage to get home again?

3 to 5

Planet Pop-Up: Monkey on the Moon (Illustrated by Nicola Anderson, text by Jonathan Litton)

Blast off into outer space with the crazy crew in this intergalactic pop-up extravaganza. With a host of kooky characters and an exciting pop-up surprise on every page, this book is an exciting adventure for fun-loving little ones from here to infinity!

Big Book of Stars and Planets (Emily Bone, illustrated by Fabiano Fiorin)

Discover the wonders of space in this incredible picture book, with giant fold-out pages to satisfy the curiosity of every young space enthusiast. From the Sun and planets in our Solar System, to massive stars and enormous galaxies, there’s a whole universe to discover. Shortlisted for the Royal Society’s Young People’s Boom Prize 2014.

We’re Off to Look for Aliens (Colin McNaughton)

Comic close encounters of the alien kind in this innovative picture book, which contains a special surprise! Dad’s new book has just arrived and the children are sitting down to read his latest adventure… Blasting off into space, Dad’s on the hunt for aliens. He meets lots of them – cute, hairy, bug-eyed and scary – and, strangest of all, he falls in love. Dad brings his alien girl back to Earth, where they have a family and live happily ever after. When Dad’s book is finished, the family are amused … because it’s an extra-terrestrial, extra-true story – all about them!

5 to 7

Star Attack! (Lucy Courtenay)

What’s black and white, and flies faster than the speed of light? The Space Penguins! In Star Attack! the crew of the Tunafish pick up a distress signal from a cargo craft, there’s snow time to lose. This hilarious Space Penguin adventure is sure to appeal to young boys. Full of humour, fishy goings on and adventure, this is a fantastic series that will tickle even reluctant boy readers.

See inside the Universe (Alex Frith, illustrated by Lee Cosgrove)

What’s the universe made of? Where did everything come from? Lift the flaps in this fascinating book to reveal some of the amazing discoveries that astronomers and physicists have made in their quest to unlock the mysteries of the Universe. Curious young minds will be fascinated to discover planets, stars and galaxies and explore intergalactic space, with over 70 flaps to lift. Includes explanations of some of the biggest questions in the universe, including ‘What happened during the Big Bang?’ and ‘What lies out in the far reaches of space?’ A mind-expanding book sure to fascinate young space enthusiasts.

Stink: Solar System Superhero (Megan McDonald and Peter H. Reynolds)

Look! Up in the sky! Is it a falling leaf? A speck of dust? A speeding mosquito? No, it’s Stink Moody, Solar System Superhero! When Stink learns that Pluto has flunked out of the Milky Way for being too shrimpy, he feels like he might just explode with a Big Bang. He has no choice but to take a stand for the sake of little planets (and little people) everywhere. Will our humble hero, Stink Moody, be smart enough to defeat a panel of big-shot scientists? Will Stink succeed in rescuing Pluto from a fate worse than being swallowed by a black hole? Start the countdown for a funny (and very informative) out-of-this-world adventure – and prepare to have your universe rocked!

The Boy who Climbed into the Moon (David Almond and Polly Dunbar)

A magnificent tale of crackpot notions and sky-high courage – from David Almond, the master of magical realism, with illustrations by the award-winning Polly Dunbar. Paul believes that the moon isn’t the moon, but is a great hole in the sky. It’s one of many strange ideas that he’s never told anyone until he meets Molly, his irrepressible neighbour, who begins to convince him that his theory might just change the world. Helped by a very long ladder, some highly irregular characters, two rather worried parents and a great deal of community spirit, Paul takes to the sky. But his astonishing discovery there can’t keep him away for long – what is waiting for him back at home is turning out to be better than he’d ever imagined…