Books About Space

space books for kids There is something completely magical about space. I don’t think I have ever met a child who didn’t have at least a small interest in the subject. For me space is a wonderful gateway into science for young kids as well as a fun theme for fictional stories. Here are 16 books about space we have reviewed. Some are great and some are a little odd… but odd isn’t always bad.

All our book lists include affiliate links.

draw me a star

Draw Me a Star by Eric Carle is often not read in classrooms simply because of a depiction of a naked man and woman. It’s not what most parents expect to find in an Eric Carle book but it is very fitting in this beautiful and really touching book. The story although very similar to a biblical creation story isn’t necessarily reflective only of a christian view point , to me it’s about the author’s own creation. It begins and ends with a star , and hits all the right points in between.

Comets

Comets by Melanie Chrismer surprised me. This little book was not only full of facts about comets but it also kept my 3 year old’s attention from cover to cover. The facts are simple, and presented in small bits with illustrations . The straightforward approach was perfect to support an introductory activity about comets.

math books for preschoolers

On the Launch Pad: A Counting Book About Rockets by Michael Dahl was a great find, my son loved counting down from 12-1 with the bright illustrations , simple text and hidden numbers on each page. Something that seems simple but was really awesome was that each page had the number written as a word, shown as a digit and as dots to count. You can take the time to count each dot, read the word or simply recognize the digit!

Stargazers

Stargazers by Gail Gibbons is a good choice of book to teach about stars, constellations, telescopes, and more.  My son sat listening to this book and every now and then was engaged but it was a bit lengthy and a little too in depth for him ( he was almost 3 at the time of reading) however the book is great , it explains complicated scientific information in a really accessible way.  I even learned a few new things about telescopes!

how to catch a star

How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers is a sweet story about a little boy who wants a star of his own. I loved the bright and simplistic illustrations and the message about holding on to your dreams, working for them and figuring out that sometimes things come to you in packages you don’t expect. Great book!

the way back home

The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers is a moving story about a boy , a martian, and the moon they were both stuck on. Together they figure out a way to get back home even though they are so sad to say goodbye to each other. I love this author, I love his illustrations as well, they are so unique and the emotions he manages to convey are amazing. There is an illustration of the boy and martian standing awkwardly before they have to say goodbye and it embodies the feeling we all have when it’s time to say goodbye to something we don’t want to let go of. Grab anything written by this author and you will be happy!

Hush Little Alien

Hush, Little Alien by Daniel Kirk is a quirky updated version of the classic lullaby. So many bedtime books are super sugary but this one is funky and bright! I love the space theme and the illustrations are great! The rhymes are funny and kept my son interested in the lullaby much longer than the traditional one which he deems a “baby song”.

spaceboy

Space Boy by Leo Landry is a sweet book about a little boy who needs to get away from everything at home so he climbs in his rocket and blasts off. I think we can all relate to this story, having to escape from the annoying things in our life for some alone time, if only we all had rockets the moon would be a busy getaway. The book started off really simply , then a few pages in the middle had much more text which was hard for my toddler, who’s interest was lost. I rounded him back up , skipped a few lines and we finished and enjoyed the book.

if you decide to go to the moon

If You Decide To Go To The Moon by Faith McNulty was not what I expected, but what is that they say about judging a book by it’s cover? Yeah. I enjoyed the book but it was really long, even I was sorta wondering ” How much more?” half way through. However when I finished the book I was glad I read it all and the huge amount of information inside. The book is truly packed with information about space travel and the environment on the moon, for 3-4 year olds I would read it in parts, perhaps throughout the same day but I don’t think many would sit with full attention for this whole book. Older kids should have no problem especially if they are interested in space. Older children will also appreciate the message that we need to keep Earth healthy so our planet remains vibrant and full of life and not cold, dusty, and still like the moon.

Another Day In the milky way

Another Day in the Milky Way by David Milgrim made me giggle. The story is about a little boy who is stranded on a weird planet where things are very strange and he doesn’t know how to get home. It’s never scary because it’s simply too weird to ever get scary. People with too many arms, donkeys and chickens dressed as horses, and finally the realization that it’s all a dream.  The humor was rather dry although kids will probably take it as goofy . My favorite part was the little alien dog that transforms into a regular one in the end of the book when the little boy wakes up.

Our Stars

Our Stars by Anne Rockwell is another wonderful non fiction book from this author illustrator. The book shares the most basic facts about stars with the reader as well as more complicated facts about constellations, comets, and meteors. I love that the facts are shared pretty independently on each page, so if something is above your toddler’s head you can simply skip that page, until they are ready for more facts. The illustrations are fun enough to grab attention but detailed enough to help explain the facts being presented.

the moon might be milk

The Moon Might Be Milk by Lisa Shulman follows a little girl and her animal friends as they all share their opinions of what the moon is made out of. While reading this with my son years ago he kept saying “No no not milk, shaving cream!”  because we’d just made our shaving cream moon craft. The story has a cute ending and I like how no opinion is made fun of or wrong. When I asked my son what he liked about the book he ignored the moon and said “The cat”. There you have it, a cute book about a moon but the cat stole the show.

moon

Night Goes By by Kate Spohn is a book that explains how the sun goes down and the moon comes out and the cycle continues. The sun, moon, and a star are all very cheery and enjoy their lots in life. The star and moon play all night! The book is simple and while I wasn’t too into it, my son who was almost 3 when we read it really liked it. I would suggest it for toddlers and young preschoolers.

themoon

The Moon by Robert Louis Stevenson and illustrated by Tracy Campbell Pearson is a beautiful book. The poem was written in the 19th century but my two year old loved it paired with these stunning and warm illustrations of a family’s adventures at night. I really am so impressed with how well the words were put to life by the pictures, and my son loved it. It’s inspired me to find more classical literature and poetry to share with my son.

A is For Astronaut

A Is for Astronaut: Exploring Space from A to Z by Traci N. Todd is a typical themed alphabet book that is atypically funky. The vintage illustrations and historical photos from NASA makes this book stand out from other similar books. Each letter represents a number of space related items and the historical photos are so powerful in this because it bridges the gap from being a story to being information that children are eager to dive into further. There is something so powerful about a photograph to make that connection that this really happened, these guys really walked on the moon in ” the olden days” as my son calls any time before his birth in 2006.

moon man tomi ungerer

Moon Man by Tomi Ungerer is an odd, heartwarming, entertaining story. My son loves this story about the man on the moon who wants to be a part of the action on earth and decides to visit himself. Of course as is the custom on earth we are afraid of outsiders and he is thrown in jail. Luckily as he goes through the phases he manages to slip out through the bars.He finds someone to help him return home where he belongs, even though he is sad to go. I couldn’t help but think of ET… but that’s just me.

Glow In The Dark Stars Craft

glow in the dark starry sky paintingsOne of the greatest challenges this summer has been finding activities that my son who is going into first grade and my daughter who just turned 3 will both love. When I suggested we make a glow in the dark paintings after seeing the stars out on 4th of July ( they aren’t normally awake late enough to see any! ) they both thought it was a cool idea. These glow in the dark stars paintings are really easy to make and despite being locked out of our house for hours in the middle of making them we still had a great time. And they really do glow in the dark !

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a canvas, black acrylic paint, glow in the dark paint , paint brushes ( the bigger the better ), paper plates, and star stickers. You will also want wipes or a wet cloth and a good drop cloth when working with non washable paints.glow in the dark paintings craft for kids
  2. Pour the paint on to a paper plate . I like using big brushes when the goal is coverage. With 3 year olds making the activity attainable is key to making it a success. Paint your whole canvas with the glow in the dark paint. My daughter started then we realized we were locked out of our house ( without shoes and I was in PJs ) so we took a 2 hour break while we tried to find an open window gave up and went to the safety of a neighbors to call a locksmith. glow in the dark stars
  3. Add stickers when the canvases are dry. My daughter did a random smattering of stars and I helped her make sure they were all pressed on and glow in the dark star sticker reisistmy son made a constellation.glow in the dark star paintings
  4. Add the black paint.  My son helped his sister and to my surprise she let him. This picture is what I love most about crafts, just doing something together with family.glow in the dark star paintings craft for kids Let dry to the touch. The stars peel off easier if they aren’t 100% dry.glow in the dark starry sky paintings
  5. Carefully peel the stars off. This never gets old for my kids. They love seeing the shapes emerge.  Leave the paintings out in the sun to dry 100%.glow in the dark sticker resist painting for kids
  6. Find a dark room and watch them glowglow in the dark stary sky paintings – sorry for the bad picture but my inexpensive camera isn’t great for  glow in the dark. Trust me it was cool! Pop them in your kids bedrooms to see the stars every night.glow in the dark star paintings easy craft for kids

Books About Stars

draw me a star

Draw Me a Star by Eric Carle is often not read in classrooms simply because of a depiction of a naked man and woman. It’s not what most parents expect to find in an Eric Carle book but it is very fitting in this beautiful and really touching book. The story although very similar to a biblical creation story isn’t necessarily reflective only of a christian view point , rather as I read it is was the author’s own creation. It begins and ends with a star , and hits all the right points in between.

Stargazers

Stargazers by Gail Gibbons is a good choice of book to teach about stars, constellations, telescopes and more.  My son sat listening to this book and every now and then was engaged but it was a bit lengthy and a little too in depth for him ( he’s almost 3) however the book is great , it explains complicated scientific information in a really accessible way.  I even learned a few new things about telescopes! I will be taking this book out of the library again for sure when my son is a little older.

Books About Stars

Our Stars by Anne Rockwell is another wonderful non fiction book from this author illustrator. The book shares the most basic facts about stars with the reader as well as more complicated facts about constellations, comets and meteors. I love that the facts are shared pretty independently on each page, so if something is above your toddlers head you can simply skip that page, until they are . The illustrations are fun enough to grab attention but detailed enough to help explain the facts being presented.

This post contains affiliate links.

{ Alphabet Activity } Letter Constellations

constellation coverThis simple alphabet activity is a snap to put together and combines fine motor development and letter recognition . I did this with my daughter who just turned 3 , older children could be encouraged to not only add the stars but to also write the letters or whole words. This is part of our Alphabet For Starters series of posts that aim to introduce and play with letters in a fun creative way without pressure. Children learn best when they are free to explore and make positive connections with material and these activities aim to do that .  You can see our other posts here.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some black construction paper , chalk in various colors ( although just white would be a OK ), some star stickers and scissors. letter constellations alphabet activity
  2. Start by cutting your paper into smaller pieces. Write letters on the paper using the chalk. You can do this dry or wet for a more vibrant color.  I made a handful of letters , some my daughter is very familiar with ( letters in her name) some she doesn’t see as often. letter constellation craft for kids
  3. Present all the letters and stickers to your child. Explain what a constellation is and that you’d be making them with letters. The way I explained it to my daughter was that they are shapes and drawings made when you connect the stars in the sky with pretend lines. I didn’t go into it any deeper than that for her but with an older child you absolutely could.
  4. Add the stars. letter constellation fine motor activityFor her age just peeling them off was hard work as was carefully placing them on the letter.letter constellations alphabet for starters Encourage and praise but make sure it’s not empty. I naturally say “Good job” a lot and have been trying to use more specific praise instead. Saying things like ” You worked hard to get that sticker off. ” is much more beneficial than an empty ” Good job!” letter constelations
  5. She happily made 3 letters and I didn’t push her to make more. Instead I placed them together with the stickers on a tray and made sure they were accessible for her to make more when she chose to.  letter constellation craft for kids learning abcs

Space Themed Alphabet Book

A is For Astronaut

A Is for Astronaut: Exploring Space from A to Z by Traci N. Todd is a typical themed alphabet book that is atypically funky. The vintage illustrations and historical photos from NASA makes this book stand out from other similar books. Each letter represents a number of space related items and the historical photos are so powerful in this because it bridges the gap from being a story to being information that children are eager to dive into further. There is something so powerful about a photograph to make that connection that this really happened, these guys really walked on the moon in ” the olden days” as my son calls any time before his birth in 2006.

This post contains an affiliate link

Star Color Matching & Sensory Tub

space theme for daycare

Stars , space and rockets are a theme that has never really lost it’s luster at our house. My son who is 5 1/2 is not as keen on sensory tubs as he once was ( or so I thought) so I set this one up with a little reading and matching activity. If I was doing this for younger kids I would have a few rocket ships and a few cups for pouring and transferring and skip the matching activity completely. As it turned out I misjudged my son and you will see that even at 5 1/2 that simple is wonderful.It’s great for space themes, learning about shapes and even fine motor practice!

  1. Gather your materials. For the sensory tub you will need dried black beans, bright star buttons and some tools like spoons and containers to dig and pour. For the matching activity I also used a chocolate box liner, some paper, scissors and marker.sensory play for kids
  2. Pour the beans and the buttons in. You could add sparkles but you will never be able to use the beans for another non sparkly tub again and cleaning it off the buttons if you want will be impossible. I like to re-use my sensory tub innards so we kept it simple. space theme daycare
  3. If you want to make the matching container you can do it a few ways. For my son I wrote the words including light and dark blue and hot pink because we’ve been talking about different shades of colors. For pre readers simply use a marker in each color to write the word. matching activity
  4. Other than setting up I just let him go. He read all the words to start.
  5. Then got down to business sorting and matching. Don’t be surprised if they start counting while they sort. Everything is a competition at our house right now and so as he was sorting he was keeping me updated to which color was in the lead.
  6. After he’d had enough he filled the extra squares with beans using his hands , then  grabbed a spoon, dumped the buttons out and and started carefully scooping the into the little squares one by one.
  7. Then we got a big container and filled it  ( with the pot from our play kitchen) so his little sister could enjoy the stars too. sensory playShe loves rolling it around and how loud it is when she does. stuff for toddlers

So even though I had a more directed activity ready I am thrilled he used it as a start but then directed the rest himself. I am just glad we had all the tools he needed.

 

Space Themed Crafts & Books

space crafts for kids

Space is such a fun theme to use for play, crafts and of course learning. Here are some of our favorite space themed crafts that we have done over the years. We have lots of space themed books too.

Sandpaper Sun
Make Your Own Constellation
Crescent Moon
Alien Headband
Puffy Paint Moon
Recycled UFO
Recycled Rocket
Hand Print Sun
Soft and Shiny Rocket
Paper Plate Planet
Shooting Star
Sponge Painted Stars

 

Click the image for detailed reviews of the space books.