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Outer Space: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about outer space?

“We choose to go to the moon in this decade . . . not because [it is] easy, but because [it is] hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.” President John F. Kennedy, 1962

We want to help children feel inspired and captivated by great books. Some of our own favorites focus on space, rockets, and big dreams, so we thought it would be great to compile a list of the best children’s books about space. To quote a favorite animated character, Buzz Lightyear from Disney’s Toy Story, we want children to believe they can go “to infinity, and beyond!” Sometimes the best way to voyage into new worlds is by being transported into the vast unknown of space through the pages of an amazing book.

In 2011, NASA shut down its space shuttle program, a program that sparked amazing feats of science, math, and engineering and human ingenuity, bravery, and creativity. It seems that despite thrilling achievements in the years after President John F. Kennedy declared “we choose to go to the moon,” space exploration lost its perceived value and was seen as a high-risk, low-return government expense. Matthew McConaughey’s character, the space shuttle pilot Cooper, might have captured the feeling best: “We used to look up at the sky and wonder at our place in the stars, now we just look down and worry about our place in the dirt.”

Interestingly, private companies have stepped into to fill the empty space (wink, wink) left by NASA, and people all over the world are enthralled with the potential of colorful visionaries like Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic, Elon Musk and SpaceX, and Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin.

We’re enjoying a resurgence of interest in space and exploration, and we hope children, and the parents and other loved ones who enjoy the books with them, can find their next big dream in one of these, the best books about space. Live long and prosper! ;)

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Top 10 Books About Outer Space

#1
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3-2-1 Blast Off!
Written by Kevin Meyers and Haily Meyers & illustrated by Haily Meyers
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-5

Adventure into space with this playful oversized board book, from the creators of Gotta Go, Buffalo and the All Aboard series. Haily and Kevin Meyers are the husband and wife team behind the dazzling baby product line, Lucy Darling (lucydarling.com). Haily’s design work can be seen on their unique monthly sticker designs, nursery art prints, baby memory books, and multiple baby products. Their work has been featured in Pregnancy and Newborn magazine, Red Tricycle, Babiekins Magazine, Cool Mom Picks, KIWI magazine, Mollie Makes magazine, Fresh Style magazine, Mom Trends, HGTV Canada, and specialty baby shops worldwide. They live in Arizona.

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#2
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Harry and Horsie
Written by Katie Van Camp & illustrated by Lincoln Agnew
Thoughts from Lemony Snickers
Harry and Horsie is a great book. After noticing that it features a special note from Dave Letterman, I learned that the author, Katie Van Camp, was actually a nanny for David Letterman's son, Harry, and Katie wrote the book as a gift to the Lettermans. The illustrations are adorable, and readers will enjoy venturing into space with Harry as they search for his stuffed friend Horsie. Harry is surprised to find his racecars speeding along Saturn's rings and his cat enjoying the tasty milk on the Milky Way. The book is whimsical and fun, and I really think other readers will love it.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When a boy named Harry sneaks out of bed one night with his best friend, Horsie, to play with his Super Duper Bubble Blooper – an out-of-this-world adventure begins! Illustrated with retro-comic art, this is a charming story about the power of friendship and imagination from a talented new team.

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#3
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There's No Place Like Space
Written by Tish Rabe & illustrated by Aristides Ruiz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Dr. Seuss’s Cat in the Hat introduces Sally and Dick to the planets, stars, and moons in our universe.

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#4
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Oh No, Astro!
Written by Matt Roeser & illustrated by Brad Woodard
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
This is a cute story about a somewhat timid and uptight asteroid sent hurtling through space after being knocked out of orbit and about his travels down to earth. The illustrations in this book are absolutely phenomenal and I love the bright, almost vintage-cartoon-style to them! The punny, science-filled wording is enjoyable as well, with just enough of a story to it to keep the learning interesting and the facts at the back of the book are perfect for giving little space aficionados a little extra info.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Astro, an asteroid that wants nothing more than for his personal outer space to be respected, is hit by a passing satellite and sent on what turns out to be a great adventure from the asteroid belt to Earth. Includes “space facts.”

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#5
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Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11
Written & illustrated by Brian Floca
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-10

Here is the story of the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon – a story of leaving and returning during the summer of 1969, and a story of home, seen whole, from far away by steady astronauts in their great machines.

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#6
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Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race
Written by Margot Lee Shetterly & illustrated by Laura Freeman
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
This is a great introduction for little readers to the four true stories of how African American women helped the space program, overcoming gender and racial biases. I like how it exposes civil rights and women's rights issues at a level that is appropriate and understandable for children and focuses on how each of these four women worked hard and persevered to overcome those challenges.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Based on the New York Times bestselling book and the Academy Award–nominated movie, author Margot Lee Shetterly and illustrator Laura Freeman bring the incredibly inspiring true story of four black women who helped NASA launch men into space to picture book readers! Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden were good at math…really good. They participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes, like providing the calculations for America’s first journeys into space. And they did so during a time when being black and a woman limited what they could do. But they worked hard. They persisted. And they used their genius minds to change the world. In this beautifully illustrated picture book edition, we explore the story of four female African American mathematicians at NASA, known as “colored computers,” and how they overcame gender and racial barriers to succeed in a highly challenging STEM-based career. “Finally, the extraordinary lives of four African American women who helped NASA put the first men in space is available for picture book readers,” proclaims Brightly in their article “18 Must-Read Picture Books of 2018.” “Will inspire girls and boys alike to love math, believe in themselves, and reach for the stars.”

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#7
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The Darkest Dark
Written by Chris Hadfield & illustrated by The Fan Brothers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

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. 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.

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#8
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Rocket Science for Babies
Written & illustrated by Chris Ferrie
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This book does a really great job of simplifying the explanations for lift, thrust, and rocket science. I think adults will learn from this one, too! :) It has very simple illustrations to go along with the simple explanations, and I like that this book is very educational. It might still go over little one's heads, but I still think it's a great intro book, teaching them science behind really cool rockets.
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Ages 0 to 3 years Rocket Science for Babies by Chris Ferrie is an introduction to aerospace engineering (also known as rocket science). Baby will learn the principles of lift and thrust, the forces responsible for flight. This is the first in a series of books designed to stimulate your baby and introduce them to the world of science. Also coming in May are: Newtonian Physics for Babies General Relativity for Babies Quantum Physics for Babies

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#9
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8 Little Planets
Written by Chris Ferrie & illustrated by Lizzy Doyle
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

An exciting introduction to the solar system from Chris Ferrie, #1 science book writer for children, and creator of the Baby University series 8 little planets with the Sun at the center.each one wishing it were a little bit better…Old slow Neptune felt it was behind.165 years to circle the sun is an awful long time!the 8th little planet did not worry.It spins on its axis in a really big hurryTo the tune of “Ten Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” comes a new bedtime story from bestselling author Chris Ferrie that’s sure to get little ones excited about the solar system while learning new facts about each planet!

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#10
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Margaret and the Moon: How Margaret Hamilton Saved the First Lunar Landing
Written by Dean Robbins & illustrated by Lucy Knisley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A true story from one of the Women of NASA!

Margaret Hamilton loved numbers as a young girl. She knew how many miles it was to the moon (and how many back). She loved studying algebra and geometry and calculus and using math to solve problems in the outside world.

Soon math led her to MIT and then to helping NASA put a man on the moon! She handwrote code that would allow the spacecraft’s computer to solve any problems it might encounter. Apollo 8. Apollo 9. Apollo 10. Apollo 11. Without her code, none of those missions could have been completed.

Dean Robbins and Lucy Knisley deliver a lovely portrayal of a pioneer in her field who never stopped reaching for the stars.

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Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Outer Space and...

Books About Outer Space and Girls And Women

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Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race
Written by Margot Lee Shetterly & illustrated by Laura Freeman
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
This is a great introduction for little readers to the four true stories of how African American women helped the space program, overcoming gender and racial biases. I like how it exposes civil rights and women's rights issues at a level that is appropriate and understandable for children and focuses on how each of these four women worked hard and persevered to overcome those challenges.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Based on the New York Times bestselling book and the Academy Award–nominated movie, author Margot Lee Shetterly and illustrator Laura Freeman bring the incredibly inspiring true story of four black women who helped NASA launch men into space to picture book readers! Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden were good at math…really good. They participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes, like providing the calculations for America’s first journeys into space. And they did so during a time when being black and a woman limited what they could do. But they worked hard. They persisted. And they used their genius minds to change the world. In this beautifully illustrated picture book edition, we explore the story of four female African American mathematicians at NASA, known as “colored computers,” and how they overcame gender and racial barriers to succeed in a highly challenging STEM-based career. “Finally, the extraordinary lives of four African American women who helped NASA put the first men in space is available for picture book readers,” proclaims Brightly in their article “18 Must-Read Picture Books of 2018.” “Will inspire girls and boys alike to love math, believe in themselves, and reach for the stars.”

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$15.29
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$10.93
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Add to list
Margaret and the Moon: How Margaret Hamilton Saved the First Lunar Landing
Written by Dean Robbins & illustrated by Lucy Knisley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A true story from one of the Women of NASA!

Margaret Hamilton loved numbers as a young girl. She knew how many miles it was to the moon (and how many back). She loved studying algebra and geometry and calculus and using math to solve problems in the outside world.

Soon math led her to MIT and then to helping NASA put a man on the moon! She handwrote code that would allow the spacecraft’s computer to solve any problems it might encounter. Apollo 8. Apollo 9. Apollo 10. Apollo 11. Without her code, none of those missions could have been completed.

Dean Robbins and Lucy Knisley deliver a lovely portrayal of a pioneer in her field who never stopped reaching for the stars.

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Hidden Figures Young Readers' Edition
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

New York Times bestselling author Margot Lee Shetterly’s book is now available in a new edition perfect for young readers. This is the amazing true story of four African-American female mathematicians at NASA who helped achieve some of the greatest moments in our space program. Soon to be a major motion picture starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, and Kevin Costner. Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules, and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. This book brings to life the stories of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, four African-American women who lived through the civil rights era, the Space Race, the Cold War, and the movement for gender equality, and whose work forever changed the face of NASA and the country.

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. Astro Girl - The stars are the limit for a little girl who acts out her wish to be an astronaut — inspired by a very special person. 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.

  2. Look Up! - Henrietta Levitt was the first person to discover the scientific importance of a star’s brightness—so why has no one heard of her? Learn all about a female pioneer of astronomy in this picture book biography. Henrietta Swan Leavitt was born on July 4, 1868, and she changed the course of astronomy when she was just twenty-five years old. Henrietta spent years measuring star positions and sizes from photographs taken by the telescope at the Harvard College Observatory, where she worked. After Henrietta observed that certain stars had a fixed pattern to their changes, her discovery made it possible for astronomers to measure greater and greater distances—leading to our present understanding of the vast size of the universe. An astronomer of her time called Henrietta Leavitt “one of the most important women ever to touch astronomy,” and another close associate said she had the “best mind at the Harvard Observatory.” Henrietta Leaveitt’s story will inspire young women and aspiring scientists of all kinds and includes additional information about the solar system and astronomy.

  3. Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13 - The bold story of an African-American mathematician who worked for NASA during the space race and was depicted in the film “Hidden Figures, “ and how she made sure that the crew of Apollo 13 returned home. Full color.

  4. Astronauts: Women on the Final Frontier - A nonfiction graphic novel for middle grade readers about notable female astronauts. America may have put the first man on the moon, but it was the Soviet space program that made Valentina Tereshkova the first woman in space. Meanwhile, in the United States, NASA’s first female astronauts were racing toward milestones of their own. These trail-blazing women were admitted into Group 9, NASA’s first mixed-gender class. They had the challenging task of convincing the powers that be that a woman’s place is in space. But once they’d been admitted into the training program, they discovered that NASA had plenty to learn about how to make space travel possible for all humans. In Astronauts: Women on the Final Frontier, Jim Ottaviani and illustrator Maris Wicks capture the great humor and incredible drive of Mary Cleve, Valentina Tereshkova, and the first women in space.

Books About Outer Space and Project Apollo (u.s.)

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Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11
Written & illustrated by Brian Floca
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-10

Here is the story of the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon – a story of leaving and returning during the summer of 1969, and a story of home, seen whole, from far away by steady astronauts in their great machines.

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Reaching for the Moon
Written by Buzz Aldrin & illustrated by Wendell Minor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

I walked on the moon. This is my journey. But it didn’t begin when I stepped on board Apollo 11 on July 1, 1969. It began the day I was born. Becoming an astronaut took more than education, discipline, and physical strength. It took years of determination and believing that any goal is possible—from riding a bike alone across the George Washington Bridge at age ten to making a footprint on the Moon. I always knew the Moon was within my reach—and that I was ready to be on the team that would achieve the first landing. But it was still hard to believe when I took my first step onto the Moon’s surface. We all have our own dreams. This is the story of how mine came true.

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Go for the Moon
Written & illustrated by Chris Gall
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

For the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, a step-by-step explanation of how the Apollo 11 spacecraft worked as told by a young enthusiast.The Apollo 11 astronauts have prepared carefully for their attempt to be the first men to land on the moon. The young narrator of this book has prepared carefully, too: he explains the design of the spacecraft, the flight from the earth to the moon, and the drama of touching down - while shadowing the astronaut’s voyage with one of his own. Go for the Moon! captures the fascinating detail and inspiring adventure of the moon landing. It is a captivating celebration of one of humankind’s greatest technical achievements and most extraordinary feats of exploration.

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  1. How We Got to the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity's Greatest Adventure - This beautifully illustrated, oversized guide to the people and technology of the moon landing by award-winning author/illustrator John Rocco (illustrator of the Percy Jackson series) is a must-have for space fans, classrooms, and tech geeks.

  2. Daring Dozen - Fifty years ago, on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the Moon. That was the Apollo 11 mission. Since that moment, six more Apollo missions were launched, five successfully reached the moon, and eleven more men walked on its surface. In simple, poetic verse, Suzanne Slade takes readers on a trip to the Moon aboard all the Apollo missions from 1969 through 1972. Suzanne was able to work closely with astronaut Alan Bean, the lunar module pilot of the Apollo 12 landing. Backmatter includes a note from Alan Bean, information about the rockets and vehicles used, highlights from the missions, and more.

  3. Rocket to the Moon! - Award-winning author Don Brown explores the history of rocket building in the first book of the Big Ideas That Changed the World series

  4. Eight Days Gone - Snappy verse and retro art brings readers along for Apollo 11’s historic, eight-day mission to the moon in 1969. Young readers will learn the basics about the gear, equipment, and spaceship used by the astronauts, as well as the history of NASA’s moon mission. O’ Rourke’s vibrant and retro illustrations paired with McReynolds’ short verse creates a perfect read aloud for preschool and kindergarteners eager to learn about Buzz Aldrin’s trip to the moon. Back matter includes a bibliography and author’s note with additional information about the mission and the crew’s return home after the historic first lunar landing.

Books About Outer Space and The Solar System

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8 Little Planets
Written by Chris Ferrie & illustrated by Lizzy Doyle
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

An exciting introduction to the solar system from Chris Ferrie, #1 science book writer for children, and creator of the Baby University series 8 little planets with the Sun at the center.each one wishing it were a little bit better…Old slow Neptune felt it was behind.165 years to circle the sun is an awful long time!the 8th little planet did not worry.It spins on its axis in a really big hurryTo the tune of “Ten Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” comes a new bedtime story from bestselling author Chris Ferrie that’s sure to get little ones excited about the solar system while learning new facts about each planet!

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Hello, World! Solar System
Written & illustrated by Jill McDonald
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Presents the planets in the solar system and describes what makes them special.

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Adventures in Space
Written & illustrated by Simon Tyler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

From the brilliant illustrator, Simon Tyler, comes a wonderful compendium of space, space travel and much more. One day our sun will grow…and grow…and grow…until it ends its life as a red giant 400x its current size. Wonder at facts like these, and much more, in the new illustrated guide to Space. Space is fascinating, and in this book Simon Tyler gorgeously illustrates the planets, meteors, rockets and galaxies - even strange phenomena like the speed of light and solar flares!

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  1. A Place for Pluto - Shocked to be stripped of his planet status, Pluto goes on a quest to find his place in the universe. Includes educational materials.

  2. If Pluto Was a Pea - Join two curious kids as they explore their backyard, and contemplate their place within our vast universe in this adorable picture book that’s full of comparisons to help kids understand cosmic size. If Pluto was a pea… the Sun would be like a tent, Mercury would be a marble, and Earth would be a golf ball. Pluto is the smallest planet in our solar system, but how small is small? As it turns out, it only takes the contents of a lunchbox and a backyard to find out.

  3. What We See in the Stars - An illustrated guide to the heavens combines the myths, historic significance, and various interpretations of objects seen in the night sky, including the recognized constellations, meteors, eclipses, planets, and moons.

  4. The Sun Is Kind of a Big Deal - Oh hey, guess what? The Sun never stops working to keep things on Earth running smoothly. (That’s why it’s been Employee of the Month for 4.5 billion years.) So why does the Sun get to be the center of attention? Because it’s our solar system’s very own star! <p/>This funny and factual picture book from Awkward Yeti creator Nick Seluk explains every part of the Sun’s big job: keeping our solar system together, giving Earth day and night, keeping us warm, and more. In fact, the Sun does so much for us that we wouldn’t be alive without it. That’s kind of a big deal. <p/>Each spread features bite-sized text and comic-style art with sidebars sprinkled throughout. Anthropomorphized planets (and Pluto) chime in with commentary as readers learn about the Sun. For instance, Mars found someone’s rover. Earth wants the Sun to do more stuff for it. And Jupiter just wants the Sun’s autograph. Funny, smart, and accessible, <i>The Sun Is Kind of a Big Deal</i> is a must-have!

Books About Outer Space and Animals

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Harry and Horsie
Written by Katie Van Camp & illustrated by Lincoln Agnew
Thoughts from Lemony Snickers
Harry and Horsie is a great book. After noticing that it features a special note from Dave Letterman, I learned that the author, Katie Van Camp, was actually a nanny for David Letterman's son, Harry, and Katie wrote the book as a gift to the Lettermans. The illustrations are adorable, and readers will enjoy venturing into space with Harry as they search for his stuffed friend Horsie. Harry is surprised to find his racecars speeding along Saturn's rings and his cat enjoying the tasty milk on the Milky Way. The book is whimsical and fun, and I really think other readers will love it.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When a boy named Harry sneaks out of bed one night with his best friend, Horsie, to play with his Super Duper Bubble Blooper – an out-of-this-world adventure begins! Illustrated with retro-comic art, this is a charming story about the power of friendship and imagination from a talented new team.

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This Is a Moose
Written by Richard T. Morris & illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Lights! Camera! Moose! MOOSE? Yes, Moose! When a movie director tries to capture the life of a moose on film, he’s in for a big surprise. It turns out the moose has a dream bigger then just being a moose–he wants to be an astronaut and go to the moon. His forest friends step in to help him, and action ensues. Lots of action. Like a lacrosse-playing grandma, a gigantic slingshot into space, and a flying, superhero chipmunk. In this hilarious romp, Richard T. Morris and bestselling illustrator Tom Lichtenheld remind us to dream big and, when we do, to aim for the moon.

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Garcia and Colette Go Exploring
Written by Hannah Barnaby & illustrated by Andrew Joyner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Exploring outer space and the ocean is exciting, but what if you left something very important at home?

Best friends Garcia and Colette are eager to go exploring, only they can’t agree on where to go. Garcia loves everything about space (Stars! Planets!)­ and Colette is obsessed with the sea (Waves! Fish!).

Staying home is not an option, so they each get busy. Garcia builds a rocket ship that’s snazzy and silver. Colette’s shiny submarine is perfect for deep-sea dives. And they wish each other well on their travels.

It turns out the Milky Way really is amazing and the ocean floor is truly spectacular, but Garcia and Colette both realize they left something very important back home.

Exploring your favorite place can be terrific, but maybe the company is more important than the destination.

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  1. Rufus Blasts Off - Rufus the Pig has already sailed the seven seas on a pirate ship. Now he dreams of the Moon, the stars, and Mars! So he bids his mateys goodbye and reports for duty at the space center. But Commander Luna tells him: “No pigs in space!” Then Luna needs someone to read a book live from the Red Planet–or the mission’s scrubbed. Will Rufus finally blast off?

  2. Penguinaut! - Orville lives at the zoo, surrounded by animal pals who go on exciting adventures. A hang gliding rhino! A deep-sea diving giraffe! Orville struggles to keep up, until one day he concocts an adventure all his own: build a spaceship and fly to the moon all by himself. Can one tiny penguin get there alone? Penguinaut is perfect for every child who’s said, “I can do it myself!” and comes to find that the rewards are much richer when shared with friends. Marcie Colleen’s playful text and Emma Yarlett’s charming, whimsical illustrations are sure to delight both children and their parents.

  3. Nanny Piggins and the Accidental Blast-Off - In space, no one can hear you oink!

  4. Super Rabbit Boy Blasts Off! - Pick a book. Grow a Reader! <p/>This series is part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line, Branches, aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow! <p/>Help! Meanie King Viking is causing trouble in space! Super Rabbit Boy knows he can stop him. But can he fly a wobbly Level 1 rocketship, stop an army of space robots, and find King Viking? This latest <b>Press Start!</b> adventure is simply <b>out of this world</b>! <p/>With full-color art by Thomas Flintham!

Want to see books about animals?

Books About Outer Space and Journeys And Voyages

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3-2-1 Blast Off!
Written by Kevin Meyers and Haily Meyers & illustrated by Haily Meyers
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-5

Adventure into space with this playful oversized board book, from the creators of Gotta Go, Buffalo and the All Aboard series. Haily and Kevin Meyers are the husband and wife team behind the dazzling baby product line, Lucy Darling (lucydarling.com). Haily’s design work can be seen on their unique monthly sticker designs, nursery art prints, baby memory books, and multiple baby products. Their work has been featured in Pregnancy and Newborn magazine, Red Tricycle, Babiekins Magazine, Cool Mom Picks, KIWI magazine, Mollie Makes magazine, Fresh Style magazine, Mom Trends, HGTV Canada, and specialty baby shops worldwide. They live in Arizona.

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Edward Built a Rocketship
Written by Michael Rack & illustrated by Graham Ross and Michael Rack
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

3…2…1… KAA-BOOM! Edward blasts into space on a magical tour of the Milky Way with meteor showers, asteroids, and aliens. This brightly illustrated adventure is one you definitely won’t forget!

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Tiny Little Rocket
Written & illustrated by Richard Collingridge
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

An epic space journey perfect for any bedtime–earth or space–that puts the reader right in the cockpit and combines Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site with Interstellar Cinderella!

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  1. Ready, Set, Blast Off! - “Picked to represent their planet Nebulon in the Interstellar Space Race, Zack and his friends navigate their specially designed car through an underwater maze, around planetary rings, and through the stars! But when trouble stirs within the team, Zack must take charge. Can he lead them to victory?”–

  2. At Last, Jedi - Christina Starspeeder graduates in this 9th volume in the New York Times bestselling series Star Wars: Jedi Academy!

  3. Space Camp - Zack and his friends are off to space camp on a new planet in the fourteenth Galaxy Zack adventure. Camp Among the Stars! Summer vacation is finally here and Zack is pumped for space camp! He can’t wait to play galactic games, tell scary stories, and go on crazy camping adventures with new friends. But when there’s trouble between his cabin mates, it’s up to Zack to bring everyone together. Will he be able to find a solution before the entire summer is ruined? With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Galaxy Zack chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.

  4. See You in the Cosmos - 11-year-old Alex Petroski loves space and rockets, his mom, his brother, and his dog Carl Sagan—named for his hero, the real-life astronomer. All he wants is to launch his golden iPod into space the way Carl Sagan (the man, not the dog) launched his Golden Record on the Voyager spacecraft in 1977. From Colorado to New Mexico, Las Vegas to L.A., Alex records a journey on his iPod to show other lifeforms what life on earth, his earth, is like. But his destination keeps changing. And the funny, lost, remarkable people he meets along the way can only partially prepare him for the secrets he’ll uncover—from the truth about his long-dead dad to the fact that, for a kid with a troubled mom and a mostly not-around brother, he has way more family than he ever knew.

Books About Outer Space and Stars

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Hopper and Wilson Fetch a Star
Written & illustrated by Maria van Lieshout
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Have you ever wanted your very own star?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have your own star for a nightlight? It is this thought that begins Hopper and Wilson’s second adventure. They fill their airplane with lemonade and soar into the night sky. So many stars to choose from! One is too pointy. One is too heavy. Another is too bright! Taking a break on the moon, the two friends look directly above and spot it—the perfect star! As Hopper lays down for a nap, Wilson ventures off on his own, to the dark side of the moon. Yet now he is lost! How can he find his way back to Hopper?

The perfect star, of course. Wilson spots it in the sky and follows it back to his friend. In another deceptively simple story, Maria van Lieshout shows how sometimes the best part of nature is that it’s found only in nature—and that everything has its proper place . . . be it stars or even best friends, who always belong together.

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Dream Away
Written by Julia Durango and Katie Belle Trupiano & illustrated by Robert Goldstrom
Thoughts from Lemony Snickers
Dream Away is one of my very favorite picture books. The beautiful rhyming books is not overworked and the rhymes flow nicely from one page to the next. The book captures this wonderful idea of a father reading a bedtime story to his son as the son slowly drifts off into sleep among the stars, where he sees a bunny, an archer, and a dragon, each representative of some of the popular constellations. Through their flight on a large paper boat, the boy and his father encounter all sorts of interesting things in space, and it isn't until the end that you learn that many of these objects sit as toys on the chair, the dresser, the floor. The illustrations are inventive and sweet, and I think the whole book just blends very nicely.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Dream away, dream away, sleepyhead, love Set sail for the ocean of stars up above. You be the captain and I’ll be your mate. We’ll journey together, the heavens await. From author Julia Durango and new illustrator Robert Goldstrom, a story of the dreams that are possible as you drift to sleep. A father and son venture into a dream and encounter some new and familiar faces and along the way discover the possibilities the universe can hold. Accompanied by Robert Goldstrom’s sweeping paintings, Dream Away is the perfect combination of dreams and reality.

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Stars
Written by Mary Lyn Ray & illustrated by Marla Frazee
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-5

Celebrate all of the glittering stars in the sky in this tender Classic Board Book by acclaimed author Mary Lyn Ray and Caldecott Honor winner Marla Frazee!

A star is how you know it’s almost night. As soon as you see one, there’s another, and another. And the dark that comes doesn’t feel so dark. What if you could have a star?

Look very closely in this lovely Classic Board Book for all kinds of stars both near and far…because stars are everywhere. Not just in the sky.

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  1. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, I Know Exactly What You Are - Teach children about the real science behind the stars using one of the most iconic and recognized childhood classics, ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’ Twinkle, Twinkle, Little StarI know exactly what you are.Opaque ball of hot dense gas,million times our planet’s mass,looking small because you’re farI know exactly what you areWritten by an expert in astrophysics, this book is the perfect primer for learning exactly what those twinkling little stars are doing way up high in the sky. Each stanza explains what stars are made of and their relationship to the earth in an easy-to-understand way.

  2. The Way Back Home - From the illustrator of the #1 smash hit The Day the Crayons Quit comes an imaginative tale of friendship in a world where what makes us different isn’t nearly as important as what makes us the same. When a boy discovers a single-propeller airplane in his closet, he does what any young adventurer would do: He flies it into outer space! Millions of miles from Earth, the plane begins to sputter and quake, its fuel tank on empty. The boy executes a daring landing on the moon . . . but there’s no telling what kind of slimy, slithering, tentacled, fangtoothed monsters lurk in the darkness! (Plus, it’s dark and lonely out there.) Coincidentally, engine trouble has stranded a young Martian on the other side of the moon, and he’s just as frightened and alone. Martian, Earthling—it’s all the same when you’re in need of a friend.

  3. The Night the Stars Went Out - Alien is very small, but it is his job to shine all the stars and make sure they keep shining, and he has no time for anything else–so when the stars go out one night he is desperate to find the solution, a quest that takes him to Earth.

  4. Nerdy Babies: Space - In Nerdy Babies: Space, follow our intrepid infants into the great unknown. Check out the moon and the sun and all the planets in our solar system. Plus, learn about gravity and orbits in this simple text written in question and answer format. With bright artwork and an engaging design, this will be a book that the very littlest nerds will want to return to again and again. Stay curious. There’s more to learn about everything!

Books About Outer Space and Rockets

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Rocket Science for Babies
Written & illustrated by Chris Ferrie
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This book does a really great job of simplifying the explanations for lift, thrust, and rocket science. I think adults will learn from this one, too! :) It has very simple illustrations to go along with the simple explanations, and I like that this book is very educational. It might still go over little one's heads, but I still think it's a great intro book, teaching them science behind really cool rockets.
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Ages 0 to 3 years Rocket Science for Babies by Chris Ferrie is an introduction to aerospace engineering (also known as rocket science). Baby will learn the principles of lift and thrust, the forces responsible for flight. This is the first in a series of books designed to stimulate your baby and introduce them to the world of science. Also coming in May are: Newtonian Physics for Babies General Relativity for Babies Quantum Physics for Babies

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Future Astronaut
Written by Lori Alexander & illustrated by Allison Black
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Ground Control to Major Baby: Could you be an astronaut?

Does baby have what it takes to become an astronaut? That’s an affirmative, Houston! Discover all the incredible ways that prove baby already has what it takes to become an astronaut – from growing healthy teeth to eating from plastic packs to working in small spaces. Includes lots of fun astronaut facts to help prepare little ones for takeoff!

Future Baby is an adorable new board book series that takes a playful peek into an assortment of powerful careers and shows little ones how their current skills match up with the job at hand. With Future Baby, babies can be anything!

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Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering!
Written by Ruth Spiro & illustrated by Irene Chan
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

Big, brainy science for the littlest listeners Accurate enough to satisfy an expert, yet simple enough for baby, this book explores the basics of flight - from birds, to planes and rockets - and ties it all to baby’s world. Beautiful, visually stimulating illustrations complement age-appropriate language to encourage baby’s sense of wonder. Parents and caregivers may learn a thing or two, as well!

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  1. Boy Who Dreamed of Rockets: How Robert Goddard Became the Father of the Space Age - A biography of the American physicist responsible for many of the underlying principles of modern rocketry. Includes instructions for a model multistage rocket and an explanation of rocket flight.

  2. Pine & Boof: Blast Off! - Frog and Toad meets Elephant & Piggie in the second installment of a humorous and heartfelt picture book series about the adventures of Boof the bear and Pine the porcupine, from the acclaimed author-illustrator of There’s a Giraffe in My Soup and I Am Not a Chair! There’s no one Boof the bear would rather spend the day with than his best friend—Pine the porcupine. And there’s nothing he’d rather do than collect things, which is his favorite hobby of all time. So one day, when Boof is collecting rocks with Pine, he doesn’t think the day could get any better, until . . . An egg falls on Boof’s head—all the way from outer space! Now it’s up to Pine and Boof to return the space egg to its space nest . . . before it hatches. They’ll need a rocket ship, space training, and plenty of sandwiches for the trip. But most important, they’ll need each other to complete a mission that’s out of this world! Pine & Boof: Blast Off! tells the story of an unlikely friendship through highly original characters and vibrant illustrations that are impossible not to love.

  3. First Baby Days: On the Move - A stimulating interactive first book to share with your baby. Trains, rockets, cars, and more! First Baby Days: On the Move features striking red, black, and white art meant to stimulate your baby’s vision as they are introduced to vehicles. Each scene can be extended by the pull-tabs included on each spread, making this book even more interactive.

  4. Astromouse - When Pip the mouse learns that the moon is made of stinky cheese, he has a big idea – he’s going to be an Astromouse! Pip makes himself a rocket out of an old funnel and some cardboard, and prepares for take-off. But blasting to the moon is harder than he thought and things don’t go quite to plan. On his way home Pip sees a huge reflection of the moon in a pond. The moon has come to him! As he reaches down to break off a piece of stinky cheese, the eyes of a large frog appear and a frightened Pip runs all the way back home. He decides the moon is far to scary for a mouse, and he’d much rather live with his mom instead.

Books About Outer Space and Planets

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The Darkest Dark
Written by Chris Hadfield & illustrated by The Fan Brothers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

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. 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.

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Pedro Goes to Mars
Written by Fran Manushkin & illustrated by Tammie Lyon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

En la escuela, Pedro ha estado leyendo libros sobre el planeta Marte. Cuando llega a casa, imagina cómo sería vivir en el planeta rojo. ¿Podría escalar la superficie rocosa de Marte? ¿Sobreviviría sin helado? ¿Será que su gran imaginación lo lleve a quedarse en Marte o decidirá que prefiere vivir en el planeta Tierra?

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Planetarium
Written by Raman Prinja & illustrated by Chris Wormell
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The newest title in the Welcome to the Museum series turns its focus to the heavens and explores the wonders of space. Welcome to the museum that is always open to explore. Step inside the pages of this beautiful book to discover galleries of galactic matter, expertly curated to bring you the experience of a fascinating exhibition in the comfort of your own home. Planetarium features all aspects of space, from the sun and our solar system to the lives of stars, the Milky Way, and the universe beyond. With stunning artwork from Dinosaurium illustrator Chris Wormell and informative text by Raman Prinja, a professor of astrophysics at University College, London, Planetarium is the perfect gift for budding astronomers and armchair stargazers alike.

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  1. Pluto Gets the Call - Pluto loves being a planet. That is, until the day he gets a call from some Earth scientists telling him he isn’t a planet anymore! You probably wanted to meet a real planet, huh? So, Pluto takes the reader on a hilarious and informative journey through the solar system to introduce the other planets and commiserate about his situation along the way. Younger readers will be so busy laughing over Pluto’s interactions with the other planets, asteroids, moons, and even the sun, they won’t even realize just how much they’re learning about our solar system!

  2. Sun! One in a Billion - Meet Sun: He’s a star! And not just any star—he’s one in a billion. He lights up our solar system and makes life possible. With characteristic humor and charm, Stacy McAnulty channels the voice of Sun in this next celestial “autobiography.” Rich with kid-friendly facts and beautifully brought to life by Stevie Lewis, this is an equally charming and irresistible companion to Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years.

  3. Sun and Moon Together - Sun and Moon Together is a vibrant, graphic picture book compendium for preschoolers set in a Richard Scarry-inspired environment by Geisel Award-winning creator Ethan Long. Welcome to another busy day in Happy County! The Sun is out and shining down on lots of friends. Grammy Tammy from Miami is doing grimey, slimey laundry. Sssonny Sssnakerton wants to grow sssunflowers. And when the Sun says goodbye for the day, the Moon pops up for a new set of adventures. Now Molly and her mom can make moon shadows and howl night noises. This 48-page full-color primer is chock-full of charming characters and basic scientific concepts connected to the sun and the moon presented in simple, accessible terms for the young audience, touching on: the water cycle, phases of the moon, the solar system, and plenty of clever scenarios to keep little ones engaged. Happy County
    #1 Hello, World!
    #2 Sun and Moon Together
    Christy Ottaviano Books

  4. Priscilla and the Pink Planet - Priscilla lives on a planet where everything is pink. ``Pink, pink, pink!’’ she cries with fright. ``Pink to the left and pink to the right!’’ Priscilla dreams of seeing the world in other colors and ends up teaching the Great Queen of Pink that diversity leads to true beauty. Told in lyrical verse, here is a clever read-aloud that’s sure to become a modern classic.

Books About Outer Space and Adventure And Adventurers

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Oh No, Astro!
Written by Matt Roeser & illustrated by Brad Woodard
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
This is a cute story about a somewhat timid and uptight asteroid sent hurtling through space after being knocked out of orbit and about his travels down to earth. The illustrations in this book are absolutely phenomenal and I love the bright, almost vintage-cartoon-style to them! The punny, science-filled wording is enjoyable as well, with just enough of a story to it to keep the learning interesting and the facts at the back of the book are perfect for giving little space aficionados a little extra info.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Astro, an asteroid that wants nothing more than for his personal outer space to be respected, is hit by a passing satellite and sent on what turns out to be a great adventure from the asteroid belt to Earth. Includes “space facts.”

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George and the Blue Moon
Written by Stephen Hawking and Lucy Hawking & illustrated by Garry Parsons
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

George and Annie are off on another cosmic adventure inspired by the Mars Expedition in the fifth book of the George’s Secret Key series from Stephen and Lucy Hawking. George and his best friend, Annie, have been selected as junior astronauts for a program that trains young people for a future trip to Mars. This is everything they’ve ever wanted—and now they get to be a part of up-to-the minute space discoveries and meet a bunch of new friends who are as fascinated by the universe as they are. But when they arrive at space camp, George and Annie quickly learn that strange things are happening—on Earth as well as up in the skies. Mysterious space missions are happening in secret, and the astronaut training they’re undertaking gets scarier and scarier…

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Space for Smart Kids: A Little Scientist's Guide to Astronauts, Gravity, Rockets, and the Atmosphere (1) (Future Geniuses)
Written by Carlos Pazos
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Discover the mysteries of science with Future Geniuses!

Come along with Valentina, the astronaut, on this incredible journey to Mars and become a space genius!

Up past the exosphere, thermosphere, and mesosphere, we will find outer space and learn the answers to some big questions.

What is the ozone layer?

What is gravity?

Which countries have successfully traveled into space?

What are the parts of rockets called, and what does each part do?

What is space like?

Future Geniuses is a collection that will help families spend a lot of time reading and learning together. Through simple text and fun illustrations, author and scientist Carlos Pazos makes the subjects of space and space travel approachable and easy to understand for even the smallest scientists.

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  1. Luciana: Braving the Deep (American Girl: Girl of the Year 2018, Book 2) - In her second novel, Luciana is off to youth astronaut training camp! She hopes to be chosen to dive to an underwater habitat where real astronauts train for life in space. But when Luci accuses her diving partner of sabotage, no one believes her and her chances of making the diving team sink fast. Things hit rock bottom when Luci has an underwater crisis. Suddenly, making the dive team isn’t her biggest worry. She’ll have to conquer her fears if she ever wants to make it to Mars. If she can’t, will she have to kiss her dreams of becoming an astronaut good-bye?

  2. The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole - A girl’s friendship with a lonely black hole leads her to face her own sadness in this original, funny, and touching middle grade novel for fans of Crenshaw and Flora & Ulysses. When eleven-year-old Stella Rodriguez shows up at NASA to request that her recording be included in Carl Sagan’s Golden Record, something unexpected happens: A black hole follows her home, and sets out to live in her house as a pet. The black hole swallows everything he touches, which is challenging to say the least–but also turns out to be a convenient way to get rid of those items that Stella doesn’t want around. Soon the ugly sweaters her aunt has made for her all disappear within the black hole, as does the smelly class hamster she’s taking care of, and most important, all the reminders of her dead father that are just too painful to have around. It’s not until Stella, her younger brother, Cosmo, the family puppy, and even the bathroom tub all get swallowed up by the black hole that Stella comes to realize she has been letting her own grief consume her. And that’s not the only thing she realizes as she attempts to get back home. This is an astonishingly original and funny adventure with a great big heart.

  3. Disaster Strikes! - Twelve thrilling and terrifying space-mission failures, told by the bestselling author of Apollo 13! There are so many amazing, daring, and exciting missions to outer space that have succeeded. But for every success, there are mistakes, surprises, and flat-out failures that happen along the way. In this collection, bestselling author and award-winning journalist Jeffrey Kluger recounts twelve such disasters, telling the stories of the astronauts and the cosmonauts, the trials and the errors, the missions and the misses. With stories of missions run by both Americans and Russians during the height of the space race, complete with photos of the people and machines behind them, this book delves into the mishaps and the tragedies, small and large, that led humankind to the moon and beyond.

  4. Rocket and Groot: Stranded on Planet Strip Mall! - After battling deadly space piranhas in Sector 7 of the Cosmos, Rocket and Groot crash-land on a planet made entirely of strip malls!

Books About Outer Space and The World

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Here We Are
Written & illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Oliver Jeffers, arguably the most influential creator of picture books today, offers a rare personal look inside his own hopes and wishes for his child—and in doing so gifts children and parents everywhere with a gently sweet and humorous missive about our world and those who call it home. Insightfully sweet, with a gentle humor and poignancy, here is Oliver Jeffers’ user’s guide to life on Earth. He created it specially for his son, yet with a universality that embraces all children and their parents. Be it a complex view of our planet’s terrain (bumpy, sharp, wet), a deep look at our place in space (it’s big), or a guide to all of humanity (don’t be fooled, we are all people), Oliver’s signature wit and humor combine with a value system of kindness and tolerance to create a must-have book for parents.

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Moon! Earth's Best Friend
Written by Stacy McAnulty & illustrated by Stevie Lewis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From writer Stacy McAnulty and illustrator Stevie Lewis, Moon! Earth’s Best Friend is a light-hearted nonfiction picture book about the formation and history of the moon—told from the perspective of the moon itself…

Meet Moon! She’s more than just a rock—she’s Earth’s rock, her best friend she can always count on. Moon never turns her back on her friend (literally: she’s always facing Earth with the same side!). These two will stick together forever. With characteristic humor and charm, Stacy McAnulty channels the voice of Moon in this next celestial “autobiography” in the Our Universe series. Rich with kid-friendly facts and beautifully brought to life by Stevie Lewis, this is an equally charming and irresistible companion to Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years and Sun! One in a Billion.

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Our World Is Relative
Written by Julia Sooy & illustrated by Molly Walsh
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Size, speed, weight, direction, distance We think of space and time as fixed and measurable. But these measurements—our experience of space and time—they are relative. Our world is relative. With simple, engaging text and vibrant art imbued with light and movement, Our World Is Relative offers a child’s-eye view of time, space, and the vast role that relativity plays in comprehending our world. It’s an introduction to Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, perfect for any curious young scientist.

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  1. Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years - Prepare to learn all about Earth from the point-of-view of Earth herself! In this funny yet informative book, filled to the brim with kid-friendly facts, readers will discover key moments in Earth’s life, from her childhood more than four billion years ago all the way up to present day. Beloved children’s book author Stacy McAnulty helps Earth tell her story, and award-winning illustrator David Litchfield brings the words to life.

  2. The Moon - This series explores the four key elements of our Solar System: the Sun, the Moon, the Planets, and the Stars. With each title including fascinating facts and photographic images, young readers will enjoy discovering what lies in the darkness beyond.

  3. The Planets - This series explores the four key elements of our Solar System: the Sun, the Moon, the Planets, and the Stars. With each title including fascinating facts and photographic images, young readers will enjoy discovering what lies in the darkness beyond.

  4. The Sun - This series explores the four key elements of our Solar System: the Sun, the Moon, the Planets, and the Stars. With each title including fascinating facts and photographic images, young readers will enjoy discovering what lies in the darkness beyond.

Want to see books about the world?

Books About Outer Space and Spacecraft

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Mousetronaut
Written by Mark Kelly & illustrated by C. F. Payne
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A heartwarming picture book tale of the power of the small, from bestselling author and retired NASA astronaut Commander Mark Kelly. Astronaut Mark Kelly flew with “mice-tronauts” on his first spaceflight aboard space shuttle Endeavour in 2001. Mousetronaut tells the story of a small mouse that wants nothing more than to travel to outer space. The little mouse works as hard as the bigger mice to show readiness for the mission . . . and is chosen for the flight! While in space, the astronauts are busy with their mission when disaster strikes—and only the smallest member of the crew can save the day. With lively illustrations by award-winning artist C. F. Payne, Mousetronaut is a charming tale of perseverance, courage, and the importance of the small!

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Heart on Pluto
Written by Karl Jones & illustrated by Andrew J. Ross
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Love is everywhere, even in the fartherst reaches of the Solar System. On NASA’s first-ever mission to Pluto, the New Horizons satellite discovers that even when you’re far from home, you are loved.

New Horizons was the first NASA satellite to visit and take close-up images of Pluto. And though the journey was long and challenging, New Horizons discovered a message of love in the heart-shaped nitrogren ice lake on Pluto’s surface.

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A to Z Mysteries Super Edition #12: Space Shuttle Scam
Written by Ron Roy
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9
Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose tackle an out-of-this-world mystery--in the twelfth A to Z Mysteries Super Edition!
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  1. Always Looking Up - This empowering picture book biography tells the story of Nancy Grace Roman, the astronomer who overcame obstacles like weak eyesight and teachers who discouraged women from pursuing astronomy to lead the NASA team that built the Hubble Space Telescope. A testament to women in scientific careers and a record of an important NASA milestone.

  2. UFO Spotted!: A Branches Book (Hilde Cracks the Case #4), Volume 4 - Hilde has solved all sorts of tough cases, but her latest case is OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD!

  3. Planet Earth Is Blue - "Tender and illuminating. A beautiful debut." --Rebecca Stead, Newbery Medal-winning author of When You Reach Me A heartrending and hopeful story about a nonverbal girl and her passion for space exploration, for fans of See You in the Cosmos, Mockingbird, and The Thing About Jellyfish.

  4. Reaching for the Moon: The Autobiography of NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson - A Kirkus Reviews Best Middle Grade Book of 2019

Books About Outer Space and Astronauts

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I Am Neil Armstrong
Written by Brad Meltzer & illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

“A biography of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon”–

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Mae Among the Stars
Written by Roda Ahmed & illustrated by Stasia Burrington
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

An Amazon Best Book of the Month A beautiful picture book for sharing, inspired by the life of the first African American woman to travel in space, Mae Jemison. A great classroom and bedtime read-aloud, Mae Among the Stars is the perfect book for young readers who have big dreams and even bigger hearts! When Little Mae was a child, she dreamed of dancing in space. She imagined herself surrounded by billions of stars, floating, gliding, and discovering. She wanted to be an astronaut. Her mom told her, “If you believe it, and work hard for it, anything is possible.” Little Mae’s curiosity, intelligence, and determination, matched with her parents’ encouraging words, paved the way for her incredible success at NASA as the first African American woman to travel in space. This book will inspire other young girls to reach for the stars, to aspire for the impossible, and to persist with childlike imagination.

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Armstrong
Written & illustrated by Torben Kuhlmann
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A long time ago a mouse learned to fly . . . and crossed the Atlantic.

But what happened next? Torben Kuhlmann’s stunning new book transports readers to the moon and beyond! On the heels of Lindbergh: The Tale of a Flying Mouse comes Armstrong: A Mouse on the Moon—where dreams are determined only by the size of your imagination and the biggest innovators are the smallest of all. The book ends with a brief non-fiction history of human space travel—from Galileo’s observations concerning the nature of the universe to man’s first steps on the moon.

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  1. The Arctic Patrol Mystery - Private investigator Fenton Hardy enlists the aid of his teenage detective sons in a search for a missing man being sought by an insurance company. All leads to the sailor’s whereabouts have petered out and the boys fly to Iceland, the man’s native land, hoping to find a new clue. From the moment Frank and Joe arrive in Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland, they are in constant danger. In the spine-chilling pursuit that follows, Frank and Joe uncover a diabolical espionage plot that threatens the life of a U.S. astronaut and NASA’S moon project.

  2. Letters from Space - Astronaut Clayton Anderson spent 152 days in space aboard the International Space Station–and while he didn’t mail dozens of letters back to Earth (they would have burned up on reentry!), imagine if he did! These letters from space are full of weird science, wild facts, and outrageous true stories from life in space, complete with hysterical illustrations from Susan Batori. Backmatter includes even more interesting information on space, astronauts, and living among the stars.

  3. A Trip Into Space - Blast off into the sky and visit the International Space Station! A lively, rhythmical story and detailed illustrations take readers on a trip to the ISS, where astronauts sleep zipped up and walk in space. This great read-aloud includes information (verified by NASA staff) about the ISS. Fact-filled and fun, this story will send young minds soaring.

Books About Outer Space and Cats

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There's No Place Like Space
Written by Tish Rabe & illustrated by Aristides Ruiz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Dr. Seuss’s Cat in the Hat introduces Sally and Dick to the planets, stars, and moons in our universe.

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Space Cat-astrophe: My FANGtastically Evil Vampire Pet
Written by Mo O'Hara & illustrated by Marek Jagucki
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

In the second book of this FANGtastic spin-off of Mo O’Hara’s New York Times—bestselling My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish chapter book series, an aspiring evil scientist and his mostly evil (and totally forbidden) vampire kitten blast off to Evil Scientist Space Camp. My epic summer has just gotten even more epic, because Evil Scientist Summer Camp just turned into Evil Scientist Space Camp! AND it will be led by the totally epic evil astronaut Neil Strongarm! Who is looking for evil apprentices for his next space mission! Which means that I could totally go into SPACE!!! I’m already well on my way to Evil Emperor of the Camp. Winning this competition should be easy. Okay, so maybe I didn’t expect Geeky Girl to be quite so good at being evil, but I know I’ve got this. All I need is a plan. Hmmm . . . I wonder if you can take evil kittens on space stations. Let the Epic Evil Spaceness begin. Signed, The Great and Powerful Mark

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Binky Under Pressure
Written & illustrated by Ashley Spires
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

In Binky’s third adventure, our intrepid, sometimes accident-prone hero is shaken out of his routine when he’s forced to contend with Gracie, a dainty striped foster kitty who comes to live at Binky’s space station (aka his home at 42 Sentinel Parkway). Binky instantly resents the new arrival, whose cute face and perfect manners are downright annoying. Indeed, Gracie seems too perfect. So Binky decides to do some undercover investigating and discovers a shocking truth about the family guest. Soon Binky is thrust full-throttle into a situation that puts all his Space Cat skills to the ultimate test!

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  1. CatStronauts: Space Station Situation - In the third book in the CatStronauts graphic novel series, your favorite elite team of cat astronauts is a member short–one of the team has quit! When chief science officer Pom Pom rejoins the CatStronauts on the International Space Station, she has to get to work right away–the Hubba Bubba Telescope isn’t working, and CATSUP is losing funding by the day! But as the CatStronauts and Mission Control race to find answers, the unthinkable happens and pilot Waffles is forced to orbit the Earth in nothing but his space suit. Even though he’s no scaredy cat, Waffles has a hard time staying out in space. When disaster on a global scale rears its head, will a fractured CatStronauts team be enough to save the day? In this full color graphic novel, debut author/illustrator Drew Brockington takes the CatStronauts to the brink, adding in mounds of jokes, charm, asteroid showers, and enough tuna for everyone!

  2. Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat - Klawde is not your average cat. He’s an emperor from another planet, exiled to Earth. He’s cruel. He’s cunning. He’s brilliant… and he’s about to become Raj Banerjee’s best friend. Whether he likes it or not. Klawde had everything. Sharp claws. Fine fur. And, being the High Commander of the planet Lyttyrboks, an entire world of warlike cats at his command. But when he is stripped of his feline throne, he is sentenced to the worst possible punishment: exile to a small planet in a quiet corner of the universe… named Earth. Raj had everything. A cool apartment in Brooklyn. Three friends who lived in his building. And pizza and comics within walking distance. But when his mom gets a job in Elba, Oregon, and he is forced to move, all of that changes. It’s now the beginning of summer, he has no friends, and because of his mother’s urgings, he has joined a nature camp. It’s only when his doorbell rings and he meets a furball of a cat that Raj begins to think maybe his luck is turning around… Heavily illustrated, with a hilarious, biting voice that switches between Raj and Klawde’s perspectives, Klawde is the story of an unlikely friendship that emerges as two fish out of water begin to find their footing in strange new worlds.

  3. Catstronauts: Mission Moon - CatStronauts, you are needed!

  4. Kitty Cones: The Purrfect Day - Explore the town of Kitty Bay Harbor and beyond with best friend kitties Miyu, Yumi, and Koko in the first of this playful illustrated series! Miyu, Yumi, and Koko live above the best ice cream parlor in Kitty Bay Harbor. Whether it’s fishing for breakfast, floating through the Milky Way, or riding the roller coasters on Coney Island (caution, may result in hairballs), these kittens know how to have a good time. Follow them as they explore the entire galaxy, both inside and outside of their ice cream cone homes!

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Books About Outer Space and Imagination

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The Magic School Bus Lost in the Solar System
Written by Joanna Cole & illustrated by Bruce Degen
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

On a special field trip in the magic school bus, Ms. Frizzle’s class goes into outer space and visits each planet in the solar system.

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The Stuff of Stars
Written by Marion Dane Bauer & illustrated by Ekua Holmes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Before the universe was formed, before time and space existed, there was . . . nothing. But then . . . BANG! Stars caught fire and burned so long that they exploded, flinging stardust everywhere. And the ash of those stars turned into planets. Into our Earth. And into us. In a poetic text, Marion Dane Bauer takes readers from the trillionth of a second when our universe was born to the singularities that became each one of us, while vivid illustrations by Ekua Holmes capture the void before the Big Bang and the ensuing life that burst across galaxies. A seamless blend of science and art, this picture book reveals the composition of our world and beyond—and how we are all the stuff of stars.

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Out There
Written & illustrated by Tom Sullivan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This stunning picture book will have young readers wondering about outer space and life on other planets while imparting a surprising and profound message of empathy. From the author/illustrator of Blue vs. Yellow and I Used to Be a Fish. Do you ever look up at the night sky and wonder if there is anybody else out there? Are there evil robots or cool aliens? Do they fly in UFOs or live in futuristic cities? Or maybe . . . they are just like us. Out There is a wonder-filled, surprising journey of imagination and empathy, a book that will inspire readers of all ages to reflect on how much we all have in common, despite our differences.

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  1. Skippyjon Jones-- Lost in Spice - The New York Times bestselling kitty boy blasts off into another hilarious adventure. Buckle up, amigos— everyone’s favorite kitty boy is about to lift off. You’ll want to be there when the brave Skippito gets lost in spice! That’s right, spice. Skippy knows— from his big ears to his toes—that the planet Mars is red because it’s covered in spicy red pepper. To prove it, he’s off on a space jaunt replete with craters, crazies, and creatures from Mars. His new adventure is packed with witty wordplay, Spanish phrases, and Judy Schachner’s trademark hilarity. This rollicking romp is simply out of this world.

  2. How to Be on the Moon - In the follow-up to How to Find Gold, best friends Anna and Crocodile are going on another intrepid adventure – this time, to the moon. It’s almost impossible to get to the moon. It’s out in space, which is dark and empty, and it’s very far away. If Anna and Crocodile are going to make it to the moon, they’ll need some special skills, like being able to do math and having a lot of patience. They’ll also need to build a rocket. Not to mention the sandwiches for the journey. Luckily, when Anna and Crocodile put their minds together, nothing can stand in their way. Full of the same cheerful charm that made How to Find Gold so endearing, Viviane Schwarz’s pitch-perfect text and wonderfully colorful illustrations launch this story off the page in a true celebration of curiosity and the magic of imaginative play.

  3. Space - How big is the universe? What would it be like to live on Venus? Is there life on another planet? What was the Big Bang? How does space travel work? Find out the answers to these and many more questions in this interactive lift-the-flap fact book. Embark on an epic journey through space and see the amazing Milky Way, find out what life is like for astronauts and take a closer look at life outside our galaxy … could aliens really exist?

  4. Ultraball #1: Lunar Blitz - Enter the exhilarating game of Ultraball—fly over pass rushers and explode into slingshot zones—through Jeff Chen’s dazzling future world on the moon. Here Ultraball is life, and survival is all that matters. Perfect for sci-fi and sports fans alike. Strike Sazaki loves defying gravity on the moon in his Ultrabot suit. He’s the best quarterback in the league, but while Strike’s led the Taiko Miners to the Ultrabowl three years in a row, each one has ended in defeat. This year, Strike thinks he’s finally found the missing piece to his championship quest: a mysterious girl who could be his new star rocketback. But Boom comes from the Dark Siders, a mass of people who left the United Moon Colonies to live in exile. And not all his teammates are happy sharing a field with her. When rumors surface of a traitor on the Miners, Strike isn’t sure who he can trust. If Strike can’t get his teammates to cooperate and play together, they’ll lose more than just the Ultrabowl. The stake of the colony’s future is on his shoulders.

Books About Outer Space and Explorers

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Midnight on the Moon
Written by Mary Pope Osborne & illustrated by Sal Murdocca
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

The magic treehouse takes Jack and Annie to a moon base in the future where they continue to search for the fourth thing they need to free their friend Morgan from the magician’s spell.

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Life on Mars
Written & illustrated by Jon Agee
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In this sneaky, silly picture book for fans of Oliver Jeffers and Jon Klassen, an intrepid-but not so clever-space explorer is certain he’s found the only living thing on Mars. A young astronaut is absolutely sure there is life to be found on Mars. He sets off on a solitary mission, determined to prove the naysayers wrong. But when he arrives, equipped with a package of cupcakes as a gift, he sees nothing but a nearly barren planet. Finally, he spies a single flower and packs it away to take back to Earth as proof that there is indeed life on Mars. But as he settles in for the journey home, he cracks open his cupcakes-only to discover that someonehas eaten them all! Readers will love being in on the secret- Unbeknownst to the explorer, a Martian has been wandering through the illustrations the whole time-and he got himself a delicious snack along the way.

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The Skies Above My Eyes
Written by Charlotte Guillain & illustrated by Yuval Zommer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Have you ever looked up and wondered what’s going on high up in the skies above your eyes? Take a journey up into the air, through the atmosphere, way out into space, and back down to Earth in this richly illustrated concertina book. Readers will zoom past the technology that fills our skies, from helicopters, fighter jets, weather balloons, and satellites, hang-gliders and hot-air balloons. They’ll also discover the insects and animals that whizz through the skies, explore the layers of the atmosphere, and travel through the solar system and out to the galaxies far beyond. Following on from The Street Beneath My Feet, which dug down to the centre of the Earth, this expansive concertina book opens out to an impressive 2.5 metres, perfect for inquisitive young minds.

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  1. Above and Beyond - Since NASA was established in 1958, it has landed rovers on distant planets and launched telescopes deep into space—all so that we can look back to the beginning of time. Through stunning images provided by NASA and fascinating profiles and sidebars of lesser known contributors to the NASA program, young space fans will learn how NASA started, how it faced challenges along the way, how much it has achieved, and how it will continue to move forward in the future. NASA’s boundless curiosity and urge to explore lies at the heart of the human adventure. NASA rises to the urgent challenges we face, using its massive reach and expertise to find answers to vital questions like: How can we learn to live in a more extreme natural environment? Inspired by Rory Kennedy’s documentary of the same name (airing 10/2018), Above and Beyond aims to leave audiences hopeful and inspired about the future of our planet—and convinced that NASA is essential to our continued survival as we mark its important anniversaries and dream of new discoveries to come.

  2. Bizzy Bear: Space Rocket - Lemony Snickers -

    Bizzy Bear: Space Rocket has some clever sliders and hands-on features for little readers. The illustrations are cartoon-y and colorful. The book has some amusing parts--how did Bizzy Bear's sandwich end up floating outside the spaceship? Bizzy Bear and his friends even encounter some crazy-looking aliens on their space adventure.

  3. A Journey Through Space - Take a journey from your doorstep into outer space! Zoom through the Solar System, discovering satellites, comets and asteroids along the way. Explore craters on Mars, moon-hop around Jupiter, and get a close-up view of Saturn’s amazing rings. Just don’t travel too close to the Sun! Packed with lively illustrations to reveal our amazing universe, this book is perfect for a parent and child to read together or to explore independently. Includes a dust jacket that doubles up as a poster.

  4. Hey Ho, to Mars We'll Go! - This musical mission to Mars will have young astronauts talking—and singing—about the science of space travel. Singing astronauts on a mission explore the science behind a trip to Mars, from launch to landing on the Red Planet. Set to the tune of “The Farmer in the Dell,” this jaunty journey follows five adorable, bobble-headed astronauts as they learn how to bathe in zero gravity, grow veggies in space, and entertain themselves on the six-month trip. This book defies gravity—text and art float free on the page, encouraging readers to turn the book sideways and upside-down. An interactive, innovative approach to interstellar fun.

Books About Outer Space and Family

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Lights on Wonder Rock
Written by David Litchfield
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

E.T._ meets _The Giving Tree in this stunningly illustrated picture book about friendship, family, wonder, and magic that shows how, sometimes, the things we’re searching for have been right in front of us all along. From the award-winning creator of _The Bear and the Piano._ 

Heather wants more than anything to go to outer space, where the stars sparkle with magic and wonder. When a UFO lands behind her house and she meets a friendly alien, it seems that all of her dreams have come true. But soon her new friend has to return home. Will the spaceship ever come back for her? And if it does, is Heather ready to leave everything on Earth behind?

In this tale about dreaming big while appreciating what you have, best-selling picture book creator David Litchfield’s innovative visual storytelling uses wordless, light-filled spreads and graphic novel style layouts to transport readers through space and time and celebrate the power of family and human connection.

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Your Alien
Written by Tammi Sauer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

One day, you’ll be looking out your window when something wonderful comes your way… and you will want to keep him.

When a little boy meets a stranded alien child, the two instantly strike up a fabulous friendship. They go to school, explore the neighborhood, and have lots of fun. But at bedtime, the alien suddenly grows very, very sad. Can the boy figure out what his new buddy needs most of all? This funny, heartwarming story proves that friends and family are the most important things in the universe . . . no matter who or where you are.

An NPR Best Book of 2015

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When God Made Light
Written by Matthew Paul Turner & illustrated by David Catrow
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

From the creators of the bestselling “When God Made You” comes a new illuminating message of a God-made light that cuts through darkness to bring vision and hope to all young readers. Full color.

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  1. The Memory of Forgotten Things - In the tradition of The Thing About Jellyfish and When You Reach Me, acclaimed author Kat Zhang offers a luminous and heartbreaking novel about a girl who is convinced that an upcoming solar eclipse will bring back her dead mother

  2. Nomad - Gabe Fuentes is in a race against time—and aliens—in this intergalactic sequel to Ambassador, which Booklist called “an exciting sci-fi adventure, perceptively exploring what it means to be alien,” from National Book Award winner William Alexander. When we last left Earth’s Ambassador, Gabe Fuentes, he was stranded on the moon. And when he’s rescued by Kaen, another Ambassador, things don’t get better: It turns out that the Outlast— a race of aliens that has been systematically wiping out all other creatures—are coming. And they’ve set their sights on Earth.

Books About Outer Space and Vehicles

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Space Squad
Written by Finn Coyle & illustrated by Srimalie Bassani
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A diverse range of space scientists introduce the machines they use to explore and study space. Children will discover the spectacular space fleet, including a carrier rocket, spaceplane, space exploration vehicle, satellite, and the International Space Station. As children are asked if they know what each machine does, the answer is revealed on the next page.

About the Finn’s Fun Trucks series: Written by 11-year-old truck enthusiast Finn Coyle, the Finn’s Fun Trucks series provides a vocabulary-rich introduction to transportation for truck-loving children with the help of a diverse range of vehicle operators and community helpers.

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Space Squad
Written by Finn Coyle & illustrated by Srimalie Bassani
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A diverse range of space scientists introduce the machines they use to explore and study space. Children will discover the spectacular space fleet, including a carrier rocket, spaceplane, space exploration vehicle, satellite, and the International Space Station. As children are asked if they know what each machine does, the answer is revealed under a sturdy full-page flap.

About the Finn’s Fun Trucks series: Written by 11-year-old truck enthusiast Finn Coyle, the Finn’s Fun Trucks series provides a vocabulary-rich introduction to transportation for truck-loving children with the help of a diverse range of vehicle operators and community helpers. Each spread has a full page lift-the-flap feature providing a wealth of learning and discovery in each book.

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The Space Walk
Written & illustrated by Brian Biggs
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

One small step for man is one giant leap for friendship in this funny kid-level space adventure

Astronaut Randolph Witherspoon wants to take a walk–a space walk, that is! But Ground Control has other ideas. Randolph must eat some lunch, get some exercise, and then he can go outside, provided he dresses warmly and doesn’t talk to strangers. But Randolph’s mission doesn’t exactly go to plan, leading to an unexpected new friend.

Brian Biggs puts an interstellar spin on the parent-child relationship in this hilarious new picture book.

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  1. Alien Nate - Nate’s on a mission to Earth from the planet Vega. His goal: eat pizza! Luckily, soon after he crash-lands on Earth he meets Fazel, who helps him create a disguise, learn the ways of Earthlings and, most importantly, stuff himself with pizza! Nate quickly discovers there are lots of things to love about Earth and Earthlings besides pizza. He’s having a blast! There’s only one problem. Two Men in Beige (government agents) are desperate to capture him and bring him to their lab - and they’re starting to close in. Will Fazel and Nate manage to elude the Men in Beige while they find fuel for Nate’s spacecraft so he can head home? And will Nate have had his fill of pizza by then? Here’s a sidesplittingly funny graphic novel from multiple-award-winning writer, illustrator and cartoonist Dave Whamond. With its irreverent humor and high energy, it’s a perfect pick for emerging readers. Along with the fun, the lovable main character models an eagerness to learn new things and broaden his horizons and, together with Fazel, is able to look past surface differences to find friendship and a shared sense of adventure. There are terrific character education lessons here on adaptability, inclusiveness (even of “aliens”) and teamwork. p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 10.0px Verdana} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 10.0px Verdana; min-height: 12.0px}

  2. Curiosity - 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.

  3. My Rainy Day Rocket Ship - Rainy summer days are no match for a little astronaut who builds the perfect rocket ship for an indoor space adventure to another galaxy, where the sky is his only limit! A stormy afternoon and an order from Mom to stay inside are no match for this little dreamer, who uses everyday household items—a rocket chair, a cardboard box, an old dish rag, and a super-duper imagination—to whip up a trip around the universe he won’t soon forget. My Rainy Day Rocket Ship is a high-spirited, engaging salute to the imagination of Black boys who use their beautiful minds to transform the mundane into the extraordinary, dream out loud, and boldly go where their sky is the only limit.

  4. Shorty & Clem Blast Off! - The energetic and zany duo Shorty and Clem are back, and this time they learn all about working together! A fresh and dynamic friendship story featuring a spirited dinosaur and a cranky but loving bird. Clem can’t wait to assemble his brand-new rocket ship kit. If all goes right, he’ll blast it off! Vroom! “It looks like you need my help,” observes Shorty. “That’s okay, Shorty. I’ve got this,” says Clem. Even though Clem is sure he doesn’t need help, it turns out that he really does! From the creator of the award-winning app Scruffy Kitty, Michael Slack, Shorty & Clean Blast Off! is perfect for fans of Jory John’s Goodnight Already, Chris Haughton’s books, and Mo Willems.

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Books About Outer Space and 20th Century

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Fly High, John Glenn: The Story of an American Hero
Written by Kathleen Krull & illustrated by Maurizio A.C. Quarello
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The inspiring, deeply patriotic true story of John Glenn, a true hero who not only changed America’s contribution to space exploration but also spent his life proudly serving his country in many ways.

This is a gorgeous picture book to introduce younger readers to John Glenn, from award-winning author Kathleen Krull and illustrator Maurizio A. C. Quarello.

John Glenn wasn’t just the first American to orbit Earth. He was a family man, a soldier, a United States senator, and a national hero. He laid the groundwork for future star voyagers—and dreamers—everywhere.

From the time he was a child, John Glenn loved flying. Later he did so by flying airplanes for the U.S. military, and then when space travel became a possibility, he trained for years to become an astronaut. John had to push his mind and body to the brink.

But he loved his country more than anything and wanted to serve—including flying into the great unknown.

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The Race to Space: Countdown to Liftoff
Written by Ben Thompson and Erik Slader & illustrated by Tim Foley
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In this second installment of the Epic Fails series, explore the many failures that made up the Space Race, paving the way for humanity’s eventual success at reaching the stars. Today, everyone is familiar with Neil Armstrong’s famous words as he first set foot on the moon: “one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.” He made it look easy, but America’s journey to the moon was anything but simple. In 1957, when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the world’s first satellite, into orbit, America had barely crossed the starting line of the great Space Race. Later that year, our first attempt was such a failure that the media nicknamed it “Kaputnik.” Still, we didn’t give up. With each failure, we gleaned valuable information about what went wrong, and how to avoid it in the future. So we tried again. And again. And each time we failed, we failed a little bit better. The Epic Fails series by Erik Slader and Ben Thompson explores the humorous backstories behind a variety of historical discoveries, voyages, experiments, and innovations that didn’t go as expected but succeeded nonetheless, showing that many of mankind’s biggest success stories are the result of some pretty epic failures indeed.

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I Love You, Michael Collins
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A funny and heartwarming middle-grade historical fiction novel about a girl who writes letters to her favorite astronaut as America prepares for the moon landing. It’s 1969 and the country is gearing up for what looks to be the most exciting moment in U.S. history: men landing on the moon. Ten-year-old Mamie’s class is given an assignment to write letters to the astronauts. All the girls write to Neil Armstrong (“So cute!”) and all the boys write to Buzz Aldrin (“So cool!”). Only Mamie writes to Michael Collins, the astronaut who will come so close but never achieve everyone else’s dream of walking on the moon, because he is the one who must stay out in space with the ship. After school ends, Mamie keeps writing to Michael Collins, taking comfort in telling someone about what’s going on with her family as, one by one, they leave the house thinking that someone else is taking care of her—until she is all alone except for her cat and her best friend, Buster. And as the date of the launch nears, Mamie can’t help but wonder: Does no one stay with the ship anymore? With I Love You, Michael Collins, Lauren Baratz-Logsted has created a heartwarming story about family and being true to yourself. A Margaret Ferguson Book “Baratz-Logsted weaves in just enough history to root Mamie’s story in her time, a moment when a nation came together and felt proud of human possibilities. . . . Readers will be charmed by Mamie’s story of hope in a difficult moment in American history.” —Kirkus Reviews

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  1. Moon's First Friends: One Giant Leap for Friendship - A New York Times Bestseller!

  2. Papa Put a Man on the Moon - Marthanne and her father sit side by side, looking out over their mill village as the moon glows in the sky. Marthanne hopes that one day, man will walk on the moon, and she knows her father is helping America accomplish this mission: The fabric he weaves forms one layer in the astronauts’ spacesuits. Papa insists he’s only making a living, but Marthanne knows his work is part of history, and she’s proud. She tries to be patient, but she can’t stop imagining the moon mission: the astronauts tumbling through space, the fabric her papa made traveling all the way up into the sky. When the astronauts blast off and Neil Armstrong finally takes his first steps on the moon, Marthanne watches in wonder. She knows her papa put a man on the moon.

  3. Destination: Moon - An out-of-this-world exploration of the 1969 Moon landing from children’s science expert Seymour Simon! In July of 1969, NASA sent the Apollo 11 spacecraft to the Moon. Inside were three people: Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins. They went into lunar orbit a few days later. More than a hundred hours after launch, the word came back: “The Eagle has landed!” In this exciting account of the famous 1969 Moon landing, award-winning science writer Seymour Simon tells the story of the Space Race between the US and the Soviet Union; recalls how families across the world sat captivated in front of their TVs to witness humankind’s first steps beyond Earth; and explains much of the science and technology that got our astronauts to the Moon on that remarkable day. Perfect for young scholars’ school reports, Destination: Moon features clear text, vibrantly colored pages, engaging sidebars, and stunning full-color photographs. This book includes an author’s note, a glossary, a timeline, and an index and supports the Common Core State Standards.

Books About Outer Space and Robots

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The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot
Written by Margaret McNamara & illustrated by Mark Fearing
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

Ejected from their new homes by a Big Bad Robot who pursues them into space, three little aliens engage in a noisy interplanetary chase that introduces youngsters to the solar system. By the award-winning author of The Pumpkin Patch.

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Bitty Bot
Written by Tim McCanna & illustrated by Tad Carpenter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“All of the bots in Botsburg are powering down for the night…but Bitty Bot isn’t tired! Bitty decides to build a rocket and go on a space adventure instead of going to sleep”–

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Cosmic Blackout!
Written by Ray O’Ryan & illustrated by Jason Kraft
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Zack loves everything about his new planet, Nebulon, until there is a complete cosmic blackout and he must try to function without his Indoor Robotic Assistant and hyperphone.

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  1. Ada Lace, Take Me to Your Leader - From Emily Calandrelli—host of Xploration Outer Space, correspondent on Bill Nye Saves the World, and graduate of MIT—comes the third novel in a fun illustrated chapter book series about an eight-year-old girl with a knack for science, math, and solving mysteries with technology.Third grader and inventor extraordinaire Ada Lace likes nothing more than to tinker with mechanics like her robot, George. Her latest project is to fix up a ham radio, something that she could use to contact people on this planet…and beyond. The only problem is that she just can’t get it to work properly.During a sleepover, Ada’s best friend Nina hears something strange coming from the radio in the middle of the night. A distant voice says, “Release the swarm!” convincing Nina that aliens are about to invade planet Earth.Could Ada and Nina have stumbled upon something…extraterrestrial?

  2. Sci-Fu Vol. 1 - Set in 1980s Brooklyn, a young DJ accidentally summons a UFO that transports his family, best friend, and current crush to the robot-dominated planet of Discopia. <p/>Hip-hop, sci-fi and kung fu all hit the turntables for the mash-up mix of the year! Cartoonist/force of nature Yehudi Mercado (<i>Pantalones, TX</i>, <i>Rocket Salvage</i>) sets his sights on 1980s Brooklyn and Wax, a young mix-master who scratches the perfect beat and accidentally summons a UFO that transports his family, best friend, and current crush to the robot-dominated planet of Discopia. Now Wax and his crew must master the intergalactic musical martial art of Sci-Fu to fight the power and save Earth. Word to your mother.

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Books About Outer Space and Rescues And Rescuing

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Star Wars Epic Yarns: Return of the Jedi
Written by Jack Wang & illustrated by Holman Wang
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Share your love of Star Wars with your baby! In twelve needle-felted scenes and twelve child-friendly words, rediscover the iconic moments you know and love. Simple words, sturdy pages, and an epic story make these books the perfect vehicle for early learning at lightspeed. Jedi apprentices and little princesses alike will delight in this (heart)felt retelling of the Star Wars trilogy made just for them! In Return of the Jedi, meet the monster Jabba, watch the team reunite, and cheer them on as they fight against the dark side. It’s a Star Wars primer unlike any other in the galaxy! © and TM Lucasfilm Ltd.

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Gertie Milk and the Great Keeper Rescue
Written by Simon Van Booy
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Ever since Gertie Milk arrived on the mysterious island of Skuldark, she’s felt like something was missing. According to Kolt, her mentor and fellow Keeper of Lost Things, the island used to be filled with other Keepers. But now Gertie and Kolt are the only two people left (or two and a half, if you count Robot Rabbit Boy, their bumbling but lovable Series 7 Artificial Intelligence Forever Friend) who can return misplaced items throughout time. So when Gertie learns that the missing Keepers have been imprisoned by the Losers, their very evil adversaries, she knows she must make it her mission to rescue the kidnapped Keepers and return them to Skuldark. But that proves more difficult than she’d imagined, since her time-travel missions don’t seem to be taking her anywhere near the missing Keepers. And it doesn’t help that the Losers have an evil master plan worse than their last evil master plan, and this time the entire future of the universe is at stake. Fueled by more than a few delicious cakes and plenty of Skuldarkian seawater, Gertie, Kolt, and Robot Rabbit Boy must travel through time (and space!) to save their island home and rescue the Keepers who’ve been lost to history before the Losers manage to capture them all.

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Stink Moody in Master of Disaster
Written by Megan McDonald & illustrated by Erwin Madrid
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Stink takes a star turn—and helps stave off cosmic calamity—in a new Judy Moody & Friends adventure just right for newly independent readers. Look up! Look out! A comet is coming, a comet is coming! Stink is camped out in the backyard with his sister, Judy, and he can’t wait to lay eyes on P/2015 OZ4, also known as the Sherman-Holm Comet. But then news of an asteroid hitting Russia reaches Stink, and suddenly he’s feeling squeamish (and squash-ish) about close encounters of the outer-space kind. Will donning an aluminum-foil cape and building a bunker in the basement help keep him safe? Can this fearless Asteroid Boy save Earth from disaster?

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  1. Patrick Griffin's First Birthday on Ith - The second book in an absurdly funny, middle-grade action-adventure series about a boy’s quest to prevent a parallel world from taking over Earth. “Part Narnia, part Home Alone. It wouldn’t have shocked me to learn the book had been written by some guy named Lemony Vonnegut.” —James Patterson, New York Times-bestselling author, on Patrick Griffin’s Last Breakfast on Earth After learning Earth is about to be destroyed, 12-year-old Patrick Griffin is on a mission. Under the protection of a powerful griffin, Patrick and his friend Oma travel through abandoned cities on the planet Ith, hiding from the enemy while they work out a plan to overthrow the alternate world’s sinister government. Back on Earth, the gigantic jackalope Mr. BunBun and nine adorable numbats race to warn humans about impending doom. But time is running out. The evil Rex Abraham is back on Ith and will stop at nothing to continue his domination of the Three Worlds. Breathtaking suspense, elements of science fiction and fantasy, and surprising twists come together in Ned Rust’s Patrick Griffin’s First Birthday on Ith, the second book of the page-turning Patrick Griffin and the Three Worlds trilogy. Praise for Patrick Griffin’s Last Breakfast on Earth: “There is plenty of comedy along the way, mostly focused around puns or interplanetary misunderstandings. Under the jokey exterior, though, there’s some deep stuff about the way we allow ourselves to be controlled by technology, so the book offers more than just laughs for the perceptive reader.” —The Bulletin “Clever—and utterly bonkers.” —Kirkus Reviews “Imaginative.” —School Library Journal “A terrific read, magic really, an adolescent book for adults, an adult book for adolescents, a funny, wise, enthralling romp from fist page to last . . . So much better than Harry Potter” —Peter Quinn, Author of Hour of the Cat Titles in the Patrick Griffin and the Three Worlds trilogy: Patrick Griffin’s Last Breakfast on Earth Patrick Griffin’s First Birthday on Ith Patrick Griffin’s Deadliest Day Ever

  2. The Lighthouse between the Worlds - Griffin must traverse dangerous new worlds if he hopes to save his father from a peril that threatens all of humanity in this fantastical new novel from the acclaimed author of A Nearer Moon. Griffin and his father tend to their lighthouse on the craggy coast of Oregon with the same careful routine each day. There are hardly ever any visitors, but they like it that way. Which is why, when a group of oddly dressed strangers suddenly appears, Griffin begins to see just how many secrets his father has been keeping. He never imagined that his lighthouse contains a portal to strange and dangerous worlds, or that a Society of Lighthouse Keepers exists to protect the Earth from a fearsome enemy invasion. But then Griffin’s dad is pulled through the lens of the lighthouse into one of those other worlds. With his father gone, nobody from the Society is giving Griffin any answers, so he’s on his own. Armed only with a book of mysterious notes from his parents, Griffin is determined to find his dad, no matter what dangers lurk on the other side of the portal.

  3. Ambassador - Gabe Fuentes is in for the ride of his life when he becomes Earth’s ambassador to the galaxy in this otherworldly adventure from the National Book Award–winning author of Goblin Secrets. Gabe Fuentes is reading under the covers one summer night when he is interrupted by a creature who looks like a purple sock puppet. The sock puppet introduces himself as the Envoy and asks if Gabe wants to be Earth’s ambassador to the galaxy. What sane eleven-year-old could refuse? Some ingenious tinkering with the washing machine sends Gabe’s “entangled” self out to the center of the galaxy. There he finds that Earth is in the path of a destructive alien force—and Gabe himself is the target of an assassination.

Books About Outer Space and School

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Field Trip to the Moon
Written & illustrated by John Hare
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It’s field trip day, and students are excited to travel on their yellow spaceship bus from their space station to the moon. Climb aboard the spaceship bus for a fantastic field trip adventure to the moon. Once they land, students debark and set out with their teacher to explore. They jump over trenches and see craters and mountains on the moon’s surface and even Earth in the faraway distance. One student takes a break to draw some pictures, falls asleep, and wakes up to discover that the rest of the class and the spaceship are gone. How the student passes the time waiting to be rescued makes for a funny and unexpected adventure that will enchant children all over the galaxy. With rich atmospheric art, John Hare’s wordless picture book invites children to imagine themselves in the story–a story full of surprises including some friendly space creatures. Published in time for the fiftieth anniversary of the first moon walk, it is a perfect complement to discussions and lessons on the moon landing.

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Sam Wu Is Not Afraid of Ghosts
Written by Kevin Tsang and Katie Tsang & illustrated by Nathan Reed
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-12

Don’t call him scaredy cat! After an unfortunate incident in the Space Museum, Sam goes on a mission to prove that he’s not afraid of ANYTHING–just like the heroes on his favorite show, Space Blasters. And when it looks like his house is haunted, Sam may just get to prove how brave he is. A funny tale of ghost hunting, escaped pet snakes, and cats with attitude!

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Double Trouble
Written & illustrated by Jonathan Roth
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Beep and Bob accidentally clone themselves for the school science fair in this fourth book in the hilarious, action-packed Beep and Bob series!

What’s twice as fun as Beep and Bob? Two Beeps and Bobs!

While up too late working on his science fair project, Bob accidentally points a duplication ray at Beep. To his shock, another Beep appears! Beep decides the more, the better, so he points the ray at Bob and PRESTO: it’s Bob 2 (or Backwards Bob).

At first Bob thinks their clones are creepy, but it doesn’t take long to realize that having duplicates comes with perks: they can sleep in while their clones go to class!

Then the real Beep and Bob discover a hitch: the Beep and Bob clones are EVIL, and are planning to duplicate an EVIL Earth to rule! How will they possibly get themselves (and themselves!) out of this one?

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  1. How to Properly Dispose of Planet Earth - Popular New Yorker cartoonist Paul Noth continues his illustrated middle grade series about a boy, his wacky family, and an out-of-this-world adventure in this laugh-out-loud sequel to How to Sell Your Family to the Aliens. Happy Conklin Jr. is still the only 10-year-old who has to shave three times a day, thanks to being tested on by his inventor father. And it’s safe to say Hap is the only 10-year-old who accidentally sold his entire family to aliens. The good news is that Hap managed to save his family–including his tyrannical Grandma–but now the Conklins face a problem that might put the whole world in danger . . . Hap wants a girl in his sixth-grade science class to be his lab partner but lacks the courage to even talk to her. Through the mysterious powers of Squeep! the lizard, he finds a way to overcome this fear but also, unfortunately, opens a black hole in his middle school that will swallow the solar system unless he’s able to stop it. In his race against time to save everything, he’s helped by his sister Kayla, greatly hindered by his sister Alice, and uncovers the truth about Grandma’s plan to take over the Galaxy.

  2. Curious George Discovers Space - George is thrilled to visit the Space Center to help Professor Pizza and Professor Einstein. First up, he’s making a special delivery to the international space station. Then it’s time to help solve a problem with the Mars rover, and George dreams of going where no monkey (or human) has gone before–Mars! Join George on an exciting journey into outer space and learn all about space travel, gravity, the solar system, and Mars. Based on the Emmy-winning PBS show, this story is filled to the brim with additional facts, real photos, experiments, activities, and more. Learning about science has never been so much fun!

  3. Crash Course - Guardians of the Galaxymeets Minecraft in this hilarious sci-fi series for middle grade readers.a TERRAFORMING 101 - Learn the basics of FARMING IN SPACE!! Open to first year students.a For eleven-year-old Elara, life at the Academy of Terraforming Arts is a lot tougher-and stranger-than she expected. Her latest experiment accidentally blew up the moon. Her roommate, Clare, is a mute intergalactic sponge. And no one at her new school knows what it’s like to grow up on a planet called “Nowhere.” But if the greatest Planetary Designers in the galaxy made it through their first year, then so can she. Based on the real science behind terraforming, this action-packed story mixes world-building adventures with side-splitting humor, plus a dash of intergalactic madness.

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Books About Outer Space and Exploration And Discovery

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Stella's Stellar Hair
Written & illustrated by Yesenia Moises
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Black girl magic takes the solar system in Stella's Stellar Hair, a celebration of hair, family, and self-love from debut author-illustrator Yesenia Moises!

It's the day of the Big Star Little Gala, and Stella's hair just isn't acting right! What's a girl to do?

Simple! Just hop on her hoverboard, visit each of her fabulous aunties across the solar system, and find the perfect hairdo along the way.

Stella's Stellar Hair celebrates the joy of self-empowerment, shows off our solar system, and beautifully illustrates a variety of hairstyles from the African diaspora. Backmatter provides more information about each style and each planet.

An Imprint Book

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Molly's Moon Mission
Written & illustrated by Duncan Beedie
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6
A little moth with big dreams plans to show everyone just how far she can go in this sweet celebration of space and the spirit of adventure.
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To the Stars!
Written by Carmella Van Vleet and Kathy Sullivan & illustrated by Nicole Wong
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Kathy Sullivan wanted to go everywhere. She loved blueprints and maps. She loved languages and the ocean. She didn’t like the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” She wanted to explore and do exciting things that girls weren’t supposed to be able to do. Only men had the exciting jobs.

Kathy liked fishing and swimming; flying planes and studying science. That’s what she liked and that’s what she decided to do with her life. She followed her heart and eventually became a NASA astronaut and the first woman to walk in space. Kathy wanted to see the whole world and so she did: from space!

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  1. Stellar Story of Space Travel - Blast off into a galaxy full of fun with this fact-tastic nonfiction Level 3 Ready-to-Read, part of a series about the history of fun stuff! <p/>Did you know that ancient people all over the world looked at the stars and saw constellations? Or that a science fiction author named Jules Verne predicted the first moon landing? Or that astronauts from different countries take turns living on board the International Space Station? Houston, you’re cleared for takeoff and ready to become a History of Fun Stuff Expert on space travel! <p/>Amaze your friends with all you’ve learned in this fun, fact-filled Level 3 Ready-to-Read! A special section at the back of the book includes Common Core-vetted extras on subjects like science, social studies, and math, and there’s even a fun quiz so readers can test themselves to see what they’ve learned! Learning history has never been so much fun!

  2. AstroNuts Mission One: The Plant Planet - This laugh-out-loud, visually groundbreaking read launches a major new series by children’s literature legend Jon Scieszka. Featuring full-color illustrations throughout, a spectacular gatefold, plus how-to-draw pages in the back, it’s an outer space adventure that demonstrates a giant leap for bookmaking and a giant leap for any kid looking for their next go-to series. AstroWolf, LaserShark, SmartHawk, and StinkBug are animals that have been hybridized to find other planets for humans to live on once we’ve ruined Earth. So off they rocket to the Plant Planet! Will that planet support human life? Or do Plant Planet’s inhabitants have a more sinister plan? AstroNuts Mission One is a can’t-put-it-down page-turner for reluctant readers and fans ready to blast past Wimpy Kid.

Epilogue

10 books that are just too good to leave off of our outer space list.
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  1. Space Case (Moon Base Alpha) - “Dashiell Gibson, who lives on Moon Base Alpha, has to solve a murder of one of the moon’s most prominent doctors”–

  2. The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet - A mystery man inspires two boys to build a space ship which takes them to the planet of Basidium to help the Mushroom people.

  3. Ender's Game - Lemony Snickers -

    Ender's Game is a phenomenal book. I read a lot of different books growing up and rarely read the same book more than once. Ender's Game was the exception, and I read it again and again. Ender's Game has an incredible mix of sportsmanship, strategy, fantasy, and violence. Young, intellectually-gifted children are trained for war against the alien "buggers," at Battle School. Ender learns about his own potential and his survival instinct as training to fight the buggers is absorbed into and reflected in a more present struggle to survive a brutal training regimen, a dark and disconcerting virtual world, and, most threatening, the other Battle School students who see Ender's brilliance as a threat to their own power. Ender's Game made me feel like a grown up as I read about children placed into very adult situations, and the freeze-gun fights in the Battle Room made my imagination spin with excitement.

  4. Interstellar Cinderella - Once upon a planetoid, amid her tools and sprockets, a girl named Cinderella dreamed of fixing fancy rockets. With a little help from her fairy godrobot, Cinderella is going to the ball. But when the prince’s ship has mechanical trouble, someone will have to zoom to the rescue! Readers will thank their lucky stars for this irrepressible fairy tale retelling, its independent heroine, and its stellar happy ending.

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  1. Even Aliens Need Snacks - In the follow up to his breakout picture book, Even Monsters Need Haircuts, Matthew McElligott brings back the young monster barber in a new tale where his culinary concoctions bring him galaxy-wide fame. Creating snacks that make most humans queasy, this chef has found a new clientele–aliens. Readers will delight in McElligott’s gently offbeat humor and unique artistry as spaceships full of hilarious creatures line up for a taste of the intergalactic cuisine.

  2. Space Mice - When two hungry mice spot a giant yellow ball of cheese in the night sky, they get right to work building a rocketship so they can take a big bite out of that glowing full moon. After sailing through starry skies, the mice arrive at the feast of their dreams–and soon the moon isn’t so full anymore! Simple, rhythmic text makes this a great read-aloud for future astronauts.

  3. If You Had Your Birthday Party on the Moon - Blast off to an extraterrestrial birthday celebration where young partygoers get to romp in a low-gravity playground; discover that candles and balloons behave weirdly in the lunar atmosphere; and learn why the “moon angels” they make in the dust will last for millennia. This cool picture book combines fun and facts to explain the science behind each surprise in terms children can easily grasp.

  4. Fort on the Moon - A boy and his older brother hatch a plan to return to the moon for the fourth time in their homemade rocket. This time, they’re going to build something extra-special. Using a bunch of “junk” their mom left in a heap by the back door, brothers Fox and Dodge Wilder blast off by night for their fifth trip to the moon. They strap into their old car-seats and put on their protective bike helmets and winter coats. Ready for lift off! When they land, they set to work on a magnificent fort. It’s hard work, and sometimes they face setbacks, but Dodge knows he can always turn to his older brother for inspiration. When they’re done, they return to the comfort of home and breakfast Did the trip really take place, or was it only in the kids’ imagination? A Fort on the Moon will resonate with any child with a passion for fantasy, adventure, and invention, and parents are sure to love the heartwarming bond of two brothers in a world of their own.

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  1. Little Fox and the Missing Moon - Help Fox solve another simple mystery in this bedtime companion to Apples for Little Fox! The mystery-loving fox from Apples for Little Fox returns with a new case! When Fox dreams that the moon is missing, he and his friends go on a quest to find it and return it to the sky. Teamwork and companionship are highlighted in this simple, inviting mystery that allows readers to follow along. The muted palette and clean design will calm overstimulated children at the end of their busy days.

  2. I Took The Moon for a Walk - Embark on a dreamy, nighttime jaunt with a young boy and the moon. Overcoming a fear of the dark and discovering the world at night lives at the heart of this poetic tale. Includes notes about the moon and plants and animals that thrive in the wee hours.

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