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Outer Space: Books For Kids

"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! ;)

Top 10 Books About Outer Space

Even Aliens Need Snacks book
#1
Even Aliens Need Snacks
Written and illustrated by Matthew McElligott
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Harry and Horsie book
#2
Harry and Horsie
Written by Katie Van Camp and illustrated by Lincoln Agnew
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
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.

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.

Oh No, Astro! book
#3
Oh No, Astro!
Written by Matt Roeser and illustrated by Brad Woodard
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
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.

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."

There's No Place Like Space book
#4
There's No Place Like Space
Written by Tish Rabe and 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.

The Way Back Home book
#5
The Way Back Home
Written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Hidden Figures book
#6
Hidden Figures
Written by Margot Lee Shetterly and illustrated by Laura Freeman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
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.

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."

The Darkest Dark book
#7
The Darkest Dark
Written by Chris Hadfield and 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.

Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 book
#8
Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11
Written and 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.

Hush, Little Alien book
#9
Hush, Little Alien
Written and illustrated by Daniel Kirk
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-18
Thoughts from The Goodfather

A creative take on the Hush, Little Baby lullaby, Hush, Little Alien takes the lullaby to a whole new world. Literally. I really enjoyed the unique ideas of what an alien father might choose to get his little alien. Some are very clever and made me laugh out loud. I mean, why wouldn't a laser beam be a good idea for baby alien?

Based on the bedtime favorite Hush, Little Baby, this adorable board-book edition takes a trip complete with goonie birds and shooting stars as an alien dad sings his little alien a good-night lullaby.

Rocket Science for Babies book
#10
Rocket Science for Babies
Written and illustrated by Chris Ferrie
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3
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.

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

Books About Outer Space and Aliens

Even Aliens Need Snacks book
#1
Even Aliens Need Snacks
Written and illustrated by Matthew McElligott
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

The Way Back Home book
#2
The Way Back Home
Written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Hush, Little Alien book
#3
Hush, Little Alien
Written and illustrated by Daniel Kirk
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-18
Thoughts from The Goodfather

A creative take on the Hush, Little Baby lullaby, Hush, Little Alien takes the lullaby to a whole new world. Literally. I really enjoyed the unique ideas of what an alien father might choose to get his little alien. Some are very clever and made me laugh out loud. I mean, why wouldn't a laser beam be a good idea for baby alien?

Based on the bedtime favorite Hush, Little Baby, this adorable board-book edition takes a trip complete with goonie birds and shooting stars as an alien dad sings his little alien a good-night lullaby.

Honorable Mentions
  1. My Sister is an Alien! - Alfie is crazy about space. His favourite things are: 1. aliens, 2. rockets, 3. the moon - in that exact order. He doesn't really think much about anything else, until his new baby sister comes along. Then he notices that she looks a bit funny, she talks funny and sometimes she smells funny and he realizes . . . she MUST BE AN ALIEN! Alfie knows he needs to be brave and take her back to the moon where she belongs - after all, she often cries for home - and that's when the adventure really starts. . . A positive, funny and charming take on the joys of a new sibling with gorgeous etched illustrations from a rising picture book star.

  2. Earth Space Moon Base - An unlikely trio lands on a planet and keeps the inhabitants at bay using bananas.

  3. Monster ABC - Whimsical illustrations combine with cheeky verses in this quirky, hilarious alphabet board book featuring monsters from all over the world.Featuring tongue-in-cheek humor for adults and unhinged delight for kids, this alphabet book is full of silly monster fun from Alien to Zombie. Whimsical illustrations combined with winky verses add levity throughout, making this the perfect book to make you the coolest mom, dad, aunt or uncle ever. Monster ABC covers the full monster spectrum: Some are well-known (e.g., Alien, Ghost, Zombie), some are regional favorites (e.g., Jersey Devil, Sasquatch) and some come with a passport (e.g., Banshee, Krampus, Quetzalcoatl). These gorgeously quirky monsters and silly verses will prove there's nothing to fear.

  4. Alien Opposites - When an unruly gang of aliens visits the home of a little boy, what follows is a night of fun, mischief, and opposites. Each cleverly-illustrated page shows a host of characters big and small, whispering and shouting, silly and scary--just pull the tab and the opposite appears!

Want to see 20 more children's books about outer space and aliens?

How about children's books about aliens?

Books About Outer Space and Astronaut

The Darkest Dark book
#1
The Darkest Dark
Written by Chris Hadfield and 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.

Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 book
#2
Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11
Written and 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.

Margaret and the Moon: How Margaret Hamilton Saved the First Lunar Landing book
#3
Margaret and the Moon: How Margaret Hamilton Saved the First Lunar Landing
Written by Dean Robbins and 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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Mousetronaut - 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!

  2. Reaching for the Moon - 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.

  3. This Is a Moose - 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.

  4. 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.

Want to see more children's books about astronaut?

Books About Outer Space and Stars

There's No Place Like Space book
#1
There's No Place Like Space
Written by Tish Rabe and 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.

Hopper and Wilson Fetch a Star book
#2
Hopper and Wilson Fetch a Star
Written and 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.

Dream Away book
#3
Dream Away
Written by Katie Belle Trupiano, Julia Durango and illustrated by Robert Goldstrom
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
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.

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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Stars - 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.

  2. The Magic School Bus Lost in the Solar System - 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.

  3. 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.

  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!

Want to see more children's books about stars?

Books About Outer Space and Fact Filled

Oh No, Astro! book
#1
Oh No, Astro!
Written by Matt Roeser and illustrated by Brad Woodard
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
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.

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."

If You Had Your Birthday Party on the Moon book
#2
If You Had Your Birthday Party on the Moon
Written by Joyce Lapin and illustrated by Simona Ceccarelli
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

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.

Go for the Moon book
#3
Go for the Moon
Written and 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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

Want to see more children's books about fact filled?

Books About Outer Space and Mystery

Space Case (Moon Base Alpha) book
#1
Space Case (Moon Base Alpha)
Written by Stuart Gibbs
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

"Dashiell Gibson, who lives on Moon Base Alpha, has to solve a murder of one of the moon's most prominent doctors"--

The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet book
#2
The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet
Written by Eleanor Cameron and illustrated by Robert Henneberger
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-12

A mystery man inspires two boys to build a space ship which takes them to the planet of Basidium to help the Mushroom people.

George and the Blue Moon book
#3
George and the Blue Moon
Written by Lucy Hawking, Stephen Hawking and 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…

Honorable Mentions
  1. George and the Unbreakable Code - George and Annie are off on another cosmic adventure to figure out why strange things are happening on Earth in the fourth book of the George’s Secret Key series from Stephen and Lucy Hawking. George and his best friend Annie haven’t had any space adventures for a while and they’re missing the excitement. But not for long, because seriously strange things have started happening. Banks are handing out free money, supermarkets aren’t able to charge for their products so people are getting free food, and aircrafts are refusing to fly. It looks like the world’s biggest and best computers have all been hacked. And no one knows why… It’s up to George and Annie to travel further into space than ever before in order to find out what—or who—is behind it.

  2. Gertie Milk and the Great Keeper Rescue - 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Cody and the Mysteries of the Universe - Not everything turns out to be as it first appears when Cody and her best friend, Spencer, navigate a neighborhood mystery and the start of a new school year. Cody’s best friend, Spencer, and his parents are moving in with his grandmother right around the corner, and Cody can’t wait. For one thing, Cody needs Spencer to help solve the mystery of the never-seen Mr. Meen, who lives on the other side of the porch with a skull-and-crossbones sign in the window and an extermination truck out front. How’s Cody to know that a yellow jacket would sting her, making her scream "Ow! Ow!" just as they start spying? Or that the ominous window sign would change overnight to "Welcome home," only deepening the mystery? In this second adventure, Spencer’s new-school jitters, an unexpected bonding with a teacher over Mozart, and turf-claiming kids next door with a reason for acting out are all part of Cody’s experiences as summer shifts into a new year at school.

Want to see more children's books about mystery?

Books About Outer Space and Adventure

Harry and Horsie book
#1
Harry and Horsie
Written by Katie Van Camp and illustrated by Lincoln Agnew
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
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.

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.

Ready, Set, Blast Off! book
#2
Ready, Set, Blast Off!
Written by Ray O’Ryan and illustrated by Jason Kraft
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

"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?"--

Field Trip to the Moon book
#3
Field Trip to the Moon
Written and 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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Pop-Up Peekaboo! Space - Take your preschooler on an exciting journey through space in this cute baby board book with flaps to lift and pop-ups to enjoy. This book introduces space, to babies, while encouraging first learning through lively, read-aloud rhymes, as well as fun and colorful space scenes. With the help of parents and caregivers, toddlers will have fun turning the pages, guessing who's hiding under the flaps and then lifting the flaps to play peekaboo! They will learn all about space, astronauts, stars, planets, and more! Ideal for preschool play, this sturdy baby book will appeal to both parents and children and is certain to keep little ones entertained time and time again!

  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. Snow Place Like Home - There’s snow place like home in this seventeenth Galaxy Zack adventure! The Nelsons are ready for a galactic winter vacation on a great new planet! And Zack’s best friend, Drake, is coming too! From solar-snowboarding, hydro-freeze fishing, supreme snowball fights, and epic ice forts, the boys can’t wait to dive into the winter games. But at the resort, Zack realizes there are a bunch of hurdles he wasn’t prepared for. Will Zack find a way to beat out the winter blues before it’s time to snow home? With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Galaxy Zack chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.

  4. 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.

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Books About Outer Space and The Moon

I Am Neil Armstrong book
#1
I Am Neil Armstrong
Written by Brad Meltzer and illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

"A biography of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon"--

Where's the Astronaut? book
#2
Where's the Astronaut?
Written by Nosy Crow and illustrated by Ingela P. Arrhenius
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing with little ones by lifting the felt flaps to discover four hidden space-themed friends. Then find the mirror under the final flap! Parents love these books because they are simple yet robust, and little readers adore them because they're fun and easy to play with.

I See the Moon: Rhymes for Bedtime book
#3
I See the Moon: Rhymes for Bedtime
Written and illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

A beautifully illustrated collection of favorite rhymes for little ones preparing for bedtime. Rosalind Beardshaw's artwork features wonderful natural scenes, with adorable sleepy animals and babies ready to be lulled to sleep. Includes: "I See the Moon," "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," "Hush-a-Bye, Baby," "Golden Slumbers," "Bed in Summer," "Star Light, Star Bright," "Girls and Boys Come Out to Play," "Hush, Little Baby," and "Good Night, Sleep Tight"

Honorable Mentions
  1. Hanazuki: a Spark in the Dark - Hanazuki loves being a Moonflower! With a little help from the Hemka, Sleepy Unicorn, and Dazzlessence Jones, she tries her best to keep her moon in balance and keep the Big Bad away. When two comets collide above them, Hanazuki's side of the moon is plunged into darkness. What's a Moonflower to do besides light a spark in the dark?

  2. Kitty Alone - Kitty Alone is the latest in a series of captivating picture books, each based on a beloved songtale from the great American folk music heritage. This beautifully illustrated version sets the song in the Appalachian Mountains and uses a bobcat, called a "woods ghost" by locals, as the title character. Like the other titles in the First Steps in Music series, Kitty Alone includes song history and notation, along with a free download link for the song, sung by Jill Trinka.

  3. 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.

  4. Bush Tracks - What can you see? Follow the clues that landscape, seasons, weather, the stars, the moon and the sun give to navigate bush tracks and find the Australian animal. A lyrical, fun story about tracking animals in the bush featuring vibrant illustrations by Balarinji, Australia's leading Indigenous design studio.

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Books About Outer Space and The World

Here We are book
#1
Here We are
Written and 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.

Moon! Earth's Best Friend book
#2
Moon! Earth's Best Friend
Written by Stacy McAnulty and 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.

Our World Is Relative book
#3
Our World Is Relative
Written by Julia Sooy and 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.

Honorable Mentions
  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.

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Books About Outer Space and Science

Rocket Science for Babies book
#1
Rocket Science for Babies
Written and illustrated by Chris Ferrie
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3
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.

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

If Pluto Was a Pea book
#2
If Pluto Was a Pea
Written by Gabrielle Prendergast and illustrated by Rebecca Gerlings
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Destination: Space book
#3
Destination: Space
Written by Dr Christoph Englert and illustrated by Tom Clohosy Cole
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Hop on board the space shuttle and get ready for the ride of your life as you explore deep space with your five fellow space cadets. This journey of discovery takes you through our local solar system and beyond, to galaxies far and wide. With every encounter, learn more about the science behind the stars, planets, meteors and comets in our sky, and the history of our universe.

Honorable Mentions
  1. George and the Big Bang - Explore how the universe began—and thwart evil along the way—in this cosmic adventure from Stephen and Lucy Hawking that includes a graphic novel. George has problems. He has twin baby sisters at home who demand his parents’ attention. His beloved pig Freddy has been exiled to a farm, where he’s miserable. And worst of all, his best friend, Annie, has made a new friend whom she seems to like more than George. So George jumps at the chance to help Eric with his plans to run a big experiment in Switzerland that seeks to explore the earliest moment of the universe. But there is a conspiracy afoot, and a group of evildoers is planning to sabotage the experiment. Can George repair his friendship with Annie and piece together the clues before Eric’s experiment is destroyed forever? This engaging adventure features essays by Professor Stephen Hawking and other eminent physicists about the origins of the universe and ends with a twenty-page graphic novel that explains how the Big Bang happened—in reverse!

  2. Pluto is Peeved! - Who can blame Pluto for being peeved after scientists unceremoniously decide he is no longer a planet? Looking for answers, Pluto heads to the science museum! Kids will take a scientific journey side-by- side with Pluto, as he asks what exactly scientists are interested in. Presented in a graphic novel-inspired format Pluto Is Peeved! transforms the vast universe into a fun and informative introduction to astronomy and the scientific method.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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Books About Outer Space and Explorers

Midnight on the Moon book
#1
Midnight on the Moon
Written by Mary Pope Osborne and 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.

Life on Mars book
#2
Life on Mars
Written and 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.

The Skies Above My Eyes book
#3
The Skies Above My Eyes
Written by Charlotte Guillain and 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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. 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.

  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. Garcia and Colette Go Exploring - 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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Books About Outer Space and Friendship

The Night the Stars Went Out book
#1
The Night the Stars Went Out
Written and illustrated by Suz Hughes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

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.

Your Alien book
#2
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

How to Be on the Moon book
#3
How to Be on the Moon
Written and illustrated by Viviane Schwarz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Nicola Berry and the Wicked War on the Planet of Whimsy - Nicola and her friends’ whirlwind tour of the galaxy isn’t about to stop! The Space Brigade’s third adventure takes them to a strange pair of planets that couldn’t be more different. On one side is a planet covered in volcanoes. On the other side, a beautiful place full of daydreamy poets. Nicola and the Space Brigade find themselves caught in the middle of a war between the two, and must find a way to make peace before it’s too late!

  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. 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?

  4. Nicola Berry and the Shocking Trouble on the Planet of Shobble - Nicola Berry and her friends have barely caught their breath from their last trip to space when they are called on another intergalactic adventure! This time, they’re on their way to Shobble, a beautiful snowy rainbow planet where nothing bad ever happens–or so they say. It turns out there is trouble brewing beneath this glittery exterior, and Nicola is put in a tough position. Should she risk defying the planet’s dangerous commander-in-chief to help the people of Shobble? Leading the Space Brigade is no easy task!

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Books About Outer Space and Imagination

Skippyjon Jones-- Lost in Spice book
#1
Skippyjon Jones-- Lost in Spice
Written and illustrated by Judy Schachner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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.

Space book
#2
Space
Written by Heather Alexander and illustrated by Andres Lozano
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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?

Ultraball #1: Lunar Blitz book
#3
Ultraball #1: Lunar Blitz
Written by Jeff Chen
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Stuff of Stars - 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.

  2. Patrick Griffin's Last Breakfast on Earth - Join a twelve-year-old boy's accidental adventure through parallel worlds in this absurdly funny new action-adventure series.

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Books About Outer Space and Rescue

CatStronauts: Space Station Situation book
#1
CatStronauts: Space Station Situation
Written by Drew Brockington
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

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!

Stink Moody in Master of Disaster book
#2
Stink Moody in Master of Disaster
Written by Megan McDonald and 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?

Patrick Griffin's First Birthday on Ith book
#3
Patrick Griffin's First Birthday on Ith
Written by Ned Rust
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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

Honorable Mentions
  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. 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.

Want to see more children's books about rescue?

Epilogue

13 books that are just too good to leave off of our outer space list.

  1. 8 Little Planets - 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!

  2. Hello, World! Solar System - Presents the planets in the solar system and describes what makes them special.

  3. The Bad Guys in Alien Vs Bad Guys - "First published by Scholastic Australia Pty Limited in 2017"--Colophon. The Bad Guys are vanishing! A creature with TONS of teeth and WAY too many butts is stealing them, one by one. Is this the end for the Bad Guys? Maybe. Will it be funny? You bet your butts it will!

  4. The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot - Mr. Staccato - If you love space, robots, and the story of the three little pigs, this is your book. If that's not the exact combination you're looking for, there are better books.

  1. E. T. the Extra-Terrestrial - Released in theaters in 1982, this beloved film, written by Melissa Mathison and directed by Steven Spielberg, has enchanted generations of kids. Now the blockbuster movie is an illustrated storybook, with colorful retro-style illustrations courtesy of Smith. Full color.

  2. Earth to Clunk - For a school assignment, a boy reluctantly writes a letter to Clunk of the planet Quazar, sending his older sister with it, but as more letters and packages are exchanged, he realizes that having an alien pen pal can be fun.

  3. Alien Adventure - Two little boys build a rocket and zoom off for an out-of-this-world adventure with the aliens in space. What will happen next? Push, pull, and slide the scenes to bring this magical book to life! With mechanisms on every spread, Busy Aliens is the perfect book for imaginative young children with inquisitive fingers and minds.

  4. Here Come the Aliens! - In this colourful picture book, the aliens are coming - in all shapes and sizes. But something frightens them off, and they vanish forever.

  1. Marshmallows for Martians - From the creators of "Spaghetti with the Yeti" comes another fast-paced rhyming romp, featuring an intrepid youngster out to find some martians. With his homemade rocket and map of the stars, George -- a courageous young explorer -- is sure the Martians will be easy to find. But when he touches down on the red planet, the Martians are nowhere to be seen, and George is all alone. Or so he thinks!

  2. How to Sell Your Family to the Aliens - This is an out-of-this-world funny first book in a madcap, illustrated adventure series from New Yorker cartoonist Paul Noth. Happy Conklin Jr. is the only 10-year-old who has to shave three times a day. Hap's dad is a brilliant inventor of screwball products, and being a Conklin kid means sometimes being experimented on. So Hap has his beard, and his five sisters each have their own unique--and often problematic--qualities too. And although Hap's dad has made a fortune with his wacky inventions sold via nonstop TV infomercials, all of that money has gone to Hap's tyrannical Grandma. While she lives in an enormous mansion, the rest of the family lives in two rooms in the basement. All Hap has ever wanted is to have a normal life, so when he sees a chance to get rid of Grandma, he takes it! He only means to swap out Grandma, but when he--oops!--sells his whole family to the aliens, he wants nothing more than to get them back. He just has to figure out . . . how?

  3. 3-2-1 Blast Off! - 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.

  4. Hidden Figures Young Readers' Edition - 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.

  1. 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.

Did you enjoy our outer space book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

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