29 Books About Space That Your Kids Will Love

Updated Mar. 27, 2019

"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! ;)

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.

Oh No, Astro! book
#2
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
#3
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.

Hidden Figures book
#4
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."

Rocket Science for Babies book
#5
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

8 Little Planets book
#6
8 Little Planets
Written by Chris Ferrie and 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!

Ender's Game book
#7
Ender's Game
Written by Orson Scott Card
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 12-16
Thoughts from 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.

A veteran of years of simulated war games, Ender believes he is engaged in one more computer war game when in truth he is commanding the last fleet of Earth against an alien race seeking the complete destruction of Earth.

The Magic School Bus Lost in the Solar System book
#8
The Magic School Bus Lost in the Solar System
Written by Joanna Cole and illustrated by Bruce Degen
picture 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.

This Is a Moose book
#9
This Is a Moose
Written by Richard T. Morris and 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.

Here We are book
#10
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.

Dream Away book
#11
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.

Stars book
#12
Stars
Written by Mary Lyn Ray and 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.

The Night the Stars Went Out book
#13
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.

Edward Built a Rocketship book
#14
Edward Built a Rocketship
Written and illustrated by 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!

Look, There's a Rocket! book
#15
Look, There's a Rocket!
Written by Nosy Crow and illustrated by Esther Aarts
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

Follow the holes to read the story in this interactive space adventure! Little ones will love finding the holes with their fingers, peeping through and turning the page to see what the holes become. With a gentle rhyming text encouraging children to say what they can spy in every scene, this is a journey through the stars to visit time and time again.

Bizzy Bear: Space Rocket book
#16
Bizzy Bear: Space Rocket
Written by Nosy Crow and illustrated by Benji Davies
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
Thoughts from 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.

Bizzy Bear is exploring space! With sliders and tabs to push and pull, there’s lots of interactivity for toddlers as Bizzy blasts off, glides past aliens, and jumps around on the moon. The perfect book for little ones who dream of being astronauts!

Midnight on the Moon book
#17
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.

Space Case (Moon Base Alpha) book
#18
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"--

Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 book
#19
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.

The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet book
#20
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.

3-2-1 Blast Off! book
#21
3-2-1 Blast Off!
Written by Kevin Meyers, Haily Meyers and 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.

Hidden Figures Young Readers' Edition book
#22
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.

The Darkest Dark book
#23
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.

Reaching for the Moon book
#24
Reaching for the Moon
Written by Buzz Aldrin and 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.

Hello, World! Solar System book
#25
Hello, World! Solar System
Written and illustrated by Jill McDonald
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

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

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected]!