HomeEducation32 Great Space Books To Celebrate the Release of Disney’s New Movie Lightyear
32 Great Space Books To Celebrate the Release of Disney’s New Movie Lightyear
June 15, 2022
It’s nearly impossible not to be fascinated by the mysterious expanse of the universe. From astronaut chickens to the final word on that controversial dwarf planet Pluto, here are 32 of our picks for best space books for kids. Just in time to celebrate Disney’s release of the new movie Lightyear, these stories will fuel your students’ interplanetary interests.
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1. Rylee the Young Rocketeer
Rylee loves building parts for rockets and dreams about traveling throughout outer space with her best friend Cosmo by her side. Oh the adventures she’ll have, the friends she’ll meet, and all the things she will learn!
3. If You Had Your Birthday Party on the Moon by Joyce Lapin
How amazing would it be to have your birthday party on the moon? Can you imagine having handstand contests inside a rocket? Or making moon angles in lunar dust? Filled with interesting facts, this book will spark your students’ imaginations.
Ever wonder what life on the International Space Station would be like? Astronaut Clayton Anderson spent 152 days there, and if he had been able to send letters home, they would have looked something like these.
Get a glimpse into Buzz Lightyear’s life and learn all about what types of spaceships there are, how they work, and what they’re made of. Plus, learn about the amazing history of space travel, technology, rockets, and more.
It’s Harold and the Purple Crayon for the world-traveling child. Clever illustrations follow the shadow of a sweet and spunky girl around the world, showing different phases of the moon as seen from places like the Eiffel Tower and the Amazon rain forest.
7. The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot by Margaret McNamara and Mark Fearing
In this interplanetary retelling of The Three Little Pigs, the mother of young alien siblings Bork, Gork, and Nklxwcyz sends them out into space to find their own homes. She doesn’t let them leave without a warning, though: beware of the comet-chomping, black-hole-ripping, Big Bad Robot!
Zelda is determined to be the first chicken in space. As in traditional versions of The Little Red Hen, she doesn’t get much help with her preparations from her poultry pals. Even so, she refuses to give up on her stellar dream.
Astronaut Chris Hadfield weaves a hushed, captivating memoir about watching the broadcast of the Apollo 11 moon landing as a child. The historic event changed Chris, giving him the confidence to pursue his dream of becoming an explorer of the “Darkest Dark.”
12. National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Space by Catherine D. Hughes
With supersize photographs and all the interactive nonfiction text features typical of a National Geographic Kids book, this collection of facts about the moon, planets, and dwarf planets invites young space enthusiasts to pore over its pages.
Astronaut Mark Kelly imagined this tale of a brave little mouse that saves a space mission after a flight he shared with 18 research mice. After enjoying the fictional story, readers may be inspired to find out more about real-life animal astronauts.
Written by a former teacher on a mission to remind children that things they see every day (or night) can be remarkable, this National Science Teachers Association book explains the reasons for the moon’s changing shape in a way that makes kids want to get outside and look. Bonus: The NSTA offers related teacher resources.
18. You Are the First Kid on Mars by Patrick O’Brien
If you were to travel to Mars someday, how would you get there? What would you wear once you finally arrived on the red planet? Bottom line: What other experience could ever compare to being the first kid on Mars?
19. If You Were a Kid Docking at the International Space Station by Josh Gregory
Lucy and Tim hang on their cousin Marie’s every word as she describes her training for a mission to the International Space Station. A video chat with Marie aboard the ISS gets her siblings dreaming about their own future space-related careers.
Buzz Aldrin’s best-known steps were those he took on the moon as the world watched. But how did he get there? From rock collecting to West Point, he tells his story alongside gorgeous paintings by Wendell Minor.
21. Once Upon a Starry Night: A Book of Constellations by Jacqueline Mitton
Illustrations overlay foil stars onto paintings of legendary figures like Andromeda and Orion and breathe life into what could look like—let’s face it—just a random mass of stars. Brief but vivid stories illuminate this collection of constellations.
23. How Do You Burp in Space? And Other Tips Every Space Tourist Needs To Know by Susan E. Goodman
Learn how to prioritize your two pounds of allotted luggage were you to take a celestial vacation one day. Also find out why you probably don’t want to bring along a can of soda. This manual makes outer space travel sound even better than Disney World.
24. I Love You, Michael Collins by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
When 10-year-old Mamie’s classmates all write to Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin for a school assignment, Mamie chooses to write to Michael Collins, the Apollo 11 astronaut in charge of staying with the ship. She comes to rely on her letter writing when no one else in her life seems to stick around.
Being one of the first kids to call the moon home is actually pretty boring for 12-year-old Dash—but when a scientist turns up dead, life on Moon Base Alpha takes an interesting turn in this first installment of a series.
27. Hidden Figures: Young Readers’ Edition by Margot Lee Shetterly
Not only did Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden live through some of the most tumultuous times in U.S. history, they did so while using slide rules and adding machines to help NASA launch rockets.
28. 13 Planets: The Latest View of the Solar System by David A. Aguilar
Forget the mnemonics and songs for the order of the planets you learned in school. Pluto’s updated classification and the discovery of tongue-twisters Ceres, Eris, Haumea, and Makemake changed astronomers’ understanding of the galactic landscape. David Aguilar clears up misunderstandings with photos, diagrams, and clear-cut explanations.
Forty-six years after the Apollo 11 moon landing, crowds gathered to witness footage from a robotic probe that traveled for nine and a half years to make a pass over Pluto. The New Horizons mission redefined ideas of time, space, and what’s possible.
From familiar names like Sally Ride and Mae Jemison to lesser-known female space pioneers, these stories profile an international collection of women who asserted themselves, overcame bias, and left their marks on the field of astronomy.