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Space Topic (KS1)

Recommended space books for children

Blast off on an intergalactic adventure with our stellar selection of the best children’s books about space. From planets and constellations to spacecraft and moon landings, budding stargazers and future astronauts will find plenty of top space facts to explore in our list of recommended children’s books for space topics.

This list is aimed at children aged 5-7. For space books for older children, try our Space Booklist for KS2.

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Recommended children's stories about space

Ken Wilson-Max

Astrid has loved space ever since she can remember and wants to be an astronaut when she grows up. Even when her dad gently reminds her of the challenges ahead (eating food out of a tube, getting used to near-zero gravity, sleeping on her own amongst the stars), she is confident – “I can do that!”

This is a story full of tenderness and adventure, with a lovely surprise ending when Astrid and Dad go to pick up Mum from the airbase – where has she been?

This gentle picture book with distinctive earthy illustrations is a lovely read-aloud for Reception/Year 1 with a wonderful inclusive message at its heart, supported by the mini fact-files about female and BAME astronauts at the end.

Mini Grey

This is another wonderful story from popular picture book author Mini Grey (author of Traction Man). When a child’s toys are left out in the garden over night, they get unexpectedly beamed into space. The toys use their best storytelling skills to cope with their new surroundings and problem-solve their way back home. There are some great ideas for activities to go with this book on the Teachwire website.

Teresa Heapy
 & David Litchfield
What would you need to get you all the way to the moon? Mouse thinks that his moon map is everything he needs and he sets off on a big adventure to get all the way to the moon. But as he travels through the woods and things begin to get a bit dark and scary, Mouse soon realises that he may need more than just a map to find his way.
Jeanne Willis
 & John Hare

Field Trip to the Moon is a stunning picture book exploring what happens when one child on a school trip to the moon accidentally gets left behind after the school space ship departs. Depicted in atmospheric shades of grey, with soothing rhyming text, we see the aliens creep up to investigate the lost child who is drawing a picture of Earth. For the moon aliens, the crayon colours open up a whole new world and lead to ‘the best day of our lives’.

Moving through pathos and wariness to friendship and joy, Field Trip to the Moon is accessible for the youngest children in school, but there is also much that could be explored with KS1 and LKS2, such as writing about the experience from the point of view of the child, describing a field trip to space or imagining suddenly discovering colour after a lifetime of grey.

Alexis Deacon
Beegu is not supposed to be on Earth. She is lost. She is a friendly little creature, but the Earth People don't seem very welcoming at all. However, so far she has only met the BIG ones. The little ones are a different matter...

Children's books about stargazing and planet spotting

Nathan Bryon
 & Dapo Adeola
Meet hilarious, science-mad chatterbox, Rocket - she's going to be the greatest astronaut, star-catcher, space-traveller that has ever lived!But... can she convince her big brother to stop looking down at his phone and start LOOKING UP at the stars?Bursting with energy and passion about science and space, this heart-warming, inspirational picture book will have readers turning off their screens and switching on to the outside world.
Stuart Atkinson
 & Brendan Kearney
If you look up at the sky on a dark night, what do you see? There's a whole universe staring back at you. In the company of Felicity the cat discover the phases of the moon, the constellations and how to spot the Northern Lights and the Milky Way.This beautiful, fun book will introduce you to the beauty of the night sky and show you the stars like you've never seen them before.
Rob Lloyd Jones
 & Benedetta Giaufret & Enrica Rusina
Non-fiction Picturebook
This information text is full of exciting facts about the universe and stunning illustrations. Topics include galaxies, space stations, astronauts and comets.
Caryl Hart
 & Bethan Woollvin
Zoooooooom! We're off on an exciting space adventure in our rocket to meet all the planets of the solar system. Join in with the rhymes and spot all the smiley-faced, friendly planets, from shimmering Saturn to mighty Mars. Little ones will have a blast (and be back in time for bed!) in this striking, read-aloud, story-led picture book. It's perfect for all would-be astronauts!
Stephanie V. W. Lucianovic
 & Vashti Harrison

Hello Star tells an adorable story of the awe and wonder that can come from discovering the wonders of our universe.

Finding out that a hypnotising bright light was, in fact, a dying star, the little girl admiring it from her bedroom window was instantly hooked. Keeping her promise to keep it company until the light was no more, her fascination grew. It led to a lifelong passion for the stars, space and science and a journey to something special.

This lovely story is perfect for encouraging children to reach for their dreams but also provides a platform to inspire girls, in particular, to venture into careers in science and space.

Dominic Walliman
 & Ben Newman

This brilliant addition to the Professor Astro Cat series is aimed at less confident readers. It takes young explorers on a journey through our solar system. We love the bold contemporary illustrations and the way that scientific ideas are introduced in a very child-friendly way. The perfect gift for budding astronauts.

Children's books about astronauts and space travel

Alison Donald
 & Ariel Landy

This picture book was inspired by Eleanor ‘Ellie’ Foraker, a talented seamstress who created the spacesuit worn during the memorable Apollo 11 1969 Moon Landing. There is a lovely dedication to her on the very first page, and as you read through, it is clear to see what an inspirational woman Ellie Foraker really was.

From a young girl, Ellie enjoyed sewing and creating items with neatness and detail. As an adult, a passing engineer who noticed Ellie’s talents encouraged her to go up against military designers in a Space Competition with the opportunity to create a spacesuit worthy for a moon expedition. With the help of other seamstresses, Ellie and her group of women would help to change the world of exploration forever.

This book not only has beautiful, bright illustrations created by Ariel Landy, which really bring the story to life, but it also contains interesting facts about space and the moon landing that will hook younger and older readers and guarantee lots of discussions around the subject. It also has a glossary of key terminology and a QR code if any reader – or teacher – wanted to access more facts. What a great touch!

Helaine Becker
 & Dow Phumiruk
Meet Katherine Johnson, the mathematical genius who helped make the historic Apollo 11 moon landings possible and made sure that Apollo 13 returned home safely when the mission was in critical danger. Counting on Katherine is a beautiful biography, sure to inspire young readers. Winner of the information book category of the UKLA Book Awards 2020. As a child, Katherine loved to count. She counted the steps on the road, the number of dishes and spoons she washed in the kitchen sink, everything! Boundless, curious, and excited by calculations, young Katherine longed to know as much as she could about maths, about the universe . . . Helaine Becker interviewed Katherine and her family for this authorized biography. From Katherine's early beginnings as a gifted student to her heroic accomplishments as a prominent mathematician at NASA, this is the true story of a groundbreaking African-American woman who went above and beyond what was expected of her in the 1960s, saving lives and making enormous contributions to history. Featuring Dow Phumiruk's gorgeous full-colour illustrations throughout.
Owen Davey
This strikingly illustrated picture book tells the story of Laika, a Russian stray dog who was one of the first animals to be launched into space. Author Owen Davey whimsically reimagines what might have happened to Laika after her rocket disappeared in orbit. This book also offers a gateway into interesting discussions about the role of animals in the Space Race.
Chris Hadfield
 & Kate Fillion & The Fan Brothers

The Darkest Dark tells the true story of how Chris Hadfield conquered his childhood fear of the dark after watching the Apollo 11 moon landing, thus paving the way for his own journey to become an astronaut. The foreword and afterword from Chris add excellent context which makes the story even more inspiring.

Children will be able to empathise with Chris’ fear of night-time monsters which he overcomes through his realisation of ‘the power and mystery and velvety black beauty of the dark’ in space. The expansive artwork on the pages conveying the awesome majesty of space contrasts beautifully with the earth-bound portraits of a warm and loving human family. The uplifting message of this book inspires the reader to dream big; as Chris says ‘Your dreams are always with you…Big dreams about the kind of person you want to be. Wonderful dreams about the life you will live. Dreams that actually can come true’.

Ruth Quayle
 & Jez Tuya

Space engineer, Suzy Orbit, has a TON of ideas – about how to build a new space pod, design a replacement spacesuit and programme an alien-translation phone for starters. Unfortunately, Captain Gizmo does not listen to a word she says and prefers to order everything online.

Luckily, when a real disaster strikes (a meteoroid storm is about to blast earth!), Captain Gizmo finally realises just how useful Suzy can be.

With vibrant colours, spaceships, aliens, crazy inventions and the kid-friendly ‘children triumph over grown-ups’ storyline, Suzy Orbit, Astronaut will be a sure-fire hit with the youngest space enthusiasts.

Hilary Robinson
 & Lewis James
Chapter book

For those just past the Early Readers stage, Jasper: Space Dog is a fun and easy to read first chapter book. The book is written in the form of letters from Jasper (and his human owner, Charlie) to Dr Isabella Starr, Rocket Scientist. The letters from Charlie and Jasper are silly and light; they ask questions such as ‘Is the moon made of cheese?’, ‘Do astronauts eat hotdogs?’, and ‘Did the astronauts see a man in the moon?’.

Dr Starr’s replies are fun too, but also provide interesting facts. Did you know that the landing module Eagle was originally going to be called Haystack? ‘Houston, the Haystack has landed’ doesn’t have quite the same ring! Or that the astronauts couldn’t afford life insurance, so they each signed hundreds of photos to be sold if they didn’t make it back to raise money for their families. Jasper: Space Dog provides young readers with all of these answers and more.

Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara
 & Christophe Jacques
Little Neil’s dreams took flight when he rode on his first airplane as a child. After studying aeronautical engineering and time spent in the navy, he became a pilot. From there, he was selected to take a trip to where no human had gone before – the moon! Along with his team, Buzz and Mike, he was the captain of the Apollo 11. And Neil took a giant step for humankind as the first person to ever step onto the surface of the moon.This inspiring book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the legendary astronaut.
Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara
 & Janna Morton
When Mae Jemison was a little girl, she dreamed of blasting off into space on a rocket ship. She was so excited as she watched the Apollo Moon landings, but she wondered... why none of the astronauts were women?Mae loved science and was so bright that she started college at just 16, and was training to be a doctor by the age of 20. She joined the Peace Corps, using her medical knowledge to help people in countries all around the world. Upon returning to the United States, she was accepted into NASA's astronaut program.After hard work and training, in 1992 Mae became the first Black woman to travel into space! This inspiring book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the groundbreaking astronaut's life.

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What are the best books about Space for KS1?

If you’re looking for stories about space for your next primary school EYFS or KS1 space topic, then our key stage 1 space booklist is packed with a galaxy of ideas!

From fictional stories about space including the best selling Astro Girl to the soothing rhymes of Field Trip to the Moon. Or inspire your class with stories about astronauts and space missions including Counting on Katherine, the true story of a groundbreaking African-American woman who helped make the historic Apollo 11 moon landings possible.

If you’re looking for the best stories about space for older children, then blast off to KS2 space booklist!

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