There are so many brilliant ‘Space’ books available; I’ve done a mini-collection here of some newer ones I love that are suitable for a range of ages. (Particularly those with diverse and female characters!)
Suzy Orbit Astronaut
Author: Ruth Quayle
Illustrator: Jez Tuya
My three-year-old son absolutely loves this book and it’s been a repeat request for his bedtime reading the past few weeks.
Suzy Orbit is a space engineer who lives on the moon and is rather good at problem solving through making, recycling and building things herself. Her boss however, Captain Gizmo, is reliant on modern technology, super fast delivery and batteries!
This is a fantastic picture book that in a wonderfully tongue-in-cheek way challenges consumerism and need for instant-bright-new-shiny-things, online shopping and not being content with what we have. (The ‘ordering things that turn out to be smaller than expected’ and constant search for enough batteries certainly made me smile.)
With plenty to look at in the bright illustrations, enough repetition to hook younger readers and opportunity for silly voices and sound effects galore – this book will be a hit with all ages!
As with all Nosy Crow pictures books there is the added bonus of a QR code for their free ‘Stories Aloud’ audio reading of the book.
Where’s Mr Astronaut?
Author: Ingela P Arrhenius
This board book is ideal for babies and those starting to explore (and chew!!) books for themselves. Bright colours, bold shapes and contrasting detail will appeal to very young children and they won’t be able to resist the tactile elements to each page – felt flaps that don’t rip when pulled a little too eagerly get a thumbs-up from me.
My son’s favourite part is the hidden mirror on the last page and he loves to ‘peek-a-boo’ with himself and the characters hiding behind the rocket, planet, star and vehicle.
How to be an astronaut – and other space jobs
Author: Dr Sheila Kanani
Illustrator: Sol Linero
For older readers and avid space fans this will be a welcome addition to their book collection. A really ‘grown-up’ feel to the book with well chunked and spaced (excuse the pun!) text that is accessible, relevant and interesting will mean it hooks budding scientists who are desperate to learn more for themselves.
Each double-page spread is a feast for the eyes with stylised illustrations that are simple, bold and effective. The contents cover everything from the history of space exploration to what it feels like to go into space, what skills you might need to be an astronaut and more unusual space jobs you might not have thought of.
This would make a great addition to a classroom reading corner, school library or gift for a child aged 5 to 8+. It’s perfect for dipping in and out of, would be frequently revisited and is sure to inspire and capture the imagination of children who read it.
Make & Play Space
Author: Joey Chou
I hadn’t seen the Nosy Crow ‘Make & Play’ range before – but now I have, I will be seeking out more. There’s plenty to choose from including Safari, Halloween, Farm and Dinosaurs.
Even the most reluctant of readers and book-phobic children (and adults!) will want to engage with this book. The first half has play figures and props that are easily pushed from the page and assembled to make a play-scene. With twenty different elements, made from very thick and durable card, they can be played with time and again and even hung together to make a mobile.
Following the play figures there is a section dedicated to space related recipes, craft activities and songs which young children will love completing with adults and older children will enjoy the challenge of trying independently.
This would be a perfect rainy-day book and for spending quality time together over school holidays or weekends. It’s also a great way of leading more reluctant or disengaged readers into trying other related books.
Thank you to Nosy Crow for such a fantastic range of books to try in return for an honest review.
If you have a budding astronaut of your own, or are learning about space in school with your class, you might also like to try some of these…