Today, May 6, is National Space Day. A time dedicated to the extraordinary achievements, benefits, and opportunities in space exploration. Promote science education in youth and inspire them to learn about the universe and the planets that make up our solar system.
The STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) in the past, have been typically male dominated fields, so encourage your little she-stronaut if her passion is outer space! If you are looking for more female role models who have become successful in male dominated fields, just check out Ingredients of Outliers: Women Game Changers. She will get a sense of the women who have paved the way, and be encouraged to be all she can be in her field of interest! As her parent, you may be empowered too.
Check out these 10 books, broken down by age group for your future astronaut and space explorer.
5 Book to Inspire Ages 3 to 8:
- On the Launch Pad: A Counting Book About Rockets by Michael Dahl, Illustrations by Denise Shea and Derrick Alderman. A fun and creative book for kids who love rockets and space. This counting book shows how rockets are prepared for launch. With colorful and simple illustrations, children must find hidden numbers as they countdown to liftoff.
- Space Walk by Salina Yoon. Visit all eight planets that revolve around the sun as young readers follow their space guide on a cosmic adventure. The illustrated book has friendly, rhyming verses with fun facts about each planet. A great introduction to the solar system.
- National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Space by Catherine D. Hughes. Illustrations by David A. Aguilar. Introduce children to the wonders of space through these colorful pages of illustrations. The book explains the basic concepts of space focusing first on Earth, the moon and sun, then other planets and objects in our solar system, such as dwarf planets and comets. Explore past the Milky Way to other galaxies, stars and black holes.
- Meet the Planets by John McGranaghan, Illustraions by Laurie Allen Klein. Witness the first Favorite Planet Competition between the eight planets in our solar system. Presented by the dwarf planet Pluto and originally judged by the Sun and the meteors. However, after some initial complications, the readers become the judges and must pick the winning planet. Before deciding on their favorite, the readers will first learn about each planet from Pluto. The book is filled with colorful illustrations that reference famous scientists, space technology, and constellations.
- Moonshot: The flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca. The book details the flight of Apollo 11 simply told with illustrations about our first visit to the moon in 1969. A story of adventure and discovery for young readers and explorers. Follow the three astronauts on their weeklong journey in this imaginative summary of Apollo 11’s historic moon landing.
- A Black Hole is Not a Hole by Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano. Learn about black holes – what they are are, what causes a black hole and how scientists first discovered them. Go from simple to complex, though a steady stream of understandable definitions, information and facts. The illustrations throughout the book aids the reader in their quest to understand black holes.
- The Comic Strip History of Space by Tracey Turner, Illustrationa by Sally Kindberg. Mankind has always been fascinated by space – from prehistoric man to early civilizations, mid-century mathematicians and philosophers, and present day scientists. This is a book about space, detailing our early obsessions to present discoveries, books, films, and UFO stories. Filled with funny prose and creative illustrations.
- Galileo’s Universe by Patrick Lewis, Illustrations by Tim Curry. Discover the life and achievements of Italian math professor and science pioneer, Galileo Galilei in this creative and educational book. With beautiful illustrations and lively rhymes, transport back four centuries and learn about Galileo’s courage, curiosity, conviction, and unconventional methods of research and discovery.
- Exploring the Solar System by Mary Kay Carson. An activity book that explores the history of space exploration and discovery using telescopes, satellites, probes, landers, and human missions. Challenge kids to learn about the solar system through hands-on activities, such as building a model of a comet or creating a reentry vehicle. The book details the lives of space pioneers, mission facts, and a guide to the solar system.
- Space Station Science by Marianne J. Dyson, Illustration by Dave Klug. Former NASA mission controller, Marianne Dyson explains the systems needed to keep the International Space Station up and running. The book details daily life on the station and gives a glimpse into the future of space stations. Filled with illustrated photos and drawings, this insider’s guide educates young readers on what it’s like to live and learn in a space station.
What are some of your favorite children’s books on space? What inspired you or your future little astronaut and space enthusiast? Comment below and share with friends.