I’m looking for a book about… SPACE!

posted in: 2. Illustrators and Authors | 25

Welcome to “I’m looking for a book about….”, the topic-themed monthly carnival of children’s literature.

Every month I’ll be encouraging anyone who likes to review books for children (of any age) to leave links to their reviews of books that match the given month’s theme. The idea is that over time, this carnival will become a resource for parents, teachers, carers, librarians looking for books by subject.

Old reviews, new reviews, and reviews for any age are welcome. You may also submit multiple reviews, as long as they are all relevant to this month’s theme.

This month’s theme is…


The arrow points to "the youngest known black hole in our cosmic neighborhood". Photo: NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center

Below you’ll find links to reviews of books for all ages of kids with a space / planets / stars / aliens theme. If, however, you are looking for space themed activities to go with the books below you should check out the amazing round up hosted by Maggy in her latest Red Ted Art Get Crafty post. I’m so happy to be linking up with Maggy on these round ups – great books + fabulous activities = wonderful stuff, so THANKYOU Maggy for joining up with me again 🙂

  • Our first review today comes from Shirley at Simply Science. She introduces us to Seven Wonders of Space Technology By Fred Bortz. “For reference or fun, this book makes the difficult subject of space technology accessible and interesting.

  • I’ll sneak in next with my own review of a couple of fantastic alien picture books: Colin McNaughton’s The Aliens are Coming and Sue Hendra’s Wanda’s Space Party. Both make for really good read-alouds to groups, are very brightly coloured and attention grabbing.

  • Damyanti reviews Welcome to Alien School by Caryl Hart and illustrated by Ed Eaves on her blog, Overdue Books. A “fabulously imaginative story” with lots of scope for book-inspired-play, I can’t wait to find this for my own girls.

  • Space Insiders by Alan Dyer is a nonfiction book reviewed by Jen at Perogies and Gyoza. The author of this book seems well equipped to write about space – he’s had an asteroid named after himself!

  • Polly at The Little Wooden Horse gives a shout out for Alienography or how to spot an alien invasion’ by Chris Riddell. It sounds like it is packed full of goodness: “There are giant flaps, books within the book, even a set of mini robot top trumps to enjoy and plentiful silliness and inventiveness”.

  • My Little Book Corner joins the carnival today with Aliens Love Underpants by Claire Feedman, illustrated by Ben Cort. “This book turns aliens in to non scary, quite loveable funny characters. Their only mission in life? To steal our underpants!!”

  • With perfect timing, Aliens In Underpants Save The World by Claire Freedman is reviewed by Library Quine who reminds us what an excellent book this is for reading aloud to a group.

  • Our first chapter book review this month comes from Did you ever stop to think & forget to start again? who recommends Opal Moonbaby by Maudie Smith: “a modern day fairy tale / sci-fi spin on something like the Famous Five”.

  • A fun first book for the youngest of readers/listeners is Meg on the Moon by Jan Pienkowski. Read it Daddy has a review… and yes, what is it about space food that is always so intriguing? I think it would make a great topic for a book all of its own.
  • Jojoebi has several space book reviews for us on her blog A Bit of This and A Bit of That. First up there’s The Planet Gods by Jacqueline Mitton and Christina Balit, and 11 Planets: A new view of the Solar System by David Aguilar. Next she offers us Moonshot by Brian Floca (one of my personal favourites) and another by Mitton and Balit, Zoo in the Sky.

  • Over at Child Led Chaos there’s an introduction to You Can’t Eat a Princess by Gillian Rogerson, illustrated by Sarah McIntyre. I love this book because it mixes a pink princess with space and adventure – great for parents who don’t want their kids to succumb entirely to disney princesses.

  • Library Mice reviews Across the Universe by Beth Regis, “a convincing dystopian novel” that will make you think.

  • If you’re looking for an activity book, or one which might work especially well with reluctant boy readers, Library Mice recommends Mega Mash-up: Aliens vs Mad Scientists under the Ocean by Nikalas Catlow & Tim Wesson.

  • Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity by Dave Roman, as reviewed by Katy at Books YA Love sounds like it might be perfect to graduate to after you’ve enjoyed Mega Mash-up: Aliens vs Mad Scientists under the Ocean. Katy says “Action! Adventure! Oxygen gum and flashbacks! The first semester at Astronaut Academy has it all…with an extra helping of funny!”

  • Child Led Chaos brings us her own mini carnival of space themed books with reviews of several already mentioned today, and also Winnie in Space by Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul and Basher’s Astronomy by Dan Green and Simon Basher.

  • Taking over the baton from Child Led Chaos, Amy at Delightful Children’s Books has a round up featuring 11 space books for kids, only 1 of which is already mentioned today, so you should definitely head on over and see Amy’s selection.

  • I’m very excited by the sound of Eight Days Gone written by Linda McReynolds; illustrated by Ryan O’Rourke, reviewed by Jeff at NC Teacher Stuff. Perfect for beginner readers, Jeff adds, “For moms and dads at home, the rhythm of the book makes it a great bedtime story. I’m jealous because I would have liked to have read this book with my daughters when they were younger.”

  • Diane at Practically Paradise has a review of Patricia Wooster’s book An Illustrated Timeline of Space Exploration, illustrated by Eldon Doty. Although Diane doesn’t shy away from highlight some weaknesses of the book, overall it sounds like a fasinating book, bound to appeal to fans of graphic novels.

  • My cousin the alien by Pamela Service, illustrated by Mike Gorman is reviewed by Jennifer at the Jean Little Library. She says “These books are consistently popular at our library and I read each installment with delight and can’t wait to pass them on to the kids.”

  • Shala at Caterpickles has reminded me I’d like to pick up a copy of George’s Secret Key to the Universe by Lucy & Stephen Hawking.

  • Anastasia Suen’s introduction to The Great Moon Hoax by Stephen Krensky and Josee Bisaillon has left me wanting to know more. Heavens Filled with Buffalo? Moon Beavers? Man Bats? I guess I’ll have to reserve a copy at the library to find out!

  • A week today marks the 43rd anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11 and over at Instantly Interruptible there are reviews of two books about this mission, Brian Floca’s Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11, and Alan Bean’s Mission Control, This is Apollo: The Story of the First Voyages to the Moon.

  • Vanessa at Silly Eagle Books reminds us of Harold’s Trip to the Sky by Crockett Johnson. Do take a look at how Vanessa’s daughter and she have enjoyed reenacting Harold’s adventure.

  • M. Sasek’s ‘This is the Way to the Moon’ is the focus of Polly’s post at The Little Wooden Horse. A book about space originally published in 1963, it’s interesting to see how things have changed since then, and to learn the book has been updated with a new ending by a different illustrator.

  • At Jen Robinson’s Book Page there are reviews of a couple of different space themed books. First, for younger readers (7-10) there’s a round up of the Zack Proton Books by Brian Anderson. “Leapin’ leptons, these books are fun!” 🙂 Next, for teenagers, Jen offers us Glow (Book 1, Sky Chasers series) by Amy Kathleen Ryan. “Glow isn’t a book that you’ll linger over, flagging beautiful turns of phrase with sticky notes. It is, however, a book that will make you stop and shake your head in surprise.”

  • Library Mama recommends Larklight by Phillip Reeve, “set in an alternate Victorian world, where the British Empire spans the solar system.” (Dare I say it, some here in the UK think this really is the case…). She listened to it as an audiobook, but also recommends the printed book for its lovely illustrations.

  • If you’re looking for a book based app about space, look no further than Helen’s round up on CAppTivated Kids. From Peppa Pig to non-fiction, she’s got a great selection with something for almost everyone!

  • Joey and Jet in Space by James Yang is reviewed by JDaniel4’s Mom. It’s a post after my own heart with a fun book project to go along with the reading…

  • Se7en has spectacular space crafts, space information books and fiction books galore to share with us. The post is so full of goodness you must go and check it out!

  • I’m looking forward to reading all your SPACE book reviews! Add away with the linky below or by leaving a comment 🙂

    25 Responses

    1. Red Ted Art's Blog » Blog Archive » Space & Galaxy Crafts for Kids

      […] I have also teaming up  again with THE Kid Lit blogger, Zoe from Playing By The Book – bringing you wonderful children’s literature from around the world. Zoe frequently combines her book reviews with a craft (and was one of the first to inspire me to get crafty), as well as music and other resources. She has now started a series called “I’am Looking for a Book About…” and where possible, we aim to double up and link to each other – Zoe providing you the literature and I providing you the crafts. This way you can get crafty and find beautiful books to share with your children. So,  hop over and check out all her fantastic books in her Space book round up! […]

    2. Korky Paul

      If you are looking for a book about space check out ‘Winnie in Space’ by Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul.

      An excellent read and the illustrations are some of my favourite Winnie the Witch illustrations i have drawn.

      Korky Paul

      • Zoe

        Hello Korky, thanks for the tip! Always interesting to know which of their own illustrations an illustrator particularly loves. Off to reserve a copy of Winnie in Space at the library right now.

    3. choxbox

      We loved QPootle5 when my kids were little 🙂

      Non-fiction we often refer to Cosmos by Giles Sparrow. It is a fat coffee table book but has awesome pictures that appeal to children too.

      • Zoe

        Thanks Choxbox, these both sound like great additions to any list of space books designed to inspire!

    4. Gayatri

      It would be great if you could add “Come to tea on planet Zum Zee” by Tony Mitton and Guy Parker-Rees. It catches the attention of toddlers and maybe some baking/pudding ideas too!

    5. Melissa @ Honey Bee Books

      I am looking forward to reading some of these great books. Space is a very popular topic in our house at the moment! We visited the Canberra Deep Space Centre recently and rockets and moon rocks are regular conversation topics! So this month’s topic is perfect timing!
      Melissa @ Honey Bee Books recently posted..Friday’s Favourites #6

    6. Lisa Ard, Author of the Dream Seeker Adventures

      I’ll add my own book to this tally. Here’s a review off Amazon:
      “Patrick is a 12-year-old Dream Seeker. As he sleeps, he lives his dreams. When he eats ice-cream in his dream, he awakes with a stomachache. When he drinks too much milk, he wakes up in a wet bed. When he watches an afternoon sci-fi movie, he has a nighttime adventure to the stars. He pilots a star fighter through space and takes his best friends and Dream Seeker mom along for the ride. Patrick even develops a friendship with a young lady who sparks his interest. Patrick’s exciting romp through outer space and adolescence is a fun read, perfect for middle readers. The story moves quickly and is an enjoyable mix of fantasy and reality. The characters are well-developed and the situations flow together smoothly. I’m looking forward to seeing where Dream Seeker Patrick will go next.”

    7. Helen

      Goodness, what an incredible list of books, so much inspiration there. We love Meg on the Moon and Aliens love Underpants but there are so many here we haven’t seen. We have been getting into Winnie the Witch recently so that will be going on our list too. I’ve added a linky to my blog post on book apps about space (you can find it at capptivatedkids.wordpress.com) I actually found it a lot harder than last month’s ocean theme, so if anyone would like to contribute a favourite book app about space to my post I’d love to hear about them.

    8. Donna

      Hi Zoe,
      Just catching up with your blog. Great posts! I remember a book from the early 90’s called My Place in Space by Robin and Sally Hirst. It has spectacular, and spectacularly funny illustrations by Roland Harvey.
      Worth seeking out.

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