Looking for space books for your preschool theme? Check out our favorites!
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BOOK LIST: SPACE BOOKS
One great theme to use in your preschool or pre-k classroom (or at home with your little ones) is SPACE because it’s SO engaging and exciting for kids!
Space is a fun preschool theme for any month of the year, but I like to teach it in the fall. Preschoolers love learning about the planets, the moon, rocket ships, and aliens…so it definitely keeps their attention at the beginning of a new school year.
Keep reading to check out some of our favorite space books for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten that you’ll definitely want to read to your little ones!
SPACE BOOKS FOR YOUNG PRESCHOOLERS
Look, There’s a Rocket: My son loves this book because it rhymes and it gives him something to look for on each page! I love the colorful & detailed illustrations (and the cute alien at the end!) We love rhyming books to build phonological awareness.
Baby Astronaut: In this story, Baby is an astronaut and flies all the way to space! She does experiments and learns all about life as an astronaut, and she even meets some planet friends. In the end, Baby is back on Earth, sleeping in her bed (with a space mobile above it).
Roaring Rockets: This rhyming book takes kids on a journey to the moon! Three animals start on Earth, fly in their rocket to the moon, and then come back to Earth at the end. I love how much this book teaches in a fun, easy-to-understand way.
Where’s the Astronaut? This is an engaging book because it asks the reader to find something different on each page including an astronaut, a space dog, and even an alien! The last page has a mirror so the reader can find themself, too!
Future Astronaut: This is a cute book that shows all the ways that Baby is preparing to be an astronaut, even as a baby. It includes facts about astronauts and how they live, work, and train for their important jobs.
SPACE BOOKS FOR PRESCHOOL
Mars! Earthlings Welcome: This is such a creative way to talk about Mars…from Mars’ perspective! Mars invites the reader to visit her & learn all about her. She has a dream of being the first planet that Earthlings visit because she’s a Party Planet and ready for some fun!
Saturn Could Sail and Other Fun Facts: This book is filled with fun and interesting facts that your kids will love. It’s a little long and not meant to be read in one sitting, but the illustrations are colorful and the facts are really fascinating!
Discover Our Solar System: Did you know that our galaxy is one of two trillion galaxies in the universe? Or that you could fit more than 1.3 million Earths inside the Sun? These are just a few amazing facts you’ll learn in this reference book for your space theme! This book isn’t meant to be read in one sitting…but it’s perfect to pull out when you’re discussing a certain topic or want to share amazing facts with your little ones!
Ready to Read: Our Universe: Mars: If your preschoolers are interested in Mars, this is the perfect book for them! This book has readers imagine going on a trip to Mars…it explains what makes Mars special, what they would see (like two moons in the sky and a blue sunset), and why Mars isn’t a hospitable place for humans. It also includes facts & definitions for bigger vocabulary words, such as “microbes” and “gravity.”
Little Kids First Board Book: Space: This is my go-to book to introduce the topic of space because it makes something so complex much easier to understand for our little ones. There are only a few sentences per page, and the pictures are clear and detailed. National Geographic always does a great job with their board books for little kids.
Me and My Place in Space: I love this book because it actually helps preschoolers see their relationship to space. It gives facts about our solar system, but it does it in a fun way, with bright & colorful illustrations and kid-friendly language.
The Milky Way: First Facts Book: This book is perfect for younger preschoolers because there is not too much text per page, plus the pictures are big and engaging. It gives facts about the Milky Way Galaxy and how scientists study it.
Haylee and Comet: A Tale of Cosmic Friendship: The title of this story is a play on words (Haylee’s comet is visible from earth every 75 years or so). Haylee goes outside to make a wish on a shooting star, but she actually meets a Comet. The two form a strong friendship (and make a “Friend Ship”). It’s a sweet story about friendship and how the two are similar, even if they seem so different on the outside.
National Geographic Kids: Planets: This book is a great introduction to the planets for kids. It includes simplified language and easy-to-understand facts about our solar system. It also discusses why Pluto is a dwarf planet and how scientists study space.
The Universe: Black Holes: This book is a great introduction to black holes, which I find totally fascinating! The text is large and there are max two paragraphs per page, so it’s not totally overwhelming for little ones. Plus there are pictures on each page that are engaging and interesting!
ABCs of Space: Now I have to say…I usually don’t pick ABC books that don’t use the most common sound for each letter (ex: I won’t read an ABC book that has “G is for giraffe” since G most often represents the /g/ sound not the /j/ sound in giraffe.) However, I make an exception for this book because we don’t use it to focus on sounds…in fact, we would still read it even if it wasn’t an ABC book! I just like that it points out different parts of space (such asteroids, galaxies, and neutron stars). Plus my preschooler loves to look at the illustrations on each page.
SPACE BOOKS FOR PRESCHOOL
On the Night of the Shooting Star: Bunny and Dog live on opposite sides of the fence, but they never talk or play together. But on the night of the shooting star, they’re both outside and see it whisk across the sky. Then they decide to become friends.
How Many Stars in the Sky? This book made the list because the paintings are absolutely gorgeous. A young boy can’t sleep because his mom isn’t home, so he goes outside to count the stars. Then he and his dad drive all over town, counting the stars, but realizing there are just too many to count. They end up sleeping in a field in the country, and when they wake up, they’re excited to go home and tell Mama all about their adventure.
The Sun Is My Favorite Star: This is a sweet and simple book that talks all about how important the sun is. The illustrations are colorful and create a cozy feeling for the reader.
DK Find Out: Space Travel: This would be a great book to have on hand to let your little learners flip through it on their own time. It has amazing photographs that will pique their interest about space. If I was sharing this book with my preschoolers, I would only choose one section to read about (that goes along with our lesson). I wouldn’t read the whole book.
The Stellar Story of Space Travel: This book gives a great background on this history of space travel and and discovery. It’s a little long and broken up into chapters, so you might want to read a chapter at a time (otherwise it’ll be too overwhelming for our little ones.)
Astronauts Living in Space: This book is all about Linda, an astronaut who’s going into space. The book explains all about the training astronauts must receive before heading into space, while also discussing what life is like for Linda while working in space. It uses a combination of real photographs and illustrations.
Max Goes to the Moon: A Space Adventure with Max the Dog: This book has a special place in my heart because my daughter met the author when she was in kindergarten and he signed her book. This is a sweet story about Max the Dog, who wants to go to the moon. Max and his human friend, Tori, train with the astronauts and make it to the moon. His trip inspires the children of the world to persuade the grownups to build a colony on the moon, which is so exciting!
Kitten’s First Full Moon: To be honest, this isn’t technically a “space” book, but it’s too cute not to share! Kitten sees her first full moon and thinks it’s a bowl of milk. So she tries her very best to get to it. She chases it, climbs up high into a tree, and thinks she can get it when she sees the reflection in the water. But it’s no good…she can’t get the milk. But when she gets home, there’s a big bowl of milk waiting for her on the porch.
Man on the Moon: This book is all about Apollo 11 and the mission to the moon! The illustrations are large and the text isn’t too overwhelming per page. It talks about that successful mission.
The Moon: (A True Book: Our Universe): This is a great reference book that focuses solely on the moon. It uses engaging photographs and interesting facts to teach all about the moon. It’s too long to read in one sitting, but you could use it to teach about a certain topic regarding the moon.
There Was An Old Astronaut Who Swallowed the Moon: Who doesn’t love the “Old Lady” series of books?! They’re so much fun! This version has the old lady dressed up like an astronaut and flying through space! She swallows so many things, like the moon, a star, and a planet! I especially love this version because there are real facts about space on every other page.
I Am Neil Armstrong: We love this series of books and have learned about many famous people because of it. This edition is all about Neil Armstrong, the first person to ever walk on the moon. It talks all about his childhood, his time in the Navy, and his dedication to NASA. What I love most about this book series is that the illustrations look like a comic book, and the author uses a lot of humor to share facts about Armstrong’s life.
SPACE BOOKS FOR PRESCHOOL
Astronaut Handbook: This is a cute book that talks all about the guidelines for being an astronaut, like studying hard, being mentally & physically prepared, and working well with others. The illustrations are colorful & fun and the book tells facts in an engaging way.
Mae Among the Stars: I absolutely adore this book! It’s about Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African American female astronaut and the first African American woman in space. As a child, Mae dreamed of being an astronaut, but her teacher discouraged her and her classmates laughed at her. But that didn’t stop Mae…her parents told her that if she worked hard and didn’t let anyone stop her, she could accomplish her dreams. And that’s exactly what she did!
If You Decide To Go To The Moon: This is a fun book that talks all about what would happen if you decided to go to the moon & it gives facts in a hypothetical way. The illustrations are fun and readers can imagine themselves going to the moon. It is a little long for preschoolers though.
Goodnight, Astronaut: This book is written by Scott Kelly, a NASA astronaut who spent an entire year in space! It tells all about his life, starting with his childhood dreaming about adventures, all the way through to his time in space. It ends by inspiring readers to dream big and chase what they want…and maybe one day they’ll end up in space, too!
The Astronaut Who Painted the Moon (The True Story of Alan Bean): Most of us have heard of Neil Armstrong, the first astronaut who walked on the moon. But this book tells the story of Alan Bean, who was the fourth astronaut to walk on the moon during the Apollo 12 mission. After he returned to Earth, Bean painted amazing pictures of space & helped people feel what it was like to be there. This book tells his story in a way that will inspire our little ones to go after their dreams!
Astronaut Training: This is an adorable book about a little girl named Astrid who wants to be an astronaut. Astrid plays astronaut all day, and when she sleeps, she dreams she’s an astronaut! She visits a planet filled with BIG aliens and a planet filled with little aliens, and when she wakes up, she’s back on the perfect-sized planet for her…Earth!
Mousetronaut: This book is written by Mark Kelly, an astronaut and US Senator from Arizona. In this story, the astronauts are about to head to space, and they decide to take a few mice with them on the mission. Meteor is the smallest mouse of the bunch, but he works hard and is chosen for the trip. And good thing, too…when they’re up in space, Meteor saves the day by retrieving a key that gets stuck in the tiniest place. Because he’s so tiny himself, Meteor frees the key and is a hero!
Mousetronaut Goes to Mars: In this sequel to Mousetronaut, Meteor wants to go back to space…this time to Mars! When he’s not chosen for the mission, Meteor sneaks abroad anyway…and it’s a good thing he does! When they get to Mars, they realize the landing craft’s engines are broken and can’t hold much weight, so an astronaut can’t fit inside. Luckily, Meteor is small and he CAN fit! So Meteor becomes the first mouse on Mars & is hailed as a hero!
Penguinaut: We LOVE this book in my house! Orville the penguin dreams of having a big adventure, so he builds a rocket and blasts off to the moon! He’s so proud of himself for making it to space, but he misses his friends back at the zoo. So he heads home and decides to build a rocket that’s big enough for ALL the friends to go to space together!
Busy People: Astronaut: This story is about three astronauts, Jenny, Chen, & Kim, who are going into space. They train hard for their mission and head into space where they meet a robot named Robo-bot on the International Space Station. Robo-bot has a few malfunctions, so Jenny has to fix him (along with all of her other busy jobs in space!)
Astronaut Annie: This is such a fun story! Annie comes home from school and invites her parents & grandparents to Career Day on Friday, but she won’t tell them what she’s going to dress up as. Will she be a reporter like her grandfather? A cook like her grandmother? A basketball player like her mom? Or a hiker like her dad? In the end, Annie combines all of the qualities of each of those choices and dresses up like an astronaut! The back of the book also has information about real women astronauts who have visited space.
Papa, Please Get The Moon for Me: This Eric Carle book has his classic illustrations and a fun storyline that helps explain the phases of the moon. One night, Monica asks her dad to get her the moon. So he uses a tall ladder on top of a tall mountain and gets her the moon. But it keeps disappearing until it’s totally gone (new moon). Then Monica sees a sliver of it back in the sky, and it keeps getting bigger until it’s a full moon again.
NONFICTION SPACE BOOK SERIES FOR PRESCHOOL
Out of this World Series: All Planets: This book series includes a different book for each planet in our Solar System. What I love most about this series is there is a small amount of text per page, so it’s perfect for our young toddlers & preschoolers. (You can easily read each book in one sitting). I also love the bright photographs and glossary in the back of the book. Plus they do a great job of comparing each planet to Earth to give some context to the information.
Searchlight Books: Discover Each Planet Series: Here’s another series of books about each planet, but this one is better for older kiddos. These books are not meant to be read in one sitting. Instead, they are great reference books to look up information about a certain planet or topic on that planet. You could choose to read a section or two based on your lessons for the day.
PLUTO BOOKS FOR PRESCHOOL
Pluto Gets the Call: This book is a funny take on the Pluto situation! Pluto gets a phone call telling him he’s not a planet anymore, and he’s super bummed! So he goes around the Solar System pointing out facts about the other planets and wondering why they get to be a planet when he doesn’t. When he makes it to the Sun, the Sun reminds him that he’s special, just the way he is. This hilarious book teaches so many facts without kids even knowing it!
A Place for Pluto: This is a super adorable fiction book all about how Pluto felt after he was told he wasn’t a planet anymore. Pluto felt so sad and was trying to find where he belonged. He was just about to give up when he met a Dwarf Planet and realized he was a Dwarf Planet, too! This is such a fun spin on the Pluto saga!
Out of This World: Pluto: The Icy Dwarf Planet: This book gives readers a quick overview all about Pluto and why it’s no longer considered a planet. The illustrations are clear and the text per page is minimal, so it can easily be read in one sitting.
Want to pair one of your space books with a fun snack? Try this Fruit Rocket (inspired by Capturing Parenthood…she has other space snack ideas on her blog, too!) Your preschooler is sure to love helping you make this snack with ingredients you might already have at home (we used bananas, watermelon, and mango) Yum!
One area that’s important to focus on when teaching preschoolers is helping them learn their name. This fun Name Rocket is the perfect way to work on name skills during your space theme. Click here to read more and download a free template for your kiddos!
SPACE MATH & LITERACY PRINTABLES
I hope this book list helped you fill-in your space lesson plans for your preschool classroom or homeschool. If you want an entire pack of printable math & literacy centers for this theme, check out my Way Out in Space Preschool Activity Pack.
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