Space is the coolest. Our runner up for the coolest? Picture books. So when we see great picture books about space, we are over the moon (yeah, I said it). Below are a few of our favorites. All not only contain great educational content, but also primo art that dipicts the wonder of the cosmos.
Space Race by Tom Clohosy Cole
This mostly illustrated book dipicts space exploration during the Cold War. The fold out concertina style of the book is genius because it illustrates the U.S.S.R’s space achievements on one side of the pages and the U.S.A.’s achievements on the other. Also included is an illustrated fact sheet detailing each nation’s successes from 1957 and 1975. It’s such a slick work of art that it’s easy to forget that it’s also educational.
On a side note, this book is part of Nobrow Press’ Leporello series, so it functions both as a book and a print you can frame and hang on your wall. It could be a sweet addition to any space-themed kid’s room.
Image via Nobrow.
Next Stop Neptune: Experiencing the Solar System written by Alvin Jenkins and illustrated by Steven Jenkins
This is one of the best books that presents the complicated concepts of the solar system, and Steve Jenkins’ paper collage illustrations capture the aesthetic beauty of outer space in a simple yet artistic way. The book starts by explaining the birth of a star and continues to describe and illustrate the expanse of the solar system. That’s followed by a discussion of each planet’s surface and atmosphere and other space favorites like moons, asteroids, and comets. Also included are short snippets of space trivia that keep the topic light and fascinating. It’s a must read for any kid interested in space, and with Steve Jenkins’ beautifully presented illustrations, it’s also a lesson in art as well.
Note that this book was published when Pluto was still classified as a major planet, so you may need to explain Pluto’s new status as a dwarf planet. But if you’re like us, deep down in your heart you’ll always consider Pluto a legit planet.
Find the Constellations by H.A. Rey
Curious George wasn’t all H.A. Rey wrote about. This book and Rey’s more complex The Stars, A New Way To See Them are guides to the sky for kids. The scientific information has been updated with new information that has been discovered since this book was first published in 1976. It covers major constellations, sky views during each season, and the solar system. Rey’s simple illustrations will help kids visualize and understand the shapes that make up each constellation.
This book breaks down the night sky in such a clear and engaging way that both kids and adults will be able to recognize the stars year round. Get this book and get yet your stargazing on!