Friday, January 20, 2017

Books for Space Cadets

There are lots of fun books for future space explorers. Here are two that fell into my book basket recently.

To the Edge of the Universe, a 14-foot fold-out journey
by Raman Prinja; illus. by John Hersey
36 pages; 8-12 years
Carlton Kids, 2016

theme: nonfiction, space

Look around you. Wherever you are, whoever you are, you are on planet Earth.

Above earth is an atmosphere, and beyond that the space station and the moon, the sun, 8 planets, an asteroid belt, supernovas, more galaxies until you reach... the edge of the known universe.

What I like about this book: The pages are connected in a long, long, long (14-foot long) mural that takes you from the earth's surface to the edge of the universe. On the reverse side  are facts, graphs, charts, constellations... answers to the questions you'll be asking as you explore the universe.

I also love the interaction required for this book. You can unfold the entire mural - indeed, you could (if you want to) cut it off the cover and tape it to the wall. It's just plain fun.

On the Space Station (a shine-a-light book)
by Carron Brown; illus. by Bee Johnson
36 pages, ages 4-8
Kane Miller, 2016

Take a trip in a rocket and zoom far from our planet to visit the astronauts who live and work in a space station.

This book begins with the astronauts boarding the rocket that will take them to the space station. Once there they are busy with work and eating, exercising, and sleeping. After six months, they return to earth.

What I like: This book is also interactive; each page holds a secret. Hold the page up to the light, or shine a flashlight behind the page and the secret is revealed. It might be something simple, like what happens to a bag of candy when it's opened. Turn the page to read more.

Beyond the books:

Make a map ~ get a large piece of paper and make a map of the universe. Maybe it will be the sort of map you can use to help you find your way when you take off on an adventure.

Check out what's at the edge of the universe in this PBS video  and what happens if you go there.

Explore the planets at this NASA page.

Learn how astronauts sleep in space with this video by Astronaut Chris Hadfield. Now create your very own space station sleeping pod.

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books.We're also joining the STEM Friday roundup. Drop by STEM Friday blog for more science books and resources. Review copies provided by publishers.


  1. I love how you insert the space station in your discussion of the earth's atmosphere, planets, stars, etc. You find the most interesting books that really spark kids imaginations and make them dream. Beautiful book!

  2. What a remarkable book! I've never seen one that expands to 14 feet. I can see how children will gravitate to this little gem. I'm so intrigued I have to see if my library has this book available.

  3. Anything with a flashlight is a lot of fun! Thanks for pointing these two out to me.

  4. Great books. 14 feet - Wow. I would have loved that as a kid!

  5. Wow, interesting book. And I like the shining light to reveal a secret. Kids should really like this one, 14 feet is a long book.

  6. Looks like a really interesting book that my grandson might like...and I LOVE your activities and resources, Sue!

  7. To the Edge of the Universe looks amazing!