by Ruth A. Musgrave
26 pages; ages pre-K
National Geographic Children’s Books, 2019 (releasing this month!)
We live on Earth.
Earth is a planet in space.
It's never too early for nonfiction, as this photo-rich board book proves. Each spread introduces basic facts of space in simple, bold text. Additional facts are presented in round, planet-like text boxes. Things like: “Earth spins around and around as it circles the sun.” Every now and then a planet makes some side comments, captured in speech balloons.
What I like about this book: It’s fun! It’s bright and filled with colorful images. And the back spread is all about activities: trace the shape of the moon, and more. Wonderfully sharable with lap-readers.
by Vix Southgate; illus. by Iris Deppe
32 pages; ages 5-7
Kane Miller, 2019
It was a cold, gloomy night in the backstreets of Moscow.
The year is 1951. Belka and Strelka are among the strays living on the streets. They rummage through trash cans, scrounging for any food they can find. One night they smell fresh meat. While other strays cower in the shadows, Belka and Strelka approach the man, begging for more food.
That man was Oleg, a scientist, and he was searching for two dogs brave enough for an important space mission.
What I like about this book: We learn about the space race through the story of Oleg and these dogs. Even though their mission is simple – orbit the earth – these canine cosmonauts need special training. They need to be able to stay calm when loud noises happen around them. They need to be able to stand on a vibrating platform.
Belka and Strelka pass the tests and earn their very own space suits. In 1960 they launch into space, blazing a trail for human astronauts to follow.
Of course there’s back matter! One spread explains the space race, and another gives a timeline of space exploration from 1960 to 1998. What’s next? Possibly a trip to Mars.
Beyond the Books:
Make space slime, galaxy pinwheels, and more! Just head over to NASA's Space Place to explore space fun.
Dogs weren't the only non-humans to fly into space. Here are some other animals that have traveled to space.
STEM Friday, where you can discover other cool STEM books. And we're joining Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website . Review copies provided by publishers.