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Books to celebrate 50 years since humans first landed on the moon

The Space Race: The Journey to the Moon and Beyond

Saturday, 20 July 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing: when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took one giant leap for mankind.

These books are a brilliant way to get your child excited about the history of space travel. Some delve more into the science side, others look at the mythology of the moon and why it has long captured the imagination of people around the world.

And, most important of all, these books are just a fun way to think and talk about space!

  • Pop-up Peekaboo! Space

    Author: Dawn Sirett Illustrator: Elle Ward
    Publisher: Dorling Kindersley

    A lovely, large and sturdy pop-up book about a mission to the moon that is a delightful book to share with little ones, with big and bright pop-ups behind every big flap.

  • When We Walked on the Moon

    Author: David Long Illustrator: Sam Kalda
    Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions

    More than 5,000 rockets have been blasted into space, but only 12 people have ever been lucky enough to walk on the Moon and look up at Earth. So begins this fascinating human story of the seven Apollo missions and the people involved.

  • The Space Race: The Journey to the Moon and Beyond

    Author: Sarah Cruddas
    Publisher: Dorling Kindersley

    If you’re looking for a thorough overview of the development of space travel and the various moon landings, as well as some tantalising glimpses into our future adventures in space, this is an ideal place to start.

  • How To Be An Astronaut and Other Space Jobs

    Author: Dr Sheila Kanani & Sol Linero
    Publisher: Nosy Crow

    Lots of children think they might like to be an astronaut, but what other jobs could one do and still be involved in space exploration and study? Complete with a press-out model rocket to build and pages of stickers to play with, this is an original and inspiring read.

  • Suzy Orbit, Astronaut

    Author: Ruth Quayle Illustrator: Jez Tuya
    Publisher: Nosy Crow

    Suzy Orbit, an engineer, lives on the moon and come sup with lots of ingenious solutions to life there. This STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) focused picture book explores concepts of remaking, reusing and making do.

  • Look Up!

    Author: Nathan Bryon Illustrator: Dapo Adeola
    Publisher: Puffin

    Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola’s charming picture book gifts us with a gorgeous character in Rocket, a girl whose passion for all things space is as inspiring to the reader as her heroine Mae Jemison is to her. 

  • The Usborne Book of the Moon

    Author: Laura Cowan Illustrator: Diana Toledano
    Publisher: Usborne

    Where is the moon? How old is it? How big is it? Does anything grow there? Is it made of cheese? Aimed at mid-Primary aged children, this attractive book covers a variety of topics connected to the moon, both scientific and mythological. 

  • How to Be on the Moon

    Author: Viviane Schwarz
    Publisher: Walker Books

    Viviane Schwarz is a beautifully inventive picture-book maker, and this book about friendship and working as a team works wonderfully with ideas of home and belonging that are invoked by a journey to the moon. 

  • Field Trip to the Moon

    Author: Jeanne Willis Illustrator: John Hare
    Publisher: Macmillan

    This original take on the idea of a moon landing plays with the idea that the moon might need a bit of brightening up – and that aliens might be more caring than we expect. Fans of Jeanne Willis’ Dr Xargle picture book and new fans alike will adore it.

  • Balloon to the Moon: The Story of the Human Journey to Space

    Author: Gill Arbuthnott Illustrator: Christopher Nielsen
    Publisher: Big Picture Press

    This is a clear and fascinating route through time in the evolution of the human desire to fly, and then explore space, presented in 13 page-turning chapters. Christopher Nielsen’s fabulous retro screen print-style illustration also elevate the whole thing to a work of art. 

  • It’s One Giant Leek for Mankind

    Author: Olaf Falafel
    Publisher: Unexporcupine Publishing

    Olaf Falafel’s rhyming books are hugely popular with kids of a certain age, and the fart jokes just keep coming. Lots of laughs set in space – what more could you ask for?