The best children’s books on astronomy

Katie Munday Williams Author Of Poet, Pilgrim, Rebel: The Story of Anne Bradstreet, America's First Published Poet
By Katie Munday Williams

Who am I?

I am a nurse, mother, and writer, and as such, consider myself a life-learner. When my children come to me with questions, I love being able to grab a beautiful picture book to begin exploring whatever topic is on their minds. I can’t answer all their questions perfectly, but I enjoy searching for the answers with them and hope to impart that love of learning as they grow. Astronomy has always fascinated me, and the books I’ve picked do a fantastic job of discussing everything from gravity to aliens to the first African-American female in space. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I have!

I wrote...

Poet, Pilgrim, Rebel: The Story of Anne Bradstreet, America's First Published Poet

By Katie Munday Williams, Tania Rex (illustrator),

Book cover of Poet, Pilgrim, Rebel: The Story of Anne Bradstreet, America's First Published Poet

What is my book about?

The inspiring story of a Puritan woman whose passion for writing poetry broke barriers. Late at night, with her children tucked into bed and her husband away on business, Anne Dudley Bradstreet composed poems by candlelight. She let her thoughts from the day tumble out, memorizing each poem line by line before daring to shape the words onto scraps of scarce parchment. Puritan women in the 1600s weren't allowed to be writers. But when the world learned about Anne's poetry, even she was astonished by what happened next.

This charmingly illustrated picture book tells the inspiring story of how a Puritan woman overcame the obstacles facing women of her era to become one of the most famous poets in history. A gifted writer of deep faith, Anne Bradstreet blazed a trail for the rights of women to study, write, and achieve.

The books I picked & why

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Moon's First Friends: One Giant Leap for Friendship

By Susanna Leonard Hill, Elisa Paganelli (illustrator),

Book cover of Moon's First Friends: One Giant Leap for Friendship

Why this book?

I absolutely adore this book for a few key reasons. I fell in love with the premise of a lonely Moon on the lookout for new friends--who hasn’t felt that way before? The author does an incredible job of weaving in facts about the first modes of transportation while keeping the book fun and relatable to children. The illustrations are beautiful and by the end of the book you’ll definitely be rooting for Moon to get her first visitors.

If You Had Your Birthday Party on the Moon

By Joyce Lapin, Simona Ceccarelli (illustrator),

Book cover of If You Had Your Birthday Party on the Moon

Why this book?

The title pretty much speaks for itself—I mean, who wouldn’t want to have their birthday party on the Moon? And what would it be like? This book makes the perfect birthday gift (or anytime gift!) for any child questioning what it’s like on the Moon. The reader discovers what it’s like to swing at a pinata in low gravity, make moon-angels, and discover what happens to candles and balloons in Moon’s atmosphere. There are tons of facts about space woven throughout the book, as well as a glossary of terms at the end.

Mae Among the Stars

By Roda Ahmed, Stasia Burrington (illustrator),

Book cover of Mae Among the Stars

Why this book?

Mae Among the Stars is a gorgeous picture book biography of Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman to travel to space. This inspiring book dives into the life of a truly amazing woman who defied the boundaries imposed on her by others and fulfilled her dream of becoming an astronaut. I like that despite the doubts of others, Mae didn’t give up; she persevered and became a highly educated doctor, engineer, and NASA astronaut. 

Just Right: Searching for the Goldilocks Planet

By Curtis Manley, Jessica Lanan (illustrator),

Book cover of Just Right: Searching for the Goldilocks Planet

Why this book?

Cutis Manley’s non-fiction book tackles one of the biggest questions out there--is there other life in the universe--in simple, fun language sure to keep readers of all ages engaged. Jessica Lanan’s art is gorgeous, conveying both the expansiveness and beauty of outer space, and both words and pictures blend to portray science-heavy information in a very kid-friendly way. This book will appeal to those children who can’t wait to know the ‘why’ behind their world, and adults will find themselves learning right along with them.

What Miss Mitchell Saw

By Hayley Barrett, Diana Sudyka (illustrator),

Book cover of What Miss Mitchell Saw

Why this book?

This book does a great job of capturing the wonder of the stars. In lyrical language and with absolutely stunning illustrations, What Miss Mitchell Saw will capture the reader’s interest right from the cover. This picture book biography delves into the early days of one of our most brilliant astronomers, Maria Mitchell. Budding scientists and astronomers alike, or anyone who just likes to wonder about the mysteries of space, will love this book.

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the moon, astronomy, and astronomers?

5,887 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the moon, astronomy, and astronomers.

The Moon Explore 85 books about the moon
Astronomy Explore 51 books about astronomy
Astronomers Explore 13 books about astronomers

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Thing Lou Couldn't Do, Walk On! A Guide for Babies of All Ages, and Song for a Whale if you like this list.