The best books about the moon

16 authors have picked their favorite books about the moon and why they recommend each book.

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Full Moon

By Michael Light, Andrew Chaikin,

Book cover of Full Moon

As explorers carrying cameras, the Gemini and Apollo astronauts (1965-72) were like the pioneer photographers of the 19th century who, with their cameras, responded to the unknowns of the American West. These astronauts, however, were responding to the new and unexplored by photographing their experiences inside their spacecraft and outside in the vacuum of space. During the late 90s the photographer Michael Light gained access to NASA’s Apollo-era photo archive and made the first drum-scanned digital files from perfect copies of the original flight films. Light’s artful editing and juxtaposition of superbly reproduced full-page black and white, and color images creates a cinematic-like journey to the moon and back. In the annals of published space photography, there are very few well-designed books as timeless.


Who am I?

I’ve followed the history of space exploration since I was a kid! Although I spent decades photographing assignments in exotic international locations and co-authored visually driven books on astronomical phenomena, my dream was to photograph in NASA’s restricted space exploration work cultures. Never giving up, I achieved unprecedented access into the shuttle mission that saved the Hubble Space Telescope and, for more than a decade, with the New Horizons team that first explored the Pluto system. I’ve been published in media like Smithsonian, Nat Geo, WIRED, New Scientist, and NPR. Honored that my photographs of astronaut space tools are in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum.   


I wrote...

Infinite Worlds: The People and Places of Space Exploration

By Michael Soluri,

Book cover of Infinite Worlds: The People and Places of Space Exploration

What is my book about?

Infinite Worlds - the People and Places of Space Exploration is a visually driven, beautifully designed, and printed coffee table book that reveals the sublime art of human and robotic space exploration. With extraordinary access over several years into the restricted, behind-the-scenes work cultures of 3 NASA Spaceflight Centers, Michael photographically documented the craft and humanity that frames the team effort behind the historic last shuttle mission that essentially saved the Hubble Space Telescope. In addition, his observations are woven between 18 insightful first-person essays by some of the NASA astronaut crew, engineers, shuttle techs, and scientists who worked on this historic mission. Mercury astronaut John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, wrote the introduction.

Moon Magic

By Diane Ahlquist,

Book cover of Moon Magic: Your Complete Guide to Harnessing the Mystical Energy of the Moon

Our ancestors were deeply connected to the rhythms of the Earth and Heavens to inform and predict their lives. We’ve all but forgotten these connections. Moon Magic helps us return to this ancient wisdom and understand the powerful energy of the Universe to help manifest our goals, find emotional balance, and maintain physical wellness. You are in control of this one enchanted life, so navigate by the moon for health and prosperity.


Who am I?

As a practicing Hedge Witch, I’m fascinated by the marriage of science and the mystical. Now, I’m alchemizing confidence, coherence, and clarity for soulful writers to pursue the books of their dreams. I am the author, illustrator, and designer of Mama Bear Says™ and the Book Witch of planners and journals for your sacred words. I live at the edge of the wild woods and love to graze on wild berries, sit by a cozy hearth, and watch the magic of the animals who meander through these lands. The magic of the natural world and the healing power of Mother Earth sits as a priority in my life. These are the books on my magickal bookshelf.


I wrote...

Mama Bear Says Pocket Wisdom

By Heather Dakota,

Book cover of Mama Bear Says Pocket Wisdom

What is my book about?

Mama Bear Says is an illustrated pocket oracle to encourage and support your spiritual journey. Mama Bear's nurturing wisdom comes down through the ages, as her gentle guidance holds you when life gets chaotic, and obstacles appear.

Use this book for your spiritual practice or as a divination tool. Intuitively color the repeating illustrations for a special meditation. Mama Bear has a big lap and wide arms to hold us all. Ask for her support, and she'll be there to hear about your pain and sorrow and with her loving embrace transform your hurts into happiness and joy.

Moon Theater

By Etienne Delessert,

Book cover of Moon Theater

If you are anything like me, and of course you are, you’ll feel like you are dream-reading your way through this deliciously enchanting book. Mr. Delessert is a true master of this craft, and these pages are filled with soul food.


Who am I?

My books may never be a child’s favorite nighty-night story, but I think they offer fresh minds opportunities to visit some unusual places. There are goblins in the forest; so let’s go there together, in delight, holding hands. My poems and illustrations have been featured in numerous books and magazines and honored by the National  Council of Teachers of English and the Society of Illustrators. I live with my youngest son in upstate New York, in a house filled with bikes and balls, color, and music.


I wrote...

A Song

By James Christopher Carroll,

Book cover of A Song

What is my book about?

A girl hears a song and follows its call into the woods where she happens upon a wild band of animals, and receives a wondrous gift that changes her life forever. The story serves as an example to those who have forgotten how to listen to their lives, how to discern music from noise, how to follow the path of mystery and adventure set before them. A Song is an encouragement for readers to listen and to follow their passions in life.

Music for Mister Moon

By Phillip C. Stead, Erin E. Stead (illustrator),

Book cover of Music for Mister Moon

The magical tale, Music for Mister Moon, is about a little girl named Harriet, who likes to be called Hank. She loves nothing more than to play her cello, alone. When her parents suggest how wonderful it would be to play in a big orchestra someday, she retreats into her room playing her cello. When the owl hoots outside her window she loses her temper and throws a teacup. And so begins her imaginative journey that tickles the reader's imagination. On Hank’s adventure with Mr. Moon, they encounter kind and thoughtful animals with a profound understanding of acceptance and giving. Each time I read this book, I can almost hear the music of the cello float out the window, the crash of the teacup, the smell of the smoke that fills the little house. Harriet’s emotional journey comes full circle with a most satisfying ending. A must-read, over and…

Who am I?

I was born into a large, unique family. Our house was nestled in the Colorado foothill mountains. Our small tv with the rabbit ear antenna had one fuzzy station, so we depended upon our imaginations for entertainment. We read fairy tales, performed puppet shows, fed fairies on the full moon, painted, drew, wrote stories, explored the canyon. I once observed a small pebbled cylinder inch its way across a puddle. I thought it was magic! It was a caddis fly larvae. That spark of excitement from nature, imagination, and whimsy are what inspire me today when I create. I hope these books will inspire you–or at least make you laugh.


I wrote...

I Am Goose!

By Dorothia Rohner, Vanya Nastanlieva (illustrator),

Book cover of I Am Goose!

What is my book about?

I am Goose! was inspired by the children at Head-Start. They loved playing Duck, Duck Goose, but not all of the children cared about the rules. The story starts out with a simple, friendly game of Duck, Duck, Goose. It goes off the rails in giggle-inducing confusion when a silly goose tries to make it all about him. “Are you kidding me? I am Goose!”

A literal-minded goose derails a favorite childhood game—Duck, Duck, Goose—by objecting when Pig, Fox, Dodo, and other players are tapped as “Goose”. Distraction, squabbling, and asking for snacks threaten to end the game completely. Bossy Rabbit restores calm, but Goose doesn’t understand what the problem is until he gets a taste of his own medicine.

Moon

By Britta Teckentrup,

Book cover of Moon: A Peek-Through Picture Book

This book contains so many qualities that I adore in a children’s book. The illustrations are rich, textured landscapes filled with expressive animals and a die-cut of the moon on every spread. On each page turn, it shows the changing moon phases. The perfect rhythm, luscious word choice, and spot-on rhyme make it a pleasure to read aloud. Besides the beautiful aesthetic quality of this book, it also contains an abundance of information about animals and nature and how they relate to the moon. A gorgeous and interesting book.


Who am I?

I was born into a large, unique family. Our house was nestled in the Colorado foothill mountains. Our small tv with the rabbit ear antenna had one fuzzy station, so we depended upon our imaginations for entertainment. We read fairy tales, performed puppet shows, fed fairies on the full moon, painted, drew, wrote stories, explored the canyon. I once observed a small pebbled cylinder inch its way across a puddle. I thought it was magic! It was a caddis fly larvae. That spark of excitement from nature, imagination, and whimsy are what inspire me today when I create. I hope these books will inspire you–or at least make you laugh.


I wrote...

I Am Goose!

By Dorothia Rohner, Vanya Nastanlieva (illustrator),

Book cover of I Am Goose!

What is my book about?

I am Goose! was inspired by the children at Head-Start. They loved playing Duck, Duck Goose, but not all of the children cared about the rules. The story starts out with a simple, friendly game of Duck, Duck, Goose. It goes off the rails in giggle-inducing confusion when a silly goose tries to make it all about him. “Are you kidding me? I am Goose!”

A literal-minded goose derails a favorite childhood game—Duck, Duck, Goose—by objecting when Pig, Fox, Dodo, and other players are tapped as “Goose”. Distraction, squabbling, and asking for snacks threaten to end the game completely. Bossy Rabbit restores calm, but Goose doesn’t understand what the problem is until he gets a taste of his own medicine.

Moon's First Friends

By Susanna Leonard Hill, Elisa Paganelli (illustrator),

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

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.


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.

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

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.


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.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

By Grace Lin,

Book cover of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

I love this story because it feels like a folk tale come to life, and has gorgeous illustrations and a kind and resourceful hero. When Minli leaves her poor village in search of the Man of the Moon at Never-Ending Mountain, seeking a way to improve her family’s situation, she befriends a cast of colorful characters including a talking dragon, goldfish, and stone lions. Each encounter reveals a clue that leads Minli along her journey. You’ll feel Minli’s internal struggle when the girl faces a hard choice. Happy Ending: Her selfless sacrifice breeds fortune for her village and family.


Who am I?

As a girl, I would roll around on the floor with my Labrador retriever, beg my parents for horseback-riding lessons, and dream of being a vet. A proficiency in language and lack of science skills led me to writing instead, but my intense love of animals never waned. I adore adventure stories featuring animal characters and human ones, and some form of communication between them. That’s why I wrote Shannon’s Odyssey which, like many Middle Grade novels, also explores family secrets and the all-important act of forgiveness. It’s not fantasy but contains mystical elements rooted in reality, because who doesn’t want to believe magic exists in our everyday lives?


I wrote...

Shannon's Odyssey

By S.M. Stevens,

Book cover of Shannon's Odyssey

What is my book about?

Shannon Simpson has a kind soul, sometimes questionable judgment, and courage to spare. When her parents are seriously hurt in a car accident, she treks a hundred miles through the forest seeking her long-lost grandmother, rather than stay with the mean, smelly Zielinskis. Finding Gran means navigating safely through the woods with only a compass, her wits, and a mysterious, possibly magical marra mamba stone to guide her. During her journey, Shannon faces bad weather, injuries, hunger, thirst, and wild critters–some nice and some not so nice. To her amazement, she realizes she can communicate with the animals. And she uncovers secrets about her family and herself. (Fun fact: My daughter illustrated the cover.)

Sailor Moon

By Kodansha,

Book cover of Sailor Moon

Nothing will create an impact on my life's work as the original transformation scene from Sailor Moon. This scene inspired me to pursue my fashion schooling, and the pages of this art book are pure inspiration. Watching traditionally drawn dresses and beautiful characters always motivated me to push my creative boundaries and strive for perfection. Revisiting the ways of creating magical light effects and textures by using only watercolors and ink is crucial for any artist, especially one wanting to connect with manga.


Who am I?

I am a long-time manga teacher and a pop-culture researcher, as well as a comic illustrator and a Youtuber, presenting under the "Mistiqarts" pseudonym. Since manga was something that inspired me early on to dedicate my life to the art style and pop culture, I was constantly looking for new ways to bring this lifestyle and art to other people interested in drawing manga.  


I wrote...

Manga Crash Course Fantasy: How to Draw Anime and Manga, Step by Step

By Mina Petrović,

Book cover of Manga Crash Course Fantasy: How to Draw Anime and Manga, Step by Step

What is my book about?

This book is an intermediate-level tutorial book on how to draw manga, but with a spin on creating your own fantasy stories, worlds and characters. Guided by a decade of experience from my own manga classroom, I managed to present all the most effective shortcuts to someone who wants to make their own stories, and even inserted games to make the process fun!

This book features all the basic-level lessons, so even if you never drew anything in your life, you can start drawing manga today.

The Face of the Moon

By Ralph Belknap Baldwin,

Book cover of The Face of the Moon

The Face of the Moon was the most important lunar book of the 20th century and perhaps of all time. Ralph Baldwin was an astronomer who studied stars, but while waiting to give public lectures at Chicago’s Adler Planetarium in 1941 he became fascinated by huge photos of the Moon on the planetarium’s walls. Baldwin saw that craters were everywhere, from tiny ones to giants hundreds of miles wide that had gouged surrounding terrain and ejected bright streamers of debris in all directions.

During World War 2 he recognized that myriads of craters from the Allied bombardment that had devasted France and Germany were tiny versions of what he saw on the Moon. The Moon’s craters were not volcanoes as commonly believed, they formed by explosions of projectiles – asteroids and comets. After the war, Baldwin investigated the physics of crater formation by setting off dynamite charges along the sandy…


Who am I?

While watching my first eclipse of the Moon in the 5th grade I was awed that the Earth’s shadow stretched so far into space and by the speed the Moon passed through it. I started reading science fiction books and in high school discovered Sky & Telescope magazine. I've read S&T ever since and have proudly written its Moon column for the last 21 years. I've also built telescopes for backyard observing, earned a PhD in planetary science, worked at NASA & the Planetary Science Institute, written three books about the Moon, prepared 6 years of daily Lunar Photo of the Day blogs, and have been chair of the International Astronomical Union’s Lunar Nomenclature Task Group.


I wrote...

21st Century Atlas of the Moon

By Charles A. Wood, Maurice J. S. Collins,

Book cover of 21st Century Atlas of the Moon

What is my book about?

As a student and observer of the Moon, I always wanted a perfect atlas for use at the telescope and in my study, so Maurice Collins and I created it. Our 21st Century Atlas of the Moon is beautifully illustrated with images from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which still circles the Moon every 2 hours with cameras clicking. LRO imaged Apollo Astronauts’ footprints on the Moon; impossibly tiny to be seen from Earth but our atlas shows exactly where to see astronaut landing sites. Lunar craters are named for famous scientists, and with the 21st Century Atlas of the Moon you can find the home crater for each of these humans, as well as the seas of Serenity and Tranquility – but be cautious of the Ocean of Storms!

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