5...4...3...2..1...Blast off! Sounds familiar? It most definitely will if you happen to have a preschooler around. A blazing rocket shooting up at breakneck speed seems to pique any preschooler’s interest. Add the inky-black night sky, sparkling stars, mysterious spaceships and quirky aliens to the equation -- you end up with a child whose imagination is running wild. Here we recommend some space books for your little one to discover the unseen world:
1. Roaring Rockets by Tony Mitton
This book is a part of the famous 'Amazing Machines' collection by Tony Mitton. The book summarises how rockets work, in a simple rhyming language. You can learn that space is a silent place and that the astronauts in space are light, so they have to buckle up tight. Ant Parker's colourful and comical illustrations add to the fun in this informative book.
2. I Want to be an Astronaut by Byron Barton
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
With only a handful of sentences, this book powerfully captures a young girl's passion to become an astronaut. She aspires to go on a space mission, to fix satellites and to live in zero gravity. Preschoolers will especially appreciate the vivid illustrations in this award-winning book.
3. On the Moon by Anna Milbourne
Publisher: Usborne Publishing
As the name suggests, On the Moon tells you what exactly happens on the moon in an easy-to-understand language. Told in a second person narrative by a small girl, the book encourages your child to imagine herself as the protagonist. Thanks to the friendly visuals, young readers will be enticed into a magical journey.
4. How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers
Publisher: UK Children's
A little boy loves stars and wants to catch one to be his friend. Should he use his rocket ship or fly on a seagull or lasso it with his father's lifeboat? Full of tender illustrations, the boy's story of dreams and disappointments will strike a positive chord.
5. The Color Thief by Gabriel Alborozo
Zot's planet is gray with no colour at all. Entranced by the melange of colours on Earth, Zot travels to Earth and decides to take away some colours to his own planet. When he is about to run away with his loot, something stops him in his tracks. This heartwarming tale gives some valuable lessons about kindness, friendship, and doing the right thing.
6. Life on Mars by Jon Agee
Publisher: Dial Books
The world's first (little) astronaut goes on an epic journey to find life on Mars in this funny book. He comes with a box of chocolate cupcakes as a gift for the Martians. But in the barren Martian land, there is no sign of life. You and your child will have a good laugh reading this book.
7. Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Monica wants to play with the moon and asks her father to get it for her. Monica's father climbs the tallest mountain with his tallest ladder to get the moon. What happens when you take away the moon? Your preschooler can relate to the unexpected but hopeful ending.
8. The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Chris Hadfield, a Canadian astronaut, tells his own childhood story in this warm book. Chris is terribly afraid of the dark and is scared to sleep on his own in his room. As he watches the first astronauts landing on the moon on TV, Chris realises that outer space is the darkest of all places and that he wants to be an astronaut. This book will inspire your little ones to face their fears.
9. Me and My Place in Space by Joan Sweeney
Your preschooler can envisage the vastness of the outer space through this book. With bright and bold illustrations, the book gives a factual account of our Galaxy, Solar System, and Planets. It also suggests the possibility of a parallel universe which can lead to a healthy debate with your preschooler.
10. The Big Dipper by Franklin M Branley
Publisher: Harper Collins
Get ready to go on a star gazing trip with this book. Open your child to the starlit world of wonder as you learn to recognise the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper constellations with this non-fiction book. It also talks about navigation using stars in the olden times.
Help your child soar high by feeding their imagination and curiosity about outer space with the above books.