I was one of many Americans glued to the TV on July 20th 1969 watching and listening as Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon’s surface. His “One small step” sentence summed up the feeling of monumental accomplishment not only for the USA but for the world. Fifty years on (I know how can it already be 50years?!) and space travel is still something humans are drawn to.
Since that 1st landing and walking on the moon, astronauts have lived, for extended periods, in Space Stations. NASA seems to have decided not to colonize the moon, but rather use it as a jumping off point to reach Mars. NASA’s going to have some competition though. Both Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have pledged to go past the moon and reach the red planet. Looks like we have a new Space Race!
In addition to 2019 being the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, World Space Week is October 4-10. Why not celebrate it with some fabulous stories?! Helping your kiddo develop a love of reading is a gift that keeps on giving. Books can take children anywhere and everywhere even when they’re cozied up right on your lap!
The following are some must have space-related books:
Once Upon a Star by James Carter
Who’d have thought the Big Bang could be explained in factual verse?
Well this book does it and with eye-catching illustrations.
The Mouse Who Ate the Moon by Petr Horacek
Similar to Eric Carle’s Papa, Please get the Moon for Me with a character longing to have the ‘moon.’ In this book though, poor Mouse is mortified after mistakenly thinking there’ll never be another full moon. My grandbubs love peep-through story books—it piques their curiosity and interest—and I think your kiddo will enjoy this one too.
What the Sun Sees, What the Moon Sees by Nancy Tafuri
The simple elegance to this book. And when I say book, it’s really 2 stories in one. After reading about what happens in the daytime, your kiddo will flip the book to see what happens in the nighttime. The illustrations are gorgeous and the text is minimal, but perfect.
How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers
I’ve raved about this book before. Grandbub #1 especially likes when I ad lib “just like you” to the text “Once there was a boy…” I am sure he’s already putting himself into the story, imagining how he could climb a tree or use a lasso to catch a star. Though he keeps trying nothing works. This isn’t a spoiler-alert, but the story does have a happy ending!
The next 3 books are older books, ones I read with the preschoolers. They may or may not be in print. They’re in MY (ever-growing) library and I would imagine they’d be available from your public library as well.
Draw Me a Star by Eric Carle
I used this book to help preschool kiddos start learning how to—you got it—draw a star! It does a great job of describing, as well as showing, each step. Inexplicably, IMHO, this book seems to make its way onto banned books lists. Yes, a naked man and woman and/or a religious overtone doesn’t make it inappropriate or not useful. You can make your own decision!
Anansi the Spider by Gerald McDermott
Mischief-maker—that’s Anansi! He’s also one of my, and the preschool kiddos’, favorite characters. He gets into all kinds of trouble because he usually tries to take short-cuts or play tricks on someone. He doesn’t usually seem to learn his lesson, but the moral of the story comes through loud and clear. In this particular folktale, we learn how the moon ended up in the night sky. BTW, parents (in other words, adults) might like Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys
Dogs in Space by Nancy Coffelt
And finally, an old book that delighted the preschool kiddos. They laughed while spinning like the dogs travelling to Uranus; and pondered over the idea of no cats in space especially since we had farm cats that were beloved. This IS an older book, so you’ll have to explain why the dogs visit Pluto. Recall Pluto is no longer considered a planet.
Hopefully you’ll be able to pick up or check out many or all of the above books. After reading those, your kiddo can continue space travel with some of these lunar activities!
Yours in PLAY!
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