One of the reasons I decided to write children’s books was my extreme passion and love of art, storytelling and learning. I want kids to start learning as young as possible, in the most fun possible way. I love space, but I wish we had more books about astronomy when I was a kid that were not just factual, but fun to read. I also did it because some people kept saying I should write children’s books. My paintings are, for the most part, whimsical, happy and colorful; art that draws in the eyes of a child.
When I chose the topic of my first children’s book, it was almost natural to make it about astronomy and space for kids. I have other ideas, but the one that kept coming back to me was teaching kids a bit about astronomy when they are pretty young, and to help them remember some of the facts throughout their lifetime in a fun way, not just a ‘facts’ book.
That is when “Thank You Mercury!” was born. I went through other space books for kids to make sure I wasn’t writing what others were writing, and I do believe I accomplished that. In my search, I discovered there are not many lists on top children’s books about space and astronomy, so I wanted to create one, specifically for kids in the 3-9 age range. This is the list I came up with. These books focus mostly on our solar system.
1) “There is no place like space! All about our solar system” by Tish Rabe – In this book Cat in the Hat and his friends, Thing One and Thing Two, take two children on a trip to space. They visit the eight planets, several constellations, the sun, and the moon.
2) “A is for Astronaut” – Blasting Through The Alphabet” by Clayton Anderson – I love that this book goes through the alphabet, going through each letter while showing space and science topics.
3) “The Magic School Bus Lost in the Solar System” by Joanna Cole – This book is part of the popular Magic School Bus science series of books and TV shows. This book follows a class of students and their adventurous teacher Ms. Frizzle as they take a field trip through the solar system and learn about the sun, moon, and various planets. Super fun!
4) “The Sun Is Kind Of A Big Deal” by Nick Seluk – This book has lots of great information presented in a very fun way. The text is a straightforward nonfiction work about the Sun — its size, position, and all the things that it does for us on Earth, with a bit of humor that shows up in word bubbles spoken by all the planets.
5) “National Geographic – Little Kids First Big Book of Space” by Catherine D. Hughes – This book is full of great information for young space enthusiasts and it’s the most detailed of the books on this list. Aside from providing the usual details about each planet, the moon, asteroids, black holes, etc., this book mentions many of the NASA spacecrafts currently traveling through space to visit distant bodies in our solar system. It also features both photographs and illustrations.
6) “Thank You Mercury!” by Carmen Gloria – It’s the only book that covers space weather on this list. This book goes through the planets in our solar system repetitively. Planet Mercury (the messenger in both astrology and mythology), the planet closest to the sun, has to give a message to the other planets to warn them that a sun storm is on its way. It is a fun story about friendship and gratitude too.
7) “The Night Sky” by Michael Driscoll – This book is for kids 8 and up and it covers a lot of information, including scientists, the solar system, and even the myths about the different constellations.
8) “Gravity” by Jason Chin – It teaches kids the basics of gravity and space in a way that they can understand it without getting too overwhelmed.