We are HUGE science fiction fans, so we’re always on the lookout for kids’ books about aliens, outer space, and any other topic that would thrill our geeky hearts. Here’s a set of children’s science fiction books that the grownups in our house enjoyed as much as our kiddo did. (Disclosure: Amazon links are affiliate links.)
NOTE: This post was first published in 2014, with reviews based on reading with my kiddo between preschool age and about nine years old; sometimes you’ll see a mention of how old he was when we read the book! As of 2023-4, I’ll be freshening up my children’s book posts and adding more recs.
Earth to Clunk by Pam Smallcomb, with pictures by Joe Berger
What a horrible project! An alien pen pal? The only possible solution is to send him as much horrible stuff as possible, including your horrible big sister! I could not stop laughing at the escalation of hostile packages from Earth and the enthusiastic and friendly notes back from outer space.
June 29, 1999 by David Wiesner
Young Holly Evans, a budding scientist, launches balloons with vegetable seeds into the earth’s atmosphere. She never expected giant vegetables to mysteriously appear on Earth weeks later. Especially the vegetables she didn’t include in her experiment! Wiesner has such a good grasp on how to present a fantastical story.
Superhero by Marc Tauss
This book is just gorgeous. Tauss’s black and white photography could almost tell the whole story, even without the light narration. Maleek and his robot assistant spring into action when the city’s parks start to disappear. The story focuses on invention and science to save the day, rather than fights with bad guys. I love books that ask the reader to slow down and pay attention, and this is one of the best.
Obviously we’ve all stayed awake at night wondering how to get sunflowers on the moon, right? The level of detail in the 24 step plan is impressive, and I cannot imagine how much time Gerstein spent putting this together. I read it aloud to Boy Detective, and had to stop a couple of times because he and C-Man were laughing so much. Inventors, tinkerers, builders, engineers, and scientists will especially get a kick out of this one.
Mr. Wuffles by David Wiesner
Mr. Wuffles is a cat. A cat who seems uninterested in all the toys bought for him. But when he discovers a new toy that’s seemingly shown up on its own, he’s *very* interested in that. And the tiny alien creatures inside the “toy” are not happy about it. Will they be able to escape? This is a nearly wordless picture book, which I sometimes struggle with “reading” to my kiddo, but there’s so much going on here and the panels flow really well from one to the next. We had a great time with it.
Space Dog by Mini Grey
Mini Grey is one of our favorite kids’ authors and artists, and she nails it with this very British scifi picture book. The style is vintage radio drama, the protagonists are cute animals, and the message is inter-species harmony. What more could you need? Once you’ve read the story, double back and look closely at the newspaper backgrounds in the introduction to our characters – and don’t miss the end papers, of course. If you haven’t read her Traction Man series, you should read that as well!
And that’s the list!