Many children are enchanted by the world around them, from the leaves on the trees to the bubbles in their bath. If your child has a particular fascination for the stars and planets in the universe and is constantly asking ‘why?’ then they’ll love the books on this list. These bedtime stories focus on the wonders of space and science, allowing your child’s mind to expand with cosmic knowledge and affording them the opportunity to dream about their favourite topic.
If your child prefers stories that are a little closer to home then head to The Bedtime Story Finder for an abundance of nightly reading to keep you and your child occupied.
Editor’s Note: See more on our dedicated bedtime story topic page.
How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers
You will be entranced by this beautiful picture book which tells the inspirational story of a boy who loved the stars so much, he decided to catch one of his own. Every night he watched the stars in the sky from his bedroom window and dreamed of how he could be their friend and how they could play hide-and seek together. We share the boy’s disappointments and admire his patience so there will be lots to talk about as you read this uplifting book together.
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry
One of the most beautiful and thought-provoking children’s books available, The Little Prince’s perfect blend of writing and illustration makes it just as enjoyable to read as an adult, as for a child. The story begins with its author, an aviator, crashing his aeroplane in the Sahara desert. Whilst attempting to repair his aeroplane, our Little Prince appears, having travelled to Earth from asteroid B-612. Sharing the strange tales of the people and planets he has seen along the way, the Little Prince takes us on a wonderful journey across the cosmos, leaving all of us hoping that one day he will be able to return.
Beegu by Alexis Deacon
From the get-go Beegu makes an impression, a sweet little alien sprawled dramatically across the bottom of the page, her crash-landed spaceship steaming in the background. The beautifully understated opening ’Beegu was not supposed to be here’ sets the tone for a moving story about a lost child looking for her mum, who finds acceptance and friendship along the way amongst the small ones’ of Earth, despite a hefty language barrier. With several pages that manage to speak volumes without any use of words, this is a book that will encourage your kids to think creatively about how different experiences might make us feel, whilst the unwelcoming attitudes of the adults in the story will no doubt give us bigger ones’ pause for thought.
Man on the Moon by Simon Bartram
A real work of art, this book is about the life of the actual Man on the Moon: introduced to us here as Bob’. Every day Bob flies up to look after the moon and its visitors. But there is one set of visitors he doesn’t know is there … Bob might not be aware of any aliens but your kids will love pointing them out! A book that has so much real life in it that it can be hard to remember you can’t have Bob’s job yourself…
Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan
This wonderfully evocative collection of fifteen (very) short stories will have both you and your young readers poring over the stunning illustrations. Ordinary suburban life is quietly disrupted in fifteen extraordinary ways: a deep-sea diver roams the streets, a water buffalo gives directions, and a tiny alien called Eric comes to stay as an exchange student. Shaun Tan brings a flavour of the bare, remote Australian outback to his surreal tales, each of which ask us to look again at the world, and reconsider the people who don’t seem to quite fit in. Look out for when the text and the pictures are telling different stories!
Flotsam by David Wiesner
An amazing, colour-filled book, this will change the way you walk on a beach for ever! A great gift for anyone who can’t go to the beach without making for home with pockets stuffed full of little sea-borne objects. Imagine finding an old camera, the film still unused, and being taken into another world as you gradually develop the photos afterwards. There are no words in this book but you’ll find that this only leaves more room to your own and your child’s imagination.
What science or space focused book does your child always rave about? Let us know in the comments below.