Can you believe that on July 20, 2019, America will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing by the Apollo 11 mission? It was an important event in modern United States history, and one that should be part of every child’s “background” knowledge. We have such a valuable opportunity this summer to introduce our children to this monumental event!
I curated this list of books about Apollo 11 and the first moon landing VERY carefully. Many of the children’s books (and adult books too) on this subject seem to have been put together hastily. I read them with the following criteria in mind:
- Is this book well written and engaging?
- Is it also written in a kid-friendly way?
It takes a talented children’s book author and an equally talented editor to make a heavy science topic and a complex story easy for kids to understand and fun to read. But the books on this list have managed to accomplish this – even the “adult” book I included at the end.
I’m thrilled that there’s a board book available. Although it does contain a lot of text, the illustrations are clear and age-appropriate. It’s a great way to involve even your babies and toddlers in a family commemoration of this historic event.
Enjoy this list of books about the Apollo 11 mission and the first moon landing. You’re sure to find a few that will help your family mark the 50th anniversary of this historic event.
To the Moon and Back by Smithsonian Kids
This little book, Smithsonian Kids: To the Moon and Back is about the Apollo 11 mission and it is designed specifically for toddlers and preschoolers! It’s a sturdy board book with sliding tabs, spinning wheels, and flaps to peek under. Photographs are combined with clear illustrations to create a realistic depiction of our historic journey to the moon and back.
If You Decide To Go To The Moon by Faith McNulty
If You Decide To Go To The Moon puts the young reader in the captain’s chair, describing what it would look and feel like to travel to the moon. The final destination is The Sea of Tranquility, right where the Apollo 11 mission landed 50 years ago this summer. Artwork by the acclaimed children’s book illustrator Steven Kellogg adds texture and relatable realism to this gem of a book.
The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons
The Moon Book is an updated re-released edition of a classic book by Gail Gibbons, an acclaimed author of science books for kids. It’s a perfect introduction to the moon – its orbit, its effect on tides, and its surface. Meticulously researched and vetted, this book shares the most up-to-date information available about the moon.
Moonwalk: The First Trip to the Moon by Judy Donnelly
I was so glad to find a “First Reader” book about Apollo 11 and the first moon landing. These books are carefully crafted to share non-fiction information in language that is accessible to early readers. Moonwalk: The First Trip to the Moon presents just enough information to tell the whole story accurately, with the support of excellent photos and realistic illustrations. The result is a simple, perfect introduction Apollo 11 and the first moon landing. It’s a great choice for a read aloud or for early readers to tackle on their own.
My Little Golden Book About the First Moon Landing by Chip Lovitt
Another fabulous find – how awesome is it that there is a Little Golden Book about Apollo 11? My Little Golden Book About the First Moon Landing tells the story in classic, gentle Little Golden Book style. This one’s a treasure.
To the Moon and Back: My Apollo 11 Adventure by Buzz Aldrin
To the Moon and Back: My Apollo 11 Adventure is a GREAT book. It’s told in the first person by Buzz Aldrin, and packed with simple explanations of some complex space travel concepts. It’s also an exciting pop-up book with stunning illustrations, AND it includes a model of the Apollo 11 Lunar Module.
Apollo Expeditions to the Moon: The NASA History 50th Anniversary Edition by Edgar M. Cortright
This newly released, updated edition of Apollo Expeditions to the Moon was issued to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. At 368 pages, this collector-quality book features 160 stunning color photos (and countless black and white photos) accompanying a collection of gripping essays by astronauts, engineers, and NASA administrators. The result is a compelling narrative of the entire Apollo project, as told by those who created the story. Although this is not meant to be a children’s book, it is written at a level that can be understood by readers (or listeners) of all ages.
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