Inside: An annotated list of children’s books about the moon. Includes fiction and nonfiction, with titles for toddlers through elementary.
Since many children go to bed early, it can be hard to interact with the moon firsthand. Share the beauty of the moon with the children in your life using some of these stunning books!
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Picture Books About the Moon
Many of these moon-related stories introduce concepts to children such as nighttime and the phases of the moon. These are excellent starting points to inspire an interest in the moon.
Related: You might also like this list of fascinating children’s books about Mars.
Moon Books for Toddlers and Young Preschoolers
Our youngest readers can start to learn about the moon with these simple stories:
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown – This classic story is cute with simple, but engaging illustrations. Many children can relate to the young bunny avoiding bedtime. While not really about the moon, it does reinforce the concept that the full moon is out at night.
Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes – This Caldecott winner, with its simple words and images, is easy for our youngest learners to follow. Kitten is super confused by what looks to be a bowl of milk in the sky. He spends the evening chasing it, with giggle-worthy results.
Moonbear by Frank Asch – This is another classic following a young, confused animal. Moonbear notices the moon getting smaller by the night and offers the moon his food. This story introduces children to the phases of the moon with a simple storyline and images. Frank Asch also has a series of books continuing Moonbear’s adventures with the moon if you enjoy this story!
Picture Books About Traveling to the Moon
Moon’s First Friends by Susanna Leonard Hill and illustrated by Elisa Paganelli – If you’re ready to introduce traveling to the moon, Moon’s First Friends is a perfect place to start! Moon sits up in the sky, watching the people on Earth and feeling lonely on her own. Finally, astronauts make their way to the moon and she gets to make friends for the first time! This story can also be a jumping point for learning about different historical periods or different countries through the beautiful images showing different times and places.
Molly on the Moon by Mary Robinette Kowal and illustrated by Diana Mayo – this new picture book, to be released in April 2022, takes place on the moon. Molly travels by rocket to an underground moon colony, along with her mom and little brother. She could only bring one toy with her, but she makes do with a little imagination. Then, after her pesky brother tries to take her toy she learns about the moon’s lower gravity, and about how much more fun she can have when she shares with her brother.
This beautifully illustrated, relatable story will be equally loved as a classroom read-aloud and as a lap-sharing book at home. The pacing is perfect for the preschool to first-grade set. Plus, moon facts are woven smoothly into the story, and there’s an informative, child-friendly author’s note at the end.
If You Decide to Go to the Moon by Faith McNulty and illustrated by Steven Kellogg- This book gives children an immersive experience of traveling to the moon. McNulty writes in the second person, telling children what to pack and how to go about traveling to the moon. This is an excellent choice for elementary children – it brings traveling to the moon to life while providing facts at the same time.
Other Picture Books About the Moon
Thanking the Moon by Grace Lin- This book brings Asian culture to life with a story about a Chinese-American family celebrating the mid-autumn moon festival. This story shows how every family member is involved in preparing for their nighttime picnic, ending the night by sending thanks and a wish to the moon. The beautiful illustrations help set the mood and timeline for the story. It’s simple enough for young children to understand and gives resources in the back for older children (or even curious adults) to dig deeper into the holiday!
Max and the Tag-Along Moon by Floyd Cooper- As adults, we know the full moon stays in the sky all night long. If you’re ready to introduce your child to this concept, Max and the Tag-Along Moon is an excellent place to start! Throughout the story, Max watches the moon follow him home from his grandpa’s until suddenly, it disappears! At first, he worries it got lost. Then he arrives back home, and the moon comes out from behind the clouds. The beautiful illustrations are engaging and add to this sweet story about the moon and family always being with you.
What the Sun Sees, What the Moon Sees by Nancy Tafuri- If you’re looking for a book illustrating the difference between night and day, check out What the Sun Sees, What the Moon Sees. Starting from one end, the book shows the bright colors and busyness of daytime. Flip the book over to find the dark, calmness of nighttime. This book is an excellent choice for younger elementary children and helps them visually see the difference between daytime with the sun and nighttime with the moon.
A Moon of My Own by Jennifer Rustgi and illustrated by Ashley White – this simple story captures the wonder of an ever-present moon. A little girl sees the different phases of the moon as she travels around the world. The silhouette artwork is captivating. I think this book could work for a range of ages – it has simple language, yet may open big questions about the moon and the earth.
If You Were the Moon by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Jaime Kim – This poetic picture book about the moon also includes relevant facts on each page. For younger children, you could read the whole book without the facts. Older kids will appreciate learning little tidbits about phases of the moon, gravity, and tides.
Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle – This fanciful story is fun for children who understand that you can’t actually climb a ladder to the moon! It’s about a girl who wants to reach out and play with the moon. When she can’t touch it, she asks her father to get it for her.
I have read and re-read this story so many times, and I still love it. I think you and your littles will too.
Non-Fiction Books About the Moon
These books give children facts about the moon instead of telling stories about it. Use these nonfiction moon books to dig deeper in exploring and learning facts about the moon.
The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons- Gail Gibbons is known for her informational books where she goes straight to the source in her research and gives facts on all sorts of topics. The Moon Book is no different! This book gives information on the moon’s orbit, phases, and how the moon changes things on Earth, such as the tides. The images are clear and add to the information given, making it understandable for children of various ages.
Faces of the Moon by Bob Crelin and illustrated by Leslie Evans- This is a simple, yet informative book about the phases of the moon. This is excellent for children of any age, who have noticed the different “faces” of the moon and are ready to explore this concept. The illustrations are engaging and the story even includes rhymes to help children remember moon facts!
The Faces, or Phases, of the Moon by Baby Professor- In a similar vein, The Faces, or Phases, of the Moon talks about the different phases of the moon and their effects on our life on Earth. This book is intended for an older audience than Bob Crelin’s book, as it goes deeper into the information in a way older elementary students will understand. The photographs and crisp graphics give a clear view of the information on every page.
I hope your children enjoy discovering the moon through these books! I’d love to know any of your favorites we may have forgotten on this list!