I really enjoyed designing our new Astronaut Ex Libris stamp, which sits rather smartly alongside our Stargazer design from earlier in the year.
This got us thinking about books about space – and we came up with these gems:
Man on the Moon – Simon Bartram
A classic picture book with a wonderful premise. Bob goes to work every day on the moon to keep things nice and orderly for the space tourists. He keeps getting asked about aliens… but everyone knows they don’t exist! It brilliantly exploits the gap between what the text is saying and what the reader can see in the pictures to the delight of children.
An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth – Chris Hadfield
Intensely readable, Hadfield describes his path to being an astronaut – his career leaps from fighter test pilot to astronaut emphasises that astronauts really are super-human, passing every medical, physical, intellectual, psychological test thrown at them. But while this overachievement could irritate, the insights into real life in space (velcro is key!) can’t help but be exciting and Hadfield’s positivity and genuine wonder at what he sees out of the International Space Station is infectious. More than anything this is a self-help book – his description of trying to be a ‘zero’ (neither positively or negatively impacting situations) shows that super-humans can check their ego at the door, something we could all learn from.
Beegu – Alexis Deacon
My adult infatuation with picture books began with Beegu. The illustrations are stunning, and the story of an alien being accepted, and not, on earth is heart-melting.
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
This is not an original choice, but there is no way it couldn’t be included. Hilarious and packed with ideas that were well before their time.
Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth – Frank Cotterell Boyce and Steven Lenton
A wonderful adventure featuring Laika (the first dog to orbit the earth) and an alien called Sputnik.