A Universe of Early Readers

A cartoony image of a child in a flying saucer amongst the stars. 

This recommended reading list provides a broad list of books related to this summer’s theme of space. This list includes audio, braille, and large print titles and is recommended for those reading at a preschool through 2nd grade reading level up to a kindergarten through 3rd grade reading level.


To order any of these titles, contact the library by email, mail or phone. You may also request these titles online through WolfPAC. Identification numbers for braille books begin with BR, large print books begin with LP, and audiobooks begin with DB or DBC. All audiobooks are linked to the Braille and Audio Reading Download site (BARD) for downloading.


Preschool to Grade 2


The Babysitter from another Planet by Stephen Savage


Left with an alien babysitter while their parents go out for the evening, two children embark on a remarkable night that is reminiscent of classic science-fiction stories.


The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield


Read by Wendy Devilbiss. Reading time: 7 minutes.

Young Chris loves pretending he's a brave astronaut exploring the universe. Only one problem--at night, he's afraid of the dark. Only when he watches the moon landing on TV does he realize how exciting the unknown can be. Inspired by the childhood of real-life astronaut Chris Hadfield.    


Don't Let the Pigeon Stay up Late! by Mo Willems


Read by Rachel Glass. Reading time: 7 minutes.

It's getting dark out, but one stubborn Pigeon is NOT going to bed! Toddlers and parents will love this interactive bedtime romp which puts readers back in the driver's seat, deflecting Pigeon's sly trickery as he tries to escape his inevitable bedtime. Will you let him stay up late?    


Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

BR 13012; 1 volume of print/braille

DB 24603

Read by Kay Bergen. Reading time: 2 minutes.



As a little bunny settles into bed, he bids good night to familiar objects in his room and even some outside.


Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker

BR 20020; 1 volume of print/braille

DB 74274

Read by Erik Sandvold. Reading time: 9 minutes.

Tough trucks work all day long puffing smoke, lifting big metal beams, and moving dirt at a construction site until they get tuckered out and go to sleep for the night.


Gravity by Jason Chin

BR 21071; 1 volume of print/braille

Explains the invisible force that keeps objects from floating away.


The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson.

BR 18041; 1 volume of print/braille

A soothing story about a child who reads a book before being tucked in for the night in a house full of moonlight. Caldecott Medal.


I Took the Moon for a Walk by Carolyn Curtis


Read by Wendy Devilbiss. Reading time: 4 minutes.            

A boy and the moon share a walk through his neighborhood.


If You were the Moon by Laura Purdie Salas


Read by Wendy Devilbiss. Reading time: 6 minutes.

What would you do if you were the moon? Do you think you would rest quietly in the night sky? Oh, no. The moon does so more than you might imagine! The moon spins like a twilight ballerina, it plays tug-of-war with the ocean, and it lights a pathway for baby sea turtles. Discover the many other roles the moon plays in this lyrical picture book.   


Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes

BR 16023; 1 volume of print/braille

When Kitten sees her first full moon, she thinks it is a bowl of milk in the sky. She ends up tired, wet, and hungry from trying to reach it and finally goes home, where a pleasant surprise awaits her. Caldecott Medal.


Life on Mars by Jon Agee.

BR 22019; 1 volume of print/braille in UEB 

A young astronaut travels to Mars in search of life and brings with him a gift of chocolate cupcakes. What he finds on the red planet is completely unexpected.


The Man in the Moon by William Joyce.


Read by Wendy Devilbiss. Reading time: 14 minutes.

When a newly orphaned baby in the moon makes friends with the children of Earth, he seeks a way to ward off their fears and nightmares.


Moon Rope a Peruvian Folktale = Un lazo a la luna : una leyenda peruana by  Lois Ehlert

DB 40759 (Spanish Language)

Read by María Pino. Reading time: 15 minutes.

Fox asks Mole to climb to the moon with him on a grass rope. But half way up, Mole lets go and falls back to earth. To hide his embarrassment from all the other animals, Mole hides in a deep tunnel and now comes out only at night. A Peruvian folktale in Spanish and in English.


The Napping House by Audrey Wood

BR 06117; 1 volume of print/braille


A snoring granny, a dreaming child, a dozing dog, a snoozing cat, and a slumbering mouse in the napping house are disturbed by a wakeful flea. A cumulative tale.


Night Animals by Gianna Marino


Read by Lesley LePage. Reading time: 4 minutes.

Possum is hiding from the sounds in the night, and his fear sets off a chain reaction in the other night animals.


Noisy Night by Mac Barnett

BR 22017; 1 volume of print/braille in UEB 

A glimpse into what a multilevel apartment building's occupants and their many nighttime noises are like.


Our Stars by Anne F. Rockwell


A simple introduction to the stars, planets, and outer space. A simple introduction to the stars, planets, and outer space. 1999.


Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

BR 07903; 1 volume of print/braille

DB 42932

Read by Mary Kane. Reading time: 8 minutes.


On a cold winter's night, under a bright full moon, a young girl and her pa trek into the woods to see the Great Horned Owl. Caldecott Medal.  


Reach for the Moon, Little Lion by Hildegard Muller


A little lion is teased by animals who tell him that real lions are so big that they can touch the moon with their paws, a claim that saddens the little lion until a wise raven helps him fool his tormentors. Translated by Grace Maccarone. 2017.


Stars by Mary Lyn Ray

DB 74511

Reading by Guy Williams. Reading time:  6 minutes.

Explores the wonder of stars both near and far, whether they are in the nighttime sky, on a wand making wishes come true, or in your pocket for those days when you don't feel shiny.


Kindergarten to Grade 3


Black Holes by Amanda Davis


Briefly describes the formation and composition of black holes and the forces connected with them. 1997.


Caroline's Comets: A True Story by Emily Arnold McCully


Caroline Herschel was the first woman to discover a comet and the first woman to be paid as a scientist. 2017.


Commander Toad and the Planet of the Grapes by Jane Yolen

DB 32119

Read by Barbara Caruso. Reading time: 13 minutes.

Commander Toad, brave and bright, and his top-notch crew land their spaceship, "Star Warts," on a new planet that seems the perfect place for a picnic. Commander Toad and Lt. Lily go out first to look around, only to be swallowed up by giant grapes. Will Doc Peeper, the ship's medical officer, be able to help them escape from the planet of grapes?


Counting on Katherine by Helaine Becker

BR 22340; 1 volume of print/braille in UEB.

DB 91759

Read by Gabriella Cavallero. Reading time: 19 minutes.

Introduces the boundary-breaking mathematician Katherine Johnson, whose passion for numbers at a young age led to a position at NASA, where she calculated moon landings and helped save the Apollo 13 mission. Highlights the challenges she faced as an African American and as a woman. 2018.


Extraterrestrials: Is There Life in Outer Space? by Amanda Davis


Briefly discusses the possibility of finding life on other planets. 1997.


Galaxy Zack series by Ray O’Ryan


Galaxy Zack. Books 1-4: Hello, Nebulon! ; Journey to Juno; the Prehistoric Planet; Monsters in Space! By Ray O'Ryan

DB 85357

Read by David Deboy. Reading time: 2 hours, 49 minutes.

LP003105; 115 p. (Book 1)

LP003106; 121 p. (Book 2)

LP003107; 116 p. (Book 3)

LP003108; 118 p. (Book 4)

Moving from Earth to the futuristic planet Nebulon in 2120, eight-year-old Zack is nervous about starting school and meeting people and aliens in Hello, Nebulon!. Compilation also includes Journey to Juno, The Prehistoric Planet, and Monsters in Space! Galaxy Zack series, books 1-4.


Galaxy Zack. Books 5-8 by Ray O'Ryan

DB 86671

Read by David Deboy.  Reading time: 2 hours, 42 minutes.

LP003109; 120 p. (Book 5)

LP003110; 121 p. (Book 6)

LP003111; 120 p. (Book 7)

LP003112; 119 p. (Book 8)

Books five through eight, written between 2013 and 2014, featuring a boy's adventures on planet Nebulon. In Three's a Crowd, Zack's best friend from Earth, Bert Jones, visits him for the weekend on Nebulon. Includes A Green Christmas!, A Galactic Easter!, and Drake Makes a Splash! Galaxy Zack series, books 5-8.


Galaxy Zack. Books 9-12 by Ray O'Ryan

DB 87538

Read by Joe Peck. Reading time: 2 hours, 28 minutes.

LP003113; 121 p. (Book 9)

LP003114; 119 p. (Book 10)

LP003115; 119 p. (Book 11)

LP003116; 119 p. (Book 12)    

Books nine through twelve, written between 2014 and 2015, featuring Zack's adventures on planet Nebulon. In The Annoying Crush, Zack tests an android, and she develops a crush on him. Also includes Return to Earth!, A Haunted Halloween, and Operation Twin Trouble. Galaxy Zack series, books 9-12.


Good Night Yoga: A Pose-by-Pose Bedtime Story by Mariam Gates

BR 21058; 1 volume of print/braille

Guide to hatha yoga for kids. Simple poses follow the natural world as it comes to rest at day's end.


Hand On Science Activities by Dr. Lillian A. Rankel and Marilyn D. Winograd

BR053829; 1 volume of print/braille in UEB.

Want to make Gummi Bears, slippery slime, yummy slushies, puffy paint, bird seed gardens, musical instruments, and more? This book contains 34 step-by-step experiments for blind youngsters to do at home with family and friends. Illustrated by Janet Malone. 2018.


Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

BR052330; 1 volume of print/braille in UEB.

Explores the previously uncelebrated but pivotal contributions of NASA's African American women mathematicians to America's space program, describing how Jim Crow laws segregated them despite their groundbreaking successes. Illustrated by Laura Freeman. Coretta Scott King Honor Book. 2018.


Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg

BR 05317; 1 volume of print/braille

DB 50700

Read by Laura Giannarelli. Reading time: 14 minutes.


Left on their own for an afternoon, two bored and restless children find more excitement than they bargained for in a mysterious and thrilling jungle adventure board game. Caldecott Medal. 1981.


Kid from Planet Z series by Nancy E. Krulik


Crash by Nancy E. Krulik

LP003426; 89 p.    

When Zeke Zander's spaceship crashes on Earth, he and his family must pretend to be humans until they can fix the ship and return home to Planet Z. But with antennae on their heads and a talking cat named Zeus, fitting in is easier said than done! Kid from Planet Z series, book 1. Illustrated by Louis Thomas. 2017.


Don't Sneeze! by Nancy E. Krulik

LP003427; 89 p.    

Second-grader Zeke Zander, an alien from Planet Z who is concealing his identity, must hide the fact that he has the zeebop flu, which is making his eyes leak green goo. Kid from Planet Z series, book 2. Illustrated by Louis Thomas. 2017.


Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca

DB 85036        

Read by Patrick Downer. Reading time: 41 minutes.

Overview of the Apollo 11 mission that sent the first astronauts to land on the Moon in the summer of 1969.


The Night World by Mordicai Gerstein

BR 21062; 1 volume of print/braille

Sylvie the cat persuades her boy to explore the darkness very late at night, where they are greeted by the shadows and other animals.


Our Solar System by Amanda Davis


Briefly describes the sun, moon and planets, as well as the force gravity that connects them. 1997.


Space Cat by Doug Cushman

BR053832; 1 volume of print/braille in UEB.

When Space Cat and Earl the robot encounter trouble with their space ship, they crash-land on an alien planet to search for more fuel. 2006.


Star Stuff: Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos by Stéphanie Roth Sisson

BR 21054; 1 volume of print/braille.

Biography of astronomer Dr. Carl Sagan (1934-1996) focuses on his passion for the cosmos, which he later shared with the public through television. Discusses how he helped assemble the material for Voyager Golden Records in hopes of one day communicating with extraterrestrials.


The Story of the Milky Way a Cherokee Tale by Joseph Bruchac

DB 43759

Read by Michael Kramer. Reading time: 10 minutes.


Long ago there were not many stars in the sky. And in those days the people depended on corn for most of their food. One day an elderly couple discovers someone has stolen some cornmeal. When the villagers try to stop the thief, their actions result in many more stars to light the night.


Sun Up, Sun Down by Gail Gibbons.

DB 22321

Read by Suzanne Toren. Reading time: 8 minutes.        

Simple text describes the characteristics of the sun and how it regulates life on earth.


What the Moon is Like by Franklyn Mansfield Branley

DB 60126

Read by Erin Jones. Reading time: 10 minutes.

Describes Earth's moon. Discusses the astronauts who have been to the moon's surface and what they found when they walked there. Includes learning activities. 1986.


Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton

DB 85191

Read by Ken Jackson. Reading time: 17 minutes.

Chronicles the life and achievements of Lonnie Johnson, a NASA engineer and inventor. Highlights range from his inquisitive childhood to his accidental invention of the Super Soaker water gun. 2016.


Zathura a Space Adventure by Chris Van Allsburg

DB 55280        

Read by Bruce Nelson. Reading time: 18 minutes.

While their parents are out for the evening, Walter and his brother, Danny, find a second board game in the Jumanji (DB 50700) box. This one forces the boys to stop quarreling and work together to survive dangers from spaceships and alien life forms.