Kids are obsessed with stories of outer space, spaceships and aliens. Here are some books that will fire their imagination.
Aliens Love Underpants! by Claire Freedman, illustrated by Ben Cort (Age: 3+)
This is a fun read aloud for little kids about aliens discovering underpants on planet earth and becoming obsessed with them, as they pick them up from the drying line and fly around with them.
The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers (Age: 4+)
From the much-loved children’s author comes a tale of friendship between a boy and an alien. When the former flies into space on a single-propeller airplane he finds at home, he makes an emergency landing on the moon and finds a Martian, who’s as frightened as he is. A magical and imaginative tale of friendship.
ET the Extra-Terrestrial by Kim Smith, illustrated by Melissa Mathison (Age: 4+)
This is an illustrated version of the classic 1982 film, with retro-style illustrations, ready to charm a new generation with its magical story and lovable characters.
Aliens Are Coming! by Meghan McCarthy (Age: 3+)
This picture book introduces kids to the time Orson Welles narrated HG Wells’ War of the Worlds on radio, the night before Halloween in 1938, sending listeners into panic, as they thought the country was being taken over by Martians.
My Sister is an Alien! by Rachel Bright (Age: 6+)
Alfie is obsessed with outer space and when his baby sister arrives, he notices she’s a bit odd…could she be an alien? He must take her to the moon, where she probably belongs, so that she can stop being miserable and crying all the time.
The Truth About Martians by Melissa Savage (Age: 6+)
Martians don’t really exist or that’s what Mylo believes till a flying saucer lands next to his family farm, with a strange voice asking for help. As Mylo tries to be brave, like his older brother Obie who died a year before, it takes him on a voyage of discovery across the universe.
Even Aliens Need Snacks by Matthew McElligott (Age: 4+)
In this follow up to Even Monsters Need Haircuts by author and illustrator, the young monster barber wins galaxy-wide acclaim for his culinary skills. His snacks may make humans queasy, but aliens love them, queuing for the treats in their spaceships.
Earth to Clunk by Pam Smallcomb, illustrated by Joe Berger (Age: 5+)
It starts with a simple school assignment, but when a boy sends a letter to Clunk of the planet Quazar, accompanied by his older sister, he realises it’s fun to have an alien pen pal.
How to Sell Your Family to the Aliens by Paul Noth (Age: 8+)
Ten-year-old Happy Conklin Jr has to shave thrice a day thanks to his dad’s crazy inventions. His five sisters are also plagued with problems. However, his dad’s fortunes are controlled by his dictatorial Grandma, who lives in a huge mansion, while they have to exist in the basement. As Happy tries to get rid of his grandma so he can have a normal life, he ends up selling his entire family to the aliens. How can he get them back? A madcap adventure by New Yorker cartoonist Paul Noth.
Ada Lace, Take Me to Your Leader by Emily Calandrelli, illustrated by Tamson Weston (Age: 6+)
Third-grader Ada Lace is an inventor and loves to tinker with her robot George. As she tries to build a ham radio, she and her friend hear a sinister message during a sleepover, which goes, “Release the swarm!” Is there an alien invasion coming?
Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat by Emily Chenoweth, Johnny Marchiano and illustrated by Robb Mommaerts (Age: 10+)
Klawde is not a regular cat, but an alien emperor, who has been exiled to Earth. He’s cruel, brilliant and he has an army of warlike cats at his command. He’s also on his way to becoming Raj Banerjee’s best-friend.
The Alien Next Door 1: The New Kid by A.I. Newton and illustrated by Anjan Sarkar (Age: 6+)
In the first book of the series, Zeke, an alien boy tries to fit into school on yet another planet, while a classmate Harris, who is obsessed with science fiction, suspects there’s something going on.
The Babysitter from Another Planet by Stephen Savage (Age: 4+)
In this throwback to Mary Poppins and ET, the kids get an out of this world babysitter who makes mundane tasks fun. When she leaves, they can’t wait for her to visit them again.
Your Alien Returns by Tammi Sauer (Age: 3+)
In this sequel to Your Alien, it’s now the human boy’s turn to visit his best-friend, the extraterrestrial’s planet. Can he fit in?
Planet of the Penguins by David LaRochelle and illustrated by Mike Gorman (Age: 9+)
In the second book of the series, Math meets science fiction as Lamar and Lexie head off on an adventure to help their new alien friend, Fooz, who’s planet is overflowing with penguins, turning the terrified inhabitants into stone. Can they solve equations and read map coordinates accurately to save the planet?
Why Haven’t We Seen Aliens? by Stephen Rickard (Age: 8+)
How come we’ve never encountered aliens? Maybe we were “out” when they visited? This non-fiction book speculates light-hearted, yet informative as it tries to answer the big questions.