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With the touchdown of the Mars Rover Perseverance on February 18th, now is a perfect time to get your young scientists excited about space with a collection of children’s books all about the red planet! I’ve rounded up a list of 15 fantastic books all about Mars, the Mars Rovers, and space travel that will pique the curiosity of your future space explorers! Get ready to read all about Mars!

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Interested in a book on my list? Just click the title to view it on Amazon! Any purchases you make on Amazon help me support my family (at no additional cost to you!) Thanks and happy reading!

Picture Books About Mars:

  1. Mars! Earthlings Welcome by Stacy McAnulty

Told from the point of view of Mars, this is a great introductory book for younger kids with an interest in outer space. Great for kids with shorter attention spans or parents who want to introduce non-fiction ideas in a non-threatening way (ie – shorter pages!)

2. Curiosity: The Story of a Mars Rover by Markus Motum

This story is told from the point of view of the Curiosity Rover, that touched down on Mars in 2012. (And it’s adorable – and fact-filled too!)

3. You Are the First Kid on Mars by Patrick O’Brien

This book will inspire your child to DREAM big! What would it look like to travel to Mars? What would the rocket be like that made the trip? What would a colony on Mars look like? This book is full of great illustrations and chock-full of scientific information.

4. Rover Throws a Party: Inspired by NASA’s Curiosity on Mars by Kristin L. Gray

On Rover’s anniversary on Mars, he throws a party – tired of being alone. (Did you know NASA actually programmed Curiosity to hum “Happy Birthday” on its 1 year anniversary? True story!) What I love about this book is the way it so seamlessly blends a cute story with tons of factual information.

5. Welcome to Mars: Making a Home on the Red Planet by Buzz Aldrin and Marianne Dyson

This book goes beyond what a visit to Mars would look like – and delves into what it would take to establish an actual colony on Mars. (Bonus cool points that an actual astronaut pioneer co-authored the book!)

6. National Geographic Readers: Mars

This Level 3 reader is a great way to get kids interested in non-fiction text. The illustrations and images are top-notch!

7. Life on Mars by Jon Agee

A completely fictional story about an astronaut, some cupcakes, and a hungry martian. A great way to spark some interest in outer space and space exploration.

8. The Mighty Mars Rovers: The Incredible Adventures of Spirit and Opportunity by Elizabeth Rusch

This book tells the story of the rovers, Spirt and Opportunity – both of which launched in 2003 on missions to discover if Mars had water that ever supported life. While there is a lot of small print, kids will enjoy the pictures.

9. Red Rover: Curiosity on Mars

BEAUTIFULLY illustrated and a perfect book for younger space enthusiasts (who may not be able to sit through long pages of text and factual information!)

10. Mars Rover Rescue by Andrew Rader

Written by real-life aerospace engineer and SpaceX explorer, this book features an adorable crew of animal astronauts sent to Mars to find the missing Mars rover. Of course, they’ll learn all about the red planet along the way. Super cute.

11. Hey-Ho, to Mars We’ll Go!: A Space-Age Version of “The Farmer in the Dell by Susan Lendroth

Preschoolers and kindergartners love to sing – and this story lends itself to singing and chanting along. Great way to spark curiosity and interest in Mars.

12. Mission to Mars by Dr. Franklin M. Branley

We love the “Let’s Read and Find Out” series – and this book is no exception. Great information presented in an approachable and enjoyable way.

13. Pedro Goes to Mars by Fran Manushkin

Written by author of the Katie Woo series, Pedro Goes to Mars is part of a larger “first chapter book” series. In the book, Pedro imagines life on Mars as he completes a report for school.

Books About the Space Program

  1. What is NASA? by Sarah Fabiny

We LOVE this series!

2. Space Exploration for Kids: A Junior Scientist’s Guide to Astronauts, Rockets, and Life in Zero Gravity by Bruce Betts Ph.D.

Jam packed with a fantastic timeline, glossary, information, and photographs. Perfect for a kiddo interested in the space program.

For more information about the Perseverance rover, visit https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/. (There are so many fun things to explore on the NASA website right now!)

Stay curious and happy reading!

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