To space and beyond: Astro-themed children's books we're loving!

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Lockdown has left us yearning to break new frontiers. (iStock)
Lockdown has left us yearning to break new frontiers. (iStock)

Local online bookstore Ethnikids was founded by five moms set on empowering African children by making diverse reading materials easily accessible.

Here one of the founding members, Khumo Tapfumaneyi, shares her top picks of the new trend in local children's books. 


Find free resources for little readers in our STORYTIME hub

The year has come with its fair share of drama, but also a great new trend in the South African children's book market: space-themed books. 

We are loving all the options now available and in an interesting way, the theme makes a lot of sense.  

Lockdown has left us yearning to break new frontiers beyond our planet – and we'll settle for the wonderfully imagined worlds created by local authors. 

Here's a look at some of the great new releases: 

Thabo the Space Dude: Logbook 1 (Last days on Earth) by Lori-Ann Preston

Book cover

Poor Thabo is horrified when his so-called ‘loving’ parents inform him that his family is moving to Mars!

Could his life get any worse? Apparently so since his parents are forcing him to document his last days on Earth in this logbook. Will he survive Mars Boot Camp? 

Will he be able to smuggle his two best friends on board the space shuttle? And, most importantly, will he manage to sneak a farewell kiss from Mbali?

This book is great for readers aged 8 to 11 years old, and book 2 of this fantastic series is also about to become available.

The adventures of Tshedza by Lutendo Muthala and Okay Blek

Book cover

This short storybook follows the journey of Tshedza who overcomes her fears to believing in herself.

She eventually becomes an astronaut who goes on to explore space and all its wonders. Includes a QR code that leads children to an animated alphabet recital.

Moon Girl by 11-year old child author Imaan Bhana

Book cover

The book is about Moon Girl who lives peacefully with her Moon Mother in the sky.

They are both aware of their eventual life changes, and even though they don't see each other often - they remain close. Moon Girl feels lonely at times, but then she makes a friend and learns many life lessons along the way.

Great for readers aged 8 to 11 years old.

Astro Girl by Ken Wilson-Max

Book cover

Astro Girl written by Ken Wilson-Max has also recently won the 2020 STEAM Children's Book prize for Early Years Book.

This picture book has been translated into isiZulu, isiXhosa, and Afrikaans for the South African market.

It deals with family dynamics, career ambitions, gender politics and race in a beautiful story format.

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