Reader Reviewed The Usborne Official Astronaut's Handbook by Louie Stowell

The Usborne Official Astronaut's Handbook

Written by Louie Stowell
Illustrated by Roger Simo
Part of the Handbooks Series

11+ readers   Summer Reading/Activity    Fascinating Facts   9+ readers   eBooks   
Download an extract Add to wishlist Share this book

The Lovereading4Kids comment

One of our Books of the Year 2015 - This book, with a Foreword by Tim Peake who in December 2015 became the first British astronaut to go to the International Space station, should go to the top of any must-have list for young children interested in space travel. It’s packed with fascinating information on everything from what to study to help you become an astronaut, to the special training astronauts undergo, rocket science and how shuttles get into space, and what it’s like to live on the International Space Station. Of course it explains how astronauts go to the loo, but the sections on what happens to human stomachs in space is just as icky and interesting! The information is very well presented, and despite the conversational tone there’s no talking down. After all, the children reading this book could become fully fledged astronauts in the 2030s. Inspiring stuff! ~ Andrea Reece

Stop press...

Tim Peake, European Space Agency astronaut and the first Brit to join the International Space Station this autumn, has written a Foreword to this fascinating book -

"This exciting guide will tell you a bit more about what it’s like to live and work in space... and why getting there and back is such a tough job... Good luck on your journey and maybe I’ll see you in space, one day… this guide is a really great place to start". Read the complete Foreword here. Tim was the first British astronaut to embark on a mission to the International Space Station - he went in December 2015 for a 6 month stint - and in addition the handbook is published in association with the UK Space Agency so rest assured what kids learn from it will be spot on.

Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review a sample pamphlet of this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Benjy Randall, age 11 - 'A really cool and fun book that lets you see into the life of an astronaut.'
  • Max Shearer, age 10 - 'Reading this book was a whole mini space experience on its own!'
  • Nathan Carey, age 10 - 'I think this book will make you excited about going into space.'
  • Richard Nae, age 9 - 'If you ever wanted to go into space then this is the book for you.'
  • Alicia Swiercicka, age 10 - 'This book made me feel like I really wanted to train to be an astronaut.'
  • Rachel Zinkin, age 8 - 'I don't normally read non-fiction but after reading this I do. I really enjoyed it.'
  • Holly Wilkins, age 11 - 'For wannabe astronauts or space enthusiasts or anyone wanting to know a little more about space.'
  • Tomasz Hawryszczuk, age 10 - 'This sample handbook was epic! I have already got my Mum to order the full book. Highly recommend to any budding astronauts!'
  • Elizabeth Bridgeman, age 8 - 'This book is amazing. It tells me all about spaceships and space. My fave page is working on the ISS because it is amazing. This is so cool I want the proper book.'
  • Alexander Bisland, age 9 - 'I won’t be a good astronaut because I need to be comfy and can’t live in small spaces! I can’t wait for the official book to come out.'
  • Daniel Bisland age 7 - 'I like the footnotes that give you little snippets of information which will be more detailed in the real book, e.g. how they pee and poo! Also, I like the colourful illustrations.'
  • Dylan Sweet, age 11 - 'This sample was very informative..I learnt facts about astronauts, rockets, equipment in space, space food and jobs you can do other than astronauts...I can’t wait to read the complete book.'
  • Emily Lonsdale, age 9 - 'We liked it because the book reads like it’s you that’s going into space and has lots of lovely pictures to help you imagine things as well as a load of facts we didn't know.'
  • Sam Harper, age 11 - 'I learnt loads and laughed lots with this book. A fun and informative read.'


The Usborne Official Astronaut's Handbook by Louie Stowell

Discover how you become an astronaut, the training you must undertake, how you travel into space and what you do when you're up there.

With a foreword from ESA astronaut Tim Peake, the first British astronaut to embark on a mission to the International Space Station. Published to coincide with Tim's ISS mission in November 2015, which is sure to inspire a whole generation of children, much as the moon landings did in the 1960s and '70s. This is a whole new era of space exploration and this book features the latest and most accurate information, as it is written in conjunction with experts from the UK Space Agency.


A fun, fact-packed and practical guide to launching your interstellar career! - Booktrust A fascinating guide for budding astronauts. - The Guardian Full of tips from real-life astronauts on how to steer a rocket or spacewalk. A perfect fact book for budding space explorers. - The Daily Telegraph Given that it costs about GBP300 million per ISS mission, we reckon GBP6.99 is a highly cost-effective way of learning how to train for, get to and live in space for kids - without actually going there - Mostly Books This book should go to the top of any must-have list for young children interested in space travel - Lovereading4kids 'Children who fancy a career as an astronaut... will love The Usborne Official Astronaut's Handbook, which gives you the lowdown on qualifications, the horrors of G-force and how to go to the loo in the International Space Station (into a kind of vacuum cleaner, apparently). It's full of good practical stuff' - The Spectator This brilliant guide will tell you everything you need to know about becoming an astronaut and explains what life is like for space explorers. From training tips to spacewalk hints, it's packed with real-life astronaut knowledge! - National Geographic Kids A great non-fiction book, full of information for all space lovers. The children found it fun to read as well as educational due to the illustrations and funny comments. It would certainly inspire children - Practical Preschool and Primary Teacher Awards 'The essential book for would-be astronauts.' - Books for Keeps

About the Author

Louie Stowell

Louie Stowell writes books about all kinds of things for Usborne, from fantastical stories about talking trees and enchanted castles to books about astronomy and space.

She lives – and always has lived – in London and likes to draw cartoons in her spare time. She believes that television doesn’t actually rot your brain, just bad television, and that the next Doctor Who should be a woman. She likes reading comics and thinks Asterix has the best puns of any book ever (especially the two Roman soldiers called “Sendervictorius and Appianglorius”).

More books by this author

Loading similar books...

Other Formats

Book Info


128 pages
Interest Age: 9+


Louie Stowell
More books by Louie Stowell


Usborne Publishing Ltd

Publication date

6th January 2015




You give me age appropriate ideas of books I can read and buy for the children and find out what other children their age think of them too.

Katie Lonsdale

We love Lovereading4kids because they put books in front of us we wouldn’t otherwise have read. They make us more adventurous readers!

Emily Jacques

I think Lovereading4kids is an amazing company because of the friendly staff and the fabulous chance to read great books before publication.

Adam Graham

This company is amazing; not only is it is a great opportunity to get books and review them but everyone is so friendly and supportive!

Jemma Rubens, age 10

I am so pleased to have signed my kids up as they are reading a much wider range of books and even choosing books out of their comfort zone.

Angela East

We love Lovereading as my 5 year old loves to read new books before anyone else has a chance, she says it makes reading exciting!

Tracey Chorley

I love finding new books to read. My mummy and me look at the new ones coming out. I have written reviews of some of them!

Jessica Cobbin – age 7

LoveReading4Kids is a modern and creative way of emphasising the value and importance of books in this digital age #booksforlife

Amrit Bunet – Teen

Lovereading 4 schools