The Spacesuit by Alison Donald Review

Illustrated by Ariel Landy


How a seamstress helped put a man on the moon.

Reading is not only a gateway to learning but is great fun for pleasure. The older children in our family love their books, especially ones from Maverick Books, and for the most part find them fun and engaging with their bold, bright and vivid illustrations. For the most part they have been reading the picture books, but they are getting older now and are moving on to chapter books. So when asked if we wanted to review The Spacesuit by Alison Donald (author of The New LiBEARian and AdoraBULL), while definitely suitable for the younger ones, I didn’t think that the older ones would have any interest – I was wrong! Inspired by real people and events they were intrigued, as was I.

The Spacesuit is based on the incredible story of the spacesuit used in the Apollo 11 mission to the moon and the first moon walk. Rather than tell the story of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, it focuses on Eleanor “Ellie” Foraker, a seamstress who helped create the spacesuits and forever change the world.

We really enjoyed this book. While space-themed, at first glance you would expect it to be about men and space missions, but it about the women and engineers behind the scenes. It is one of the first Apollo 11 related books (currently celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first moon walk) to feature and focus on women.

While it is a picture book for a younger audience, it is packed with facts such as how many people have currently walked on the moon (more than I thought), how many custom fitted spacesuits each Apollo astronaut had, when the first woman entered space (1963) and lots more to keep a bigger audience engaged.

It has been beautifully illustrated by Ariel Landy. The illustrations really do show off the story and help children see how things happen.

The kids thoroughly enjoyed it and led to lots of space-themed questions. Before reading it, I thought a book about a seamstress and space would be quite sexist, but it isn’t and has been extremely well written, mixing the facts with the authors short story. It even has a QR code so that children can find out more.

While we love Maverick Books already, this has to be our favourite so far, maybe because it is based on a true story. Children learn about space and moon landings at school but this book gives a small insight into the people behind the scenes with Eleanor Foraker and her team of seamstresses and engineers that created the spacesuit.

A great story that will educate and hopefully inspire girls to get interested in space (and not just the sewing side). It gives another dimension to the space stories we are used to hearing, and true!

Rating: 5/5

RRP: £7.99 (Paperback)

For more information, visit Available to buy from Amazon here.

DISCLOSURE: I was provided with a free copy of this book for the purposes of writing a honest and impartial review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This review uses an affiliate link which I may receive a small commission from if you purchase through the link.

Click here to read more reviews of books by Alison Donald