Brow Beat

David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” Gets Turned into a Kid’s Book

When I was growing up, Labyrinth was my favorite movie—it’s probably still my favorite movie—so I happen to think David Bowie + kids is a no-brainer equation. But I’m not the only person in the blogosphere who’s fallen hard for illustrator Andrew Kolb’s latest project: a children’s book based on David Bowie’s 1969 classic song, “Space Oddity.” How come now one realized before now that Major Tom made for a perfect storybook hero?

Image courtesy of Andrew Kolb.

You can read the whole thing in PDF form here (make sure to check out the faux copyright page).


The cheerful, nursery-color images make Major Tom’s plight feel that much more desolate—this may very well be, as io9 put it, “the saddest children’s book ever.”

Kolb’s jazzy, mid-century aesthetic is more reminiscent of the Mad Men Yourself” game than the trippy visuals of Bowie’s own “Space Oddity” video—a startling reminder that only four years separate the action in the latest season of Mad Men, with its proper suits and wasp-waisted dresses, from the release of David Bowie, the proggy album “Space Oddity” appeared on.

In an email, Kolb says of his book’s incongruous visuals: “Mr. Bowie’s song told such a vivid story that I wanted to complement the text rather than fight with it … While some have said the style doesn’t naturally suit the material, I like to think that it’s the juxtaposition of content to imagery that creates the interest.”

Kolb writes that he’s “keen to make this a reality,” so publishers looking for the next Go the Fuck to Sleep should contact him here.

For more adult-friendly kid’s culture, check out these Brow Beat posts:

When High Art Finds its Inner Child

Kids’ Books to Read after Your Kids Go to Sleep