Space flight illustrations were used as a "hook" to teach all kinds of things. In the 1960s it was the Space Race. In the 1950s it was identifying with all those television space heroes (like Tom Corbett from last week's post).
Building reading skills. Leila Armstrong and Rowena Hargrave. Wichita, Kan. : McCormick-Mathers Pub. Co., 143 p. 21 cm. 1951
The Building Reading Skills 6 book series was first used in 1951, but I can find re-prints and re-usage of it until the 1970s. These were the titles of the 1950's series:
And these were the titles in the 1971 listing I found: Level 1. Speed boat book.--Level 2. Streamliner book.--Level 3. Jet plane book.--Level 4. Rocket book.--Level 5. Atomic submarine book.--Level 6. Spaceship book. Slightly updated but with substantially the same content.
Really nothing about space flight at all except these tiny chapter header illustrations. They are a little like slices of a very tiny 1950s science fiction film.