Philip Bunting, Give me some space!, Scholastic Australia, December 2020, 24 pp., RRP $19.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781760972356
Did you know that Philip Bunting’s Give me some space! has been announced as the official story chosen for ALIA’s National Simultaneous Storytime in 2021, to be celebrated across Australia and New Zealand on Wednesday 19 May 2021 at 11:00am? The Australian Library and Information Association, along with Scholastic Australia, the Australian Space Agency and the Office of the Chief Scientist, has arranged for the book to be read by the astronauts from the International Space Station.
It is a story about Una, who has been fascinated by all things astronomical since she was small. As she is merely an astronaut-in-waiting, she hatches a plan to go into space dressed in her goldfish’s bowl for a helmet, a hand-me-down snow suit and ski gloves and some white ugg boots of her Mum’s. She is determined to find life in space and this she does – but in an unexpected way.
Philip Bunting’s instantly recognisable picture books have been long- and short-listed for multiple awards. This one about space contains a lot of factual information and vocabulary about astronomy in an entertaining storyline. As per the illustrator’s usual style, it is well-designed and uses page space and colour effectively. Those pages where Una is in space have dark backgrounds whereas when she is at home, they are lighter. There are also jokes which adults will appreciate.
Here’s hoping that many participants will sign up for National Simultaneous Storytime this year and enjoy the reading and activities organised from the International Space Station.
Reviewed by Lynne Babbage