Shelly Unwin grew up in a tiny English village where she was surrounded by animals, the occasional pixie fairy, and her best friend Cracker, a feisty palomino pony.
She is the author of the You’re... series, illustrated by Katherine Battersby, and Blast Off!, illustrated by Ben Wood. Shelly loves that she plays with words all week and is able to call it ‘work'.
To find out more about Shelly and her books, visit:
Are you ready to explore? 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 . . .
Rocket through the solar system in this funny, fact-filled whirl around the planets. Join two junior astronauts as they discover what makes each planet unique and what might happen if you were to get too close. 'You couldn't land on Mercury - the heat would burn your bum!'
Written in rollicking verse and beautifully illustrated, Blast Off! is an enticing mix of narrative and information. The story is perfectly pitched for preschool and early primary school children who are brimming with curiosity about the world around them, while bonus fact pages add a little extra depth for children (and adults) who want to know more. Blast Off! is out 30 April, published by Penguin Random House Australia.
Find Blast Off! at:
The drawing that inspired the episode:
The One More Page Team in Space - by Jules Faber
There was a spaceship that blasted off but almost never returned!
Beep! Beep! Beep! An alarm sounded on the bridge. The crew rushed to see what the problem was. “Oh no! The fuel is running out!” screamed Captain Amy. But that wasn’t the main problem... there was an alien bird flying towards the spaceship! They didn’t know what to do.
Boom! Crash! The alien bird hit the space ship and tried to break the glass. Then they saw broken planets in the distance. “That alien bird must be strong AND dangerous!”
“Oh no! If the Alien bird breaks the engine we won’t get back home” said Captain Amy.
“What should we do? We have just enough fuel to return to Earth and that alien bird is slower than our rocket!” said Pilot Pat.
“Hit the button!” screamed Captain Amy. “Let’s go home!”
Returning to Earth in 10... 9... 8... 7... 6... 5... 4... 3... 2... 1! flashed across the spaceship’s console. “Whoop, whoop! Yay! We are home!” cheered the crew!
The next day Captain Amy got a call from the news channel inviting them to go talk about how they survived in space.
Pilot Pat played by Benjamin Connolly
Captain Amy played by Nat
Ring, ring! Ring, ring! sounded astronaut Nick’s phone one sunny morning. His dog, Max, was barking at it. “Sssshhhhh!” Nick shushed Max.
“Hello?” answered the astronaut. “Hello astronaut Nick, this is Captain Susan. We have another space mission for you,” she said. “Ok, I’m on my way!” said Nick, and then he switched off his phone.
“Max, you have to stay at home, ok?” said the astronaut to his pup.” Whimper, whimper! whined Max in sadness. “I know you‘ll miss me,” said Nick, “but you know you can’t come to space with me!”
Nick drove to NASA’s H.Q. “Hello Nick, we need you to go to Mars,” said Captain Susan. “What!” shouted Nick. “This is a dream come true!” he said with joy.
“5…4…3…2…1... Blast off!” shouted a staff member at NASA. “Now launching!” said another one of the staff. “Ok, let’s do this!” shouted a very excited astronaut Nick! BOOM! The rocket blasted into space.
Woohoo! Nick was floating around because everything was so light inside the rocket. CLANG! CLASH! “Huh” said Nick, and he floated to where the loud sound was … “Ah-Ha!” said the astronaut. Max had sneaked onto the spacecraft (when his owner was distracted during take off) and was now floating around the kitchen! Whimper, Whimper! yelped the pup. “It’s ok Max, you can stay” said Nick, dressing his dog in a space suit (at NASA they have animal space clothes too!). Together they completed the mission and returned to Earth.
Astronaut Nick played by Wayne Bassett
Captain Susan played by Alana Birtles
Max the Dog played by Nat
“Hi! I’m Maximus and I’m so excited because I’m going to tell you guys about my crazy space launch on today’s Blog. Right now, I’m typing this at my friend’s house!”
So it all started when I went to NASA for a special tour and I sneaked outside to check out the new rockets. “Hey! You can’t touch those! We’re still finishing them! said an engineer. “Yeah! Yeah! Got it!” I shouted back. But as I walked past, I ‘accidently’ pressed the big red button and that’s when it happened... I was launched into space!
BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! My heart was beating like 10 thousand times a minute! I thought my scared heart was going to shoot out of me! Then I looked out of the window and…. THERE WAS A METEORITE! I tried to turn the steering wheel but it was too late. CRASH! The meteorite hit the rocket with a huge explosion.
Suddenly I felt weird tentacles come up behind me and when I turned around I was shocked to see an alien carrying me! And then a flash of green light came from AN ALIEN MANSION! That’s when I saw the gigantic, scruffy haired alien wearing a sparkling, golden crown (so I knew he was the king!). He took a slow, long look at me before stomping towards me. I was so scared... I tried kicking, slipping and wiggling but I couldn’t get away.
FLASH! Red light filled the sky. It was NASA! I was so relieved. All the aliens were so distracted that I slipped myself out of the alien’s tentacles, ran towards the ladder that NASA had dropped for me and found myself back home on Earth.
And that guys is the story of my crazy spaceship launch! I still have nightmares about what would have happened if NASA hadn’t come to help me.
Maximus played by Haiden Walker
Mr Karl who helped put it all together and who is without doubt the greatest teacher on this planet, and maybe even other planets!
Christian, Valentina and Hsu and all the other kids at Westall PS who helped bring these awesome stories to life!
Kate recommends The Pyramid Puzzle starring Olive Black by Alex Miles.
Liz recommends Australia Illustrated by Tania McCartney.
Nat recommends When I'm Older written by Neil Flory & illustrated by Somak Chaudhary.
On this episode, we give a shout out to Story Time From Space.
“What you cannot imagine, you cannot do”
Now imagine Astronauts on the Space Station reading stories to and conducting science experiments for the children of Earth as the world rotates below.
Imagine no more…it’s Story Time from Space!
Story Time from Space is a project of the Global Space Education Foundation. They have sent their first set of children’s books to the International Space Station! While in space, astronauts are videotaping themselves reading these books to the children of Earth.
Check them out at:
On Liz's radar is ... bookish things in Melbourne!
KidLitVic - Meet the Publishers was established to enable new, emerging and experienced writers and illustrators the opportunity to meet and hear from industry professionals about publishing children's and YA books in the current Australian market.
Find out more at: www.kidlitvic.com
Scribbles is an online creative writing course you can return to over and over, run by children's author Jen Storer. It aims to inspire you and deepen your understanding of storytelling.
Find out more at:
The Little Bookroom
The Little Bookroom is a children's book shop located in Melbourne's Carlton North, first established in 1960. It has a thriving events space, frequently home to book launches (such as Lucinda Gifford's Dogasaurus
launch on 20 May).
Find out more at:
Head to our WIN page and let us know in 25 words or less what you would do if you could spend one day lost in space. Enter your answer (or ask a parent to)
by 5pm Tuesday 29 May 2018, and we’ll choose our favourite. You could win a copy of LOVE WAS HIDING by Jennifer Loakes and Jess Racklyeft and NOT
SO SCARY BEAR by Ruth Waters, both thanks to Windy Hollow Books.
Here is just an example of what Kate's kids have been missing out on.....OMG!
To illustrator Marianne Khoo for designing the One More Page podcast logo and other associated images.
Find us online at:
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Do you have any feedback or suggestions for future episodes? Want to share with us what you’re reading? Email us at email@example.com or send us a message through our CONTACT page.