5, 4, 3, 2, 1…BLAST OFF!

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Blast Off! by Shelly Unwin
Illustrations by Ben Wood
Published by Penguin Books
Date: 30 April 2018
R.R.P. $19.99

Are you ready to go on a space adventure?  Around the planets and past the sun before orbiting back to earth?

Do you want to count backwards…

                    5, 4, 3, 2, 1…BLAST OFF!

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You can go on this adventure and learn all about space and our planets with this informative and fun book by Shelly Unwin and Ben Wood.  This isn’t like your average picture book, there is a funny story that is jam packed full of facts, with even more interesting information at the end about our Solar System and Apollo 11.  The best thing about this book is that humour can be found on almost every page…

‘Mercury is mega-hot and closest to the sun
You couldn’t visit Mercury, the heat would burn your bum!’

Blast OFF! is aimed at preschool and early primary school children, and while this is the age that would understand it most I also feel that the story can be adapted to be shared with toddlers as well.  It teaches us that we are never to young to learn about the world around us. This book is certainly going to help children retain information about our Solar System because it will get read over and over again.

The illustrations are whimsical and Ben Wood has certainly captured the humour through his art.  Fire coming out of the dogs bottom, glasses flying in the atmosphere and the moon getting bumped into, are just some ways he has captured the funny side of things.   He has also illustrated the personalities of the planets and characters well, both adding a lot of value to the story.  At the bottom of most of the pages is the added little gem that I almost missed.  There is a strip with all the planets in order, and has an arrow pointing to the planet that is being talked about on that particular page.  I find this is a clever way to add more education to the book without needing to add more pages.

What I love most about this book is that Shelly has found a seamless way to bring together a story and educational information that suits a variety of age groups, this isn’t easy to do.  What I see every tine I open the pages of Blast OFF! is creativity at its very best and the work of someone who understands children and their reading needs.

There isn’t anything I do not like about this book, it has been done so well.  I would love to see more books like this done by Shelly and Ben and could quite easily see a series of these being done on different topics.  I certainly recommend this book and feel that it would be great to share with children of a variety of ages.

Are you ready to explore?  Blast OFF!is available now so get on down to the bookshop or your local library to go on an awesome space adventure.


More adventures can be found at the Penguin Website where you will find some fun colouring sheets and a poster.


Thank you Penguin books for the opportunity to read and honesty review this book.

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