Wednesday 13 January 2021

Give Me Some Space

Give Me Some Space by Philip Bunting (Scholastic) HB RRP $19.99 ISBN 9781760972356 

Reviewed by Nikki M Heath

Una is obsessed with space. She’s determined to get there, and isn’t interested in waiting to satisfy the requirements of the astronaut program. But what will she discover when she manages to escape Earth’s atmosphere?

In this story about space, the concluding pages may take some by surprise, using the platform to turn the audience’s gaze inward in a manner reminiscent of Oliver Jeffers’ Here We Are. Una is a plucky protagonist and it is satisfying to see her story come full circle.

This is the official National Simultaneous Storytime book for 2021, but as with many Bunting creations, its value is in far more than the main narrative text. The pages are peppered with in-jokes for Bunting’s fans as well as science and space-related facts expressed in relatable ways. Some of the vocab is challenging, and while this doesn’t detract from the story, it does mean that early readers will probably find this too much of a stretch on their own.

 One of Australia’s most distinctive picture book creators, Bunting’s illustrative style is immediately recognisable for a reason. The colourful, humorous graphics play just as much of a role in telling the tale as does the text.

An out-of-this world story for fans of Philip Bunting, science, space, or the world around us. Accessible to littlies from age 3 years, but layers of content and language mean it will be of interest well into the mid-to-late primary years.

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