Favourite facts about the human body, from the crew of Professor Astro Cat

Published on: 08 November 2018

Dr Dominic Walliman and Ben Newman are the childhood friends behind Astro Cat: a feline hero who is great at explaining complex scientific ideas. Here, the catty scientist and his friends share some facts about inner space – our bodies – that you'll want to tell everyone!

Professor Astro Cat’s Human Body Odyssey (Flying Eye Books), written by Dr Dominic Walliman and illustrated by Ben Newman, is on the Blue Peter Book Award shortlist for 2019!

See all the books on the Blue Peter shortlist

Professor Astro Cat is a series of non-fiction books for 7-11 year olds that explore outer space, inner space, and everywhere inbetween! In the Human Body Odyssey, Professor Astro Cat and his crew investigate how and why our bodies work.

Let’s meet the crew and find out their favourite facts, all learned on their latest adventure...

Professor Astro Cat's top fact

'All land animals on Earth, including humans, evolved from sea creatures. One reason we know this is because we are mostly made of salty water. Newborn babies are made up of 80 per cent water and adults are about 60 percent. So instead of living in the ocean, we now carry the ocean around inside us!'

Professor Astro Cat is a feline captain, teacher and born leader. A prestigious English physicist, Professor Astro Cat is an extraordinarily charismatic cat! The only thing that can match Astro Cat’s prodigious knowledge of space is his endless curiosity about the world around us and beyond. Professor Astro Cat is an infectiously enthusiastic teacher; he always seems to know the answer to the toughest and most unexpected questions. When there’s a question he can’t answer, he goes to any length to figure it out.

Astro Mouse's top fact

'Some bacteria are dangerous and can make us ill, but we have lots of harmless bacteria all over our bodies. In fact, the bacteria in your guts is vital in helping you digest your food.'

Astro Mouse is the Professor’s lifelong friend who gets easily sidetracked by cheese. Despite his size, Astro Mouse is very brave and will order everyone to "get behind him" when danger lies ahead. Astro Mouse is a connoisseur of fine cheeses and has a terrible habit of growing stinky cheese in the strangest places.

Felicity's top fact

'Your powerful heart pumps your blood around your body incredibly fast. So fast that a single red blood cell can travel around your body in less than 20 seconds! Whoosh!'

Felicity is a technical wizard and an extraordinary inventor. It is her creations that often allow everyone to learn in spectacular circumstances. Although always distracted while tinkering around the lab on a new invention, Felicity is a natural teacher. She’s liable to treat a crisis like a learning opportunity and will invite everyone present to offer solutions despite the danger. She’s simply unflappable!

Martha's top fact

'You humans have as many hairs on your body as a chimpanzee, except your hairs are a lot smaller.'

Martha is the bookworm of the group. This 9-year-old rabbit can be bossy and a bit of a teacher’s pet, but she also suffer moments of profound self-doubt. She’s devoted her entire life to becoming an astronaut, so she is a stickler for details and will often over-analyse situations.

Gilbert's top fact

'In your lifetime, your nose hair will grow around a whopping 6 feet or 1.8 metres. That is taller than most people. Quick, someone find for the nasal hair tweezers right now!'

Gilbert has no boundaries! This 7-year-old frog is constantly helping himself to things that aren’t his, asking the wrong questions, and pushing big red buttons that are clearly not meant to be pushed.

Evie's top fact

'Even though a cat is smaller than a human, they actually have more bones. A cat has 230 bones while an adult human only has 206. That is just one of the reasons that cats are better than dogs AND humans!'

Evie is the baby of the group (or kitten!) at just 5 years old. In a crisis, Evie can be unpredictable and unaware of the perils facing the team. So she is known as a very fearless character – even when she gets startled, it’s only a matter of seconds before she’s giggling helplessly.

More about the Blue Peter Book Awards 2019


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Blue Peter Book Awards

Since 2000, the enormously popular and influential Blue Peter Book Awards have been recognising and celebrating the best authors, the most creative illustrators and the greatest reads for children.

See who's up for the prize in 2019