Today marks 49 years and 11 months since the Soviets launched Sputnik. A few years ago, I predicted that major children’s book publishers would make a fuss over the golden anniversary of the inauguration of the space race — maybe not a fuss of Wright-brothers-in-2003 proportions, but something.

Well, I guessed wrong, but not before I’d done a few drafts of the sort of Sputnik picture book I thought my boys might like. A few editors had a look and passed, and once the time remaining until the anniversary date shrank to less than the picture book production cycle, I set my manuscript aside.

Until today, that is. Below, for your watershed-commemoration and reading pleasure, I’ve posted my full manuscript for What-nik?!? Enjoy, comrades!