Astra The Lonely Airplane

is based upon an idea that came to me after my husband’s job as Chief Pilot of Astra came to a grinding halt during the pandemic. I sat in her beautiful interior one last time and openly wept, feeling sick to my stomach wondering what would become of her, and how long she would sit there in the hangar before being flown again. Thankfully the real-life Astra has a happy ending as well.
Now available at,,,,,, and bookstores everywhere.
Astra the Lonely Airplane Cover

Astra in Hollywood

Astra the lonely airplane never has to be lonely again! Her new hangar in sunny LA is home to three amazing new friends: Lana, a sleek, beautiful Learjet; a giant cargo plane named Hank; and Helen the crimefighting helicopter. In fact, they’re all so cool that Astra soon starts to wonder if she’s cut out for life in Hollywood! But when Lana, Hank, and Helen are each faced with unexpected problems, Astra discovers that you don’t need to be the fastest, the strongest, or the bravest to be important. It’s being a good friend that makes you a star!
Astra in Hollywood Cover

About The Book

Astra with Julie
Astra with Julie

Astra is a sleek, beautiful, shiny Gulfstream 100 airplane with a fun and playful personality, who finds herself all alone in her hangar with an uncertain fate, as she learns she will be sold. She is missing the fresh air and exercise, and wondering if she will even remember how to fly, after being flown by her sole caretaker and constant companion named Captain Dan for 12 years...

She becomes sad and lonely as she sits rusting in her hangar. Captain Dan comes to check on her and start her engines once in a while, but she will not be able to fly until she has a new owner.

The book is distinctly different from the other books on the market, as it is written from the plane’s POV and intended for young readers, but can also be read by parents to their pre-school age children who will love memorizing the rhyming verse. Astra is brought to life, and she has a fun and playful personality. The book captures her wide range of emotions as she goes from being happy, to being sad, then to being playfully wicked when she experiences a bit of conflict. When she finds her happy ending, she is also a bit nervous about what lies ahead for her in her new home. She also has her “human” companion Captain Dan beside her and the book captures their special bond as they go through this adventure together. Children will learn about math, geography, and flying.

The book will leave young readers wanting to know what happens next when Astra begins her new life in Hollywood. It teaches children lessons in overcoming hardship and adversity, and about embracing new circumstances that may occur in their lives, such as a move to a new city.

Additionally the book has a glossary of plane terminologies and interesting facts that children will understand about the G100 jet and also a bit of geography.

And as a bonus, the book comes with a 3-minute video of an up close and personal tour of Astra with the real Captain Dan via a QR Code that readers may scan located inside the book. Astra’s story will continue in books two and three.

Astra with Captain Dan
Astra with Captain Dan

Book Reviews

"Astra The Lonely Airplane book is very well written, and teachers will love both the mathematical and vocabulary connections in the book. The glossary will be a great instructional tool to be used prior to your visit, and children will be able to anticipate and identify the words as you read them."
Steve Brokamp
Elementary Teacher and K-12 administrator
"Astra the lonely airplane is an easy to read rhyming book with a message! Something I really appreciate as a mental health professional! This clever book helps children see how to navigate uncertain circumstances through the eyes of a whimsical jet airplane. You can feel the adventure of the story, complete with a fun happy ending."
Tammy Wynn
LISW, MHA, RVT, owner of Angel’s Paws, licensed pilot
"Astra the Lonely Airplane is a sweetly told story of one little plane’s journey to find new purpose and joy. The book progresses in rhyming couplets; something that is not only fun for children but also holds their attention and enhances their understanding of language. The bright illustrations invite children to empathize with the character’s feelings of loneliness, uncertainty, friendship and hope. Along the way, they will also learn some fun facts about airplanes and can imagine what it is like to travel across the country. The glossary and accompanying worksheets are a wonderful addition to this lovely and educational book. Until they can read of Astra’s next adventure, children will look forward to keeping her company by reading this one over and over!"
Rev. Andrea Raynor, MDiv
Author of: The Voice That Calls You Home; Incognito: Lost and Found at Harvard Divinity School; The Alphabet of Grief: Words to Help in Times of Sorrow; A Light on the Corner: Discovering the Sacred in the Everyday; and The Choice.
"Astra The Lonely Airplane is a beautiful children’s book that employs rhythmic sequencing and the use of personification to connect the young reader. The illustrations are brilliant and supplemental materials connect the young reader with the industry of air travel. In an age in which rapid changes in our society can create feelings of isolation, Astra The Lonely Airplane reassures children that there is a place where all of us are valued and are able to make important contributions.""
Jeff Brokamp
Sr. Vice-President, Junior Achievement and Retired Administrator, Cincinnati Public Schools
"Meet Astra, a luxury private jet who has a lot of big feelings to express! Children will identify with the emotional upheaval Astra, the jet, experiences that come from saying goodbye to a beloved friend and then, after an uncertain journey, moving to a new home. The illustrations are bright and accessible, and the rhyme scheme will delight young readers."
Julie Bogart
Author of The Brave Learner, creator and founder of the online writing and literature program called Brave Writer.
"It's rare that a children's book teaches such a broad range of lessons. Astra The Lonely Airplane instructs young readers not only about planes and geography, but also about overcoming hardship, adversity, and embracing new circumstances that may occur in their lives. The fact that it's done in such a fun and entertaining way is a total home run for parents and kids."
Rocky Boiman
former NFL linebacker, host on 700WLW in Cincinnati, college football analyst for ESPN, author of Rocky's Rules
"My third grade class loved Astra the Lonely Airplane! The vocabulary sparked their interest in airplanes. Questions about the pilot, how planes are flown, and who flies in these types of planes was discussed. They are excited for the next book! As a teacher I love seeing their enthusiasm about books. I can't wait to get a copy for the kids to read themselves."
Amy Shuck
3rd Grade Teacher

The Author

Whitney is a public relations professional with more than 35 years of experience, having worked on both the agency and client side and also in the television industry. Her company, Phillippi-Whitney Communications, LLC founded in 2000, represents both large and small clients in a wide variety of industries. She has promoted dozens of authors throughout her career, often supplementing the efforts of the internal PR teams of their publishers. She also works as on-camera talent, appearing in both television commercials and video podcasts. A Miami University grad, she lives in Cincinnati with her husband Dan, a corporate pilot, (Captain Dan in the book), who as a naval aviator and USNA grad, flew the P-3 Orion on active duty, and who has flown a Gulfstream G100 (Astra) for the past 13 years. With four grown children, they are now empty nesters, and love spending time with their Black Lab Brody, and also enjoy traveling, boating, golfing, and all types of physical fitness. A fun fact about Julie is that she appeared as an Extra in the movie “Grease” which was shot on location in the summer of 1977 in Los Angeles.

Contact Julie