Aspiring astronaut Rocket, the star of Nathan Bryon’s debut picture book ‘Look Up!’ is back in another super read and this time she is on a mission to get everyone to ‘Clean Up!’.
Rocket can not wait to go on holiday with her family to visit her Grammy and Grampy who live by the beach. She is looking forward to having a blast with the ocean life and riding the waves on her surf board. But when she gets there she learns that the ocean, beach and wildlife are in great danger. Rocket knows that something must be done but can she get the beach-goers to clean up…
Whilst Rocket may be the star of the book, Grammy and Grampy are great characters too and Rocket has clearly inherited their passion for looking after the natural environment. Grammy and Grammy are huge conservationists and protectors of animals running whale tours and looking after animals that live in the sanctuary at the back of their house. There are lovely messages about respecting wildlife as Rocket knows to never touch the wild animals unless they are hurt or need rescuing.
Rocket’s walk along the beach with Grampy is particularly poignant and moving as they reflect on the state of the beach. Unfortunately their observations are a sad reflection of many beaches around the world where it feels like there is more plastic than sand and water. Like many of us, Rocket can not understand how people can enjoy the beach when to her it looks so messy. But the beach-goers are too busy playing and chatting to notice the problem. Luckily, Rocket is a girl who will not stand for what she sees and takes action, and what starts out as a small beach clean done by her and Grampy soon escalates into a whole beach cleaning crew.
Not content with just cleaning the beach, Rocket also finds a great way to repurpose all of the plastic rubbish that has been collected. Rather than send it to landfill, an adult turns into the most wondrous of sculptures that serves as a rubbish bin - now there is no way that the beach should become plastic infested again.
Author Nathan Bryon has nailed a very important issue and has tackled it in such an engaging and inspiring way. As well as the story, did you know facts crop up throughout the book. These are read by Rocket and appear in speech bubbles further highlighting the problem of plastic pollution. The artwork by Dapo Adeola is awesome. Each page is awash with colour and I love how vibrant and bright everything is.
After reading this, you’ll want to head out to your nearest beach and begin your own beach clean up. Empowering, important and wonderful, Rocket shows us how we can all make difference and that every little bit certainly does help.
Recommended for 5+.