Rocket loves looking up at the sky and dreams of being an astronaut like the first African-American woman in space, Mae Jemison. Rocket already has all the necessary skills; she has defeated gravity, captured exotic life forms and has built her own spaceship. Today, Rocket is super excited as she is going to witness the Phoenix Meteor Shower. She plans on getting everyone in the neighbourhood to witness it too, even her brother who spends all his life glued to his phone. But will people take the time to ‘Look Up’ or will the amazing sight pass by with no one there to see it…
Look Up! is a charming read about one little girl with a very big passion and a dream that is out of this world. The story is filled with childhood wonder and curiosity about the world and has a central character that is yet to succumb to the addiction of a screen. Space-mad Rocket is brilliant and is determined to get the people of her community and her screen addicted brother to take a moment and to notice the occurrence of a wonderful natural event. The wonderful message that the book and Rocket shout to readers is that we should all take the time to look up once in a while and notice what is all around us.
The choice of a science-loving black child as the lead character is wonderful - the number of black children appearing in children's books is greatly under represented. Rocket’s passion for space shines through on every page. From the star patterned pyjamas she wears at bedtime to the constellations on her bedroom wall to her orange spacesuit and her ever-present star earrings. Her older brother, Jamal, is perfectly portrayed in Dapo Adeloa’s artwork as the sulky old brother and no doubt a character that readers with older siblings will recognise. Rocket’s passion is infectious though and by the end, Jamal, who is disinterested in his sister’s excitement, eventually finds wonder and awe in the same thing that she does.
As well as the story, did you know facts crop up throughout the book and introduce readers to meteors. The artwork by Dapo Adeola is awesome. Each page is awash with colour and I love how vibrant and bright everything is.
Look Up! is a wonderful read that should get children excited about space and the world around them. In a world where most of us spend too much time looking down, Rocket will get readers of all ages looking up and taking notice of the wonders that can be found in the sky.
Recommended for 5+.