Clean Up! By Nathan Bryon & Dapo Adeola

The long-awaited sequel to Look Up! is here and it is just as fantastic as you would expect from this duo of storytelling masterminds. I had the pleasure, along with my son, of meeting Nathan and Dapo at the Southbank Centre earlier this year and they were both so friendly – making time for everyone, answering questions and inspiring the little people who were there to see them. My little one is a super fan so of course, we had to make sure we were first in line for the new Rocket adventure!

As soon as it dropped through the letterbox, my son ran to the door. I’d told him it was the day the book was released so he was eagerly awaiting the postman! The package was ripped open and he dived in straight away, first devouring the brilliant illustrations with a few flicks through before settling down and reading the story.

The familiar characters from Look Up! return. There’s fearsome, feisty Rocket, her brother Jamal (and his phone), their Mum and if you look closely you can spot Luna the cat. In this story, we meet Grammy and Grampa in the Caribbean. Rocket and her family travel to visit them in their island home which also turns out to be an animal sanctuary, much to Rocket’s delight!

Grammy takes Rocket surfing and the family enjoy a fun-filled day at the beach. But Rocket’s heart is broken when she spots a baby turtle on the shore, uncomfortably entangled in plastic. With her Grandparent’s help she carefully takes the creature back to the animal sanctuary to nurse it back to health. Grampy explains the terrible plastic pollution to Rocket and of course in true Rocket style she sets about organising a clean-up crew!

This delightful book demonstrates how we can all make a difference to the pollution problem and the inside cover outlines the action we can all take to help the clean up process. This book will definitely have a place in my classroom!

It’s lovely to see how my son identifies himself with Rocket and her family. While reading and exploring the pictures he recognised and pointed out elements of island life that he himself has seen in Jamaica and he likened the smell of ‘Grammy’s special sauce’ to that of his own Granny’s kitchen! It’s so important for our young people to be able to relate to the characters they see in books and Rocket is a great role model for them too!


Nathan Bryon
Dapo Adeola

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