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Look Up!

Nathan Bryon, illus. Dapo Adeola
Puffin Books
Age 5-7 years

Rocket is fascinated with the stars and space and wants to be an astronaut when she grows up just like Mae Jemison, the first African American woman in space. She is very excited that there will be a meteor shower visible that night and thinks everyone should witness it. When her brother reluctantly agrees to take her to the park to watch for it and lots of other people turn up as well Rocket worries whether the meteor shower will appear or if she has got them there on false pretenses. Fortunately, it proves worth the wait and even her brother, usually glued to his phone, appreciates it too.

Look Up is an engaging story with an appealing main character, a dash of humour and an important message about how much we miss if we look down (eg at our phones!) and not up at the world around us.  The illustrations are gorgeous and add to the storytelling. There are lots of interesting ‘did you know….’ space facts included as well.

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Share the story

Read aloud

Before beginning to read the book talk about the cover together. What might happen in this story? Read the book to your child, pausing to talk about what is happening in the story and the pictures as you go.

Join in
When you read the story again children might like to join in with parts of the text such as the ‘Look up’ and ‘look down’ and ‘did you know?’ and other parts perhaps those in bold text or repeated.

Talk about the story

  • Look closely at some of the illustrations eg all the space toys in Rocket’s bedroom, all the people in the street scene looking down at their phones

  • Share favourite parts of the story, this might be something funny for example.

  • Talk about Rocket and her brother Jamal and the ways they are different

  • What you found interesting, what else you would like to find out.

Things to make and do

Be a star spotter
If you get the opportunity, look at the night sky together. Being very quiet, what can you hear? What can you see? After this experience your child might be inspired to draw or paint a picture of what they have seen.

Make up a dance
When Rocket hears Jamal will take her to see the meteor shower, she makes up a happy dance. Have a go at making up your own – this could be fun to do together, or you could try copying some of Rocket’s moves.

Make a cardboard box rocket
If you can get hold of a large cardboard box your child could decorate it like Rocket does. Then you could cut a hole in the top so that the box goes over your child’s head. Then your child can try the box on and practice zooming.

Make a Look Up poster and an announcement
Make a poster telling people to stop looking at their phones or to start looking up at the night sky. Your child could have a go at making an announcement about looking up at home to the family or toy ‘reporters.’

Make a ‘did you know’ book about space
Give your child a mini book to make their own ‘did you know’ space book with facts they have found out from the story or links below about meteors, space explorers or something else space related which interests them.

Find out more

Find out about meteors and meteor showers here 

Find out about Mae Jemison or other female space explorers:

Mae Jemison by Jodie Shepherd Scholastic books

A Galaxy of her Own by Libby Jackson Corner stone books.

Find out about the making of ‘Look Up!’

The illustrator Dapo Adeola describes creating the book and character of Rocket here.