Earth Day – Clean Up

Welcome to April and our picturebook of the month Clean Up! written by Nathan Bryon and illustrated by Dapo Adeola. We think Clean Up! (published in 2020 by Puffin books) is a great choice to celebrate this year’s Earth Day (22.04.2021). Clean Up! is the sequel to Bryon and Dapo’s debut picturebook Look Up! and both books feature Rocket, a science-loving girl. This time Rocket in on holiday and she’s shocked by the pollution that is spoiling her grandparents’ island home and putting the local sea life at risk. Can she help?

Here is a lovely review and interview with both the author and illustrator:

Front cover: Comment on the rubbish that can be seen in the sea. Ask, ‘How will Rocket manage to clean up?’
Back cover: Show the miniature image of the prequel ‘Look Up!’ especially if you have shared this picturebook with the children. The blurb is suitable to be shared with older primary children.
Front endpapers: pattern is the same as Grandpa and Rockets shirts in the later spreads – return to these for children to make the connection.
Back endpapers: Tips for how to keep the Ocean clean. Use this to help children take action.
Dedication: You can mention these focussing on who they are for (fiancé and nana)
Title page: Rocket is running into the picturebook with her surfboard, mention this! Highlight ‘Written by…’ and ‘illustrated by…’ to remind children of the different talents.

In this film I focus on the main character Rocket and discuss a few benefits of using a series of picturebooks with recurring characters.


Environmental literacy:
Recognising how Rocket encourages people to become aware of plastic pollution and how she motivates people to take action.
Understanding how to reuse plastic, eg, via creative sculptures.
Literacy – writing:
Creating a Did you know book with facts about plastic pollution
Designing a poster to encourage people to reduce their use of plastic
Writing a newspaper article on how Rocket is combatting plastic pollution.
The two links mentioned in the film:
Nathan and Dapo six tips:
World Ocean Day for Schools:

Additional Suggestions

Have a look at Google’s 2021 Earth Day Doodle. We are sure you will immediately have some ideas how to use this short video in the PELT classroom. Google writes that “This year’s annual Earth Day Doodle highlights how everyone can plant the seed to a brighter future — one sapling at a time!”

If you are still looking for inspiration, check this link, packed with initiatives and teaching resources:

And if you are looking for some PELT picturebook-based ideas, have a look at our 2020 Earth Day picturebook choices & resources: – Happy Earth Day.