Thursday, 30 April 2015

Children's book review : What do the grown ups do? Gordon the wildlife film maker

If you're a regular reader, you may remember our reviews for the previous books in the What do the grown-ups do? series. So far, we've learnt about Richard the Vet, Fiona the Doctor, Sean the Actor, Papa the Stockfarmer and Joe the Fisherman. This time it's the turn of Gordon the Wildlife Filmmaker.

We are taken back to the Scottish Highlands to catch up with Ava, Skye and Gracie Mackenzie, who are off visiting some of the Scottish islands, including St Kilda and its huge bird population and Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, which the Madhouse kids were delighted to learn is where Balamory is filmed.

It is also the home of Gordon Buchanan, real-life wildlife filmmaker (who also happens to be the first flatmate of Mairi McLellan, the book's author. So that's how she finds such interesting people to feature !)

As always, the book presents a no holds barred look at the job, focusing on both the high and low points, accompanied with some great  behind-the-scenes photos. Gordon has had some amazing experiences all over the world, including living with black bears for a year, hunting for wolves and polar bears and trekking through the rainforest looking for new species.

He regales the girls (and the readers) with tales of his real-life adventures (the Madhouse kids were utterly fascinated by the pictures of the polar bear trying to get into his plastic box to eat him !) and also provides some insider tips that even the grown-ups will love discovering. Did you know, for example, that if an elephant comes and tries to get you out of a tree, you should wee on it ? I certainly didn't ! (Although I'm not sure I'll ever need to know this pearl of wisdom !)

 The girls ask him the kinds of questions that only children will ask - is he ever scared? does he sometimes want to scream? does he prefer people or animals? - resulting in a fascinating insight that will appeal to readers of all different ages and levels.

The fun-loving Mackenzie girls are aged 6 and 7 but I would say that the books target slightly older children.  That said, 5-year-old Pierre loves looking at the photos in the book and having me explain them to him, even if we don't necessarily read the complete texts, which are very detailed and sometimes quite technical. Even as a grown-up, I really enjoyed the behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to produce wildlife documentaries.

star rating : 5/5

RRP : £7.99

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Matador (19 Jan. 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1784621862
  • ISBN-13: 978-1784621865
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 0.4 x 24.4 cm

Disclosure : We received the book in order to write an honest review.