Papa the Stock Farmer
Papa the Stock Farmer

What do the grown ups do?


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“‘Gordon the Wildlife Filmmaker’ is a great asset both to McLellan’s already strong series and to children’s educational literature in general, presenting the situations encountered by a wildlife filmmaker in a humorous, easy to read and informative way. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone – of any age – who wants to find out more about this astonishing profession.”

Edinburgh Book Review

"They are really informative and I’ve certainly learnt a thing or two as well, plus they are very well illustrated with photographs.  In fact, I am planning to get hold of the rest of the series because I’ve been so impressed with them.  H has really enjoyed them too and has said that they are ‘really interesting’"

Extract of review from 9 to three 30

"The 'What do' series has sparked a different sense of fun in the children reading them.  I am convinced that the author, Mairi McLellan, should be given an award for her intuitive books. They are simply wonderful for reading aloud to children at bedtime, or for keeping them occupied while driving.  In my view, the last person recognised as being able to captivate children by the use of a simple device was Steven Spielberg.  When he created the film about E.T., he placed the cameras at the same height as most children’s’ faces, thus he was relating to children at the same relative height. Mairi’s methodology is not dissimilar, as she writes the contents of each of these delightful books as though they were being viewed from a child’s perspective. That is their outstanding secret.  I cannot wait to read the next set of charming ‘adventures’ of the Mackenzie children.  In these days of increasing complexity and technological pressures, it is a sheer delight to have something as precious as these books to relate with to the children.

Iain PW Robertson, Pocketful of Rye

[reviewing Fiona the Doctor & Richard the Vet]

"What is so great about these books is that they are honest questions from the children and honest answers from the grown-ups. One of things that makes these books so charming is that they aren't just about the jobs, although these are obviously the central part, but they also talk about what the girls have been up to and their love of water sports and living by the sea. I'm delighted to have these books on my shelf as they will make a great resource for when my boy is old enough to be asking these questions or needs them to help with homework projects and I really think they would make an excellent addition to any primary school library!"

"A fabulous duo of books, perfect for inquisitive young minds to find out a little more about different jobs they can aspire to in the future.  These are great books of discovery with plenty of photos and information to keep your children engaged and interested."

"Princess Pants has thoroughly enjoyed reading Fiona the Doctor and Richard the Vet. The myriad of images in the book not only kept her attention but also encouraged her to ask her own questions.  Both books are very well written and provide information on a subject that we don’t really discuss with our children. They are a definite must-have this Christmas!"

“To say that I was totally enamoured by the ‘What do’ series is something of an understatement. I always feel that the ultimate test lies in how one’s own children treat such reading materials. When I asked them, if they were enjoying the books, they were unequivocal in their praise of them. In fact our daughter even lent ‘Papa’ to next door’s children but popped back within three days to request its immediate return! On such evidence, I have to state that Mairi McLellan, the author, has managed to achieve a level of literary ‘magic’ that perhaps only the good Dr Seuss (Theodore Geisel) might have mastered many years earlier than she.”
Iain P W Robertson, Pocketful of Rye.

[Reviewing Papa the Stockfarmer]

“Not all children like reading fiction and prefer the world of facts and real life. But reading a non-fiction book at bedtime is impossible. Try it and you will understand why.  Step in then Mairi McLellan, with her incredibly clever series of fact meets fiction books What do the Grown-Ups do? It’s also a fascinating co-read for the adult, as Papa the Stockfarmer talks about the Cattle Handling System, or Joe the Fisherman explains how to catch prawns. Facts that on a dreary documentary would send you yawning towards the Facebook app on your smart phone are given the consideration they deserve through Mairi McLellan’s clever books. Mairi manages to avoid being condescending or overly factual, striking the perfect balance in her books and knows exactly how to grab the interest of your average seven year old. As a series of books, they are incredibly impressive and from a debut author simply brilliant.”
Chopsy Baby.

" An informative and fun way to introduce your children to the world of living."
Gordon Buchanan, Wildlife Film maker
(BBC Springwatch, Autumnwatch, The Polar Bear Family and Me).

“What makes these books noteworthy are the practical details from the mouths of the real workers, which fascinate rather than bore.  It’s eye-opening stuff.”
Teach Primary magazine.

“Really detailed and informative books, which contain exactly the questions that intelligent children ask, and adults are often unable to answer.  There is fun, humour and a wonderful sense of place too.”
Dr Ken Greig, Rector, Hutchesons’ Grammar School.

“As an educator in the US there is more and more stress placed upon children being able to access non-fiction writing.  Within her books, Mairi McLellan has done something many children's authors are unable to do:  she has created non-fiction books that are compelling and highly readable. May all of children's non-fiction literature begin to engage students as McLellan's books do. If this is a new trend in children's books, teachers across the US would be so grateful.”  
Marlene Moyer,  5th & 6th Grade teacher (10-12 year olds), Nevada, USA.

“This series is a great way of demystifying the grown-ups’ world for children. I look forward to the next few titles.”
Mike Gartside, Editor, Primary Times (Avon).

“Utterly charming, full of facts and a great career guide. Life's an adventure in Mairi McLellan's Highland village and she cleverly explains complicated things by letting children ask all the questions. These books are a lovely bedtime read, a super career guide and a fun encyclopaedia, all rolled into one."”
Tony Boullemier, author of The Little Book of Monarchs.

“What a refreshing an innovative way of introducing children to carer possibilities in later life.  A delightful series of books, which gently guides younger children through the adult world of work.  The accompanying photos of the main characters bring the lives of Joe the Fisherman, Fiona the Doctor and Papa the Stockfarmer to life.”
Louise Webster, Broadcaster.

“What Sprouts loves about these books is how they do not dictate to the young reader. Instead, they allow young minds to explore ideas through children's questions. Quite simply they're fantastic educational books that won't fail to fascinate and entertain all readers!”
Sprouts - for parents of under 11s

“We love discovering new books here at The Madhouse so we were delighted to receive the first two titles in a new series called What do the grown-ups do? Older readers will find these true-to-life tales absolutely fascinating. And that's the beauty of these books. They target children aged 5-10 but they can be explored on several levels. There is a lot of text so for younger children, it's best to use them as picture books and skim over the technical details. Older children - and even adults - will find the in-depth descriptions fascinating though. The books could even be used in the classroom for project work.”
star rating : 4.5/5
Madhouse Family Reviews  (Top 20 Parent blogs)

“What brilliant books to help create a mindset for children. The photographs are interesting and descriptive to suit the reading material. The information is given in a way which is easy for a child to understand and the ethos of the relationship between working at school and who we become in later years ‘rings true’ throughout.  My girls would never have seen a calf being born nor have they ever ‘baited a line’. They found these books very interesting and informative and I enjoyed reading with them. I would highly recommend them for every boy and girl from the age of 5 and up.”
Pampered Presents

“Despite being educational, McLellan manages to retain a sense of humour throughout the book, making it enjoyable and easy to read as well as informative. Sean the Actor is a valuable addition both to Mairi McLellan’s well thought-out series, and to children’s non-fiction writing in general, providing an entertaining and educational guide to the life and career path of an actor. One thing’s for certain; if this book is anything to go by, I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.”
Edinburgh Book Review, Ruth de la Haye

“This is a lovely educational book, full of lots of facts and information about farmers, cows and sheep. The quality of the book is 5/5 with its glossy cover and well printed pages.  This book is packed full of information from beginning to end.  My daughter is almost 9 and we read it together, taking it in turns to read the pages. We both have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and we have both learnt a lot about the farming industry. Overall this is a great educational book, which I would recommend to any parent/teacher wanting their child to learn about farming.”

By Lucy Lowndes, What’s good to do, your local what’s on guide. (Review of Papa the stockfarmer)

“Mairi has created a charming series of books based on the working lives of real people near her Highland home”
Clydelife Magazine

"These books are informative, educational and interesting. The beautiful photographs enhance the script. I think they will prove useful in any school topic.”
Miss Graham (Primary teacher, Hutchesons' Grammar School - retired).

"This series is very intriguing. I am particularly drawn to the fact that you are including work that is often ignored in our society. I urge you to do more of these working class related texts. I will buy these to add to my collection of books about labor/work. I can see these being high interest for children. And the photos are great."
Librarian, University of Georgia.

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