Published: 28/02/2014
ISBN: 9781783060962
eISBN: 9781783069460
Format: Paperback/eBook

"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.”
Mrs Moyer, 5th & 6th Grade teacher (10-12 year olds), USA. more

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About the Author

Mairi and her husband run a croft farming Highland cattle and operate boat charters amongst the stunning scenery of the northwest Highlands of Scotland. The What do the grown-ups do? series of boo... read more

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Joe the Fisherman
What do the grown-ups do?
by Mairi McLellan

Joe the Fisherman is the first book of the series ‘What Do the Grown-Ups Do?’

The stories are based on life in the north-west Highlands of Scotland in a village called Badaneel and follow three local girls as they investigate the world of grown-up jobs. Designed for children aged 5-10 years, their aim is to help children understand different jobs and educate them about working life in a light-hearted manner. Whilst in story format, they are also factual, based on a real place, written about real people.

Joe the fisherman lives next door. A great strong man with a cheeky grin, Joe has fished for prawns all his life, just like his father before him. Joe the Fisherman tells of Joe’s life aboard and the pros and cons of being at sea. Like many of the local creel fishermen, they fish using sustainable techniques. Joe tells the girls how to stop catching crabs in their lobster pots, how to prepare bait and how to maintain the creels.

Other books in the series include: Papa the Stockfarmer, Sean the Actor, Fiona the Doctor and Richard the Vet.

“My children constantly ask, ‘What do the grown ups do at work?’ It was this interest that sparked the idea for the books. Whilst they love to play, they are equally eager to tag along with the adults, learning new things,” says Mairi, about her inspiration for the series. “I thought it would be useful to educate them about the workplace and broaden their ideas for their life ahead. Although the message is educational, it is designed to be fun too,” she said.

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Coming soon in the What do the grown-ups do? include:

Book 1: Joe the Fisherman
Book 2: Papa the Stockfarmer
Book 3: Sean the Actor
Book 4: Fiona the Doctor
Book 5: Richard the Vet
Book 6: Gordon the Wildlife film maker
and many more…

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Teach Primary


Ross-shire Journal

Female First

I read this to my 5 year over the last few evenings and I've never seen her so fascinated by a story. Both the story and the pictures are really engaging and she could easily relate to the inquisitive nature of the 3 little sisters. After 3 years of reading deathly dull children's books it is great to have something where we both ended up learning something - I think I could hold my own in a conversation now on sustainable prawn fishing!

Holiday sorted for next year - the little madam wants to go and meet Joe!

by James Dunn

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.

by Jaye Thiel

“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.”

by Dr. Ken Grieg

“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.”

by Marlene Moyer

“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.”

by Teach Primary Magazine

“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.”

by Tony Boullemier

These are some very interesting books. They are filled with information, but it doesn't seem like it's being shoved in your face. The kids ask basic questions, but you don't feel like the author thinks you're stupid. I hope there are many more to come in this series.

by Allison Dollar


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