10 Jan 2015

OUR ZOO.



OUR ZOO by JUNE MOTTERSHEAD.

SOURCE: A Christmas present.

BOOK BLURB: Click on book title.

FIRST SENTENCE {Introduction}: One evening, late in 2010, I had a phone call from a young man called Adam Kemp.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {169}: A small boy at boarding school wrote asking to adopt one of the lion cubs for the duration of the war. When Dad replied explaining just how much it would cost - because cubs quickly grow up to be lions - the boy wrote back apologising, saying that he couldn't go ahead until he'd been  home for Christmas, as he wasn't sure how much he had in his money box.

MY THOUGHTS: Hot on the heels of the BBC dramatisation  we have the book written by the real life June Mottershead who aged four (she is older in the TV series) moves with her family in pursuit of her father's dream to open a zoo. A zoo ahead of its time, a zoo without bars.

Though recognisable from the BBC's Sunday evening period drama the book, as one might expect, is quite different. Equally magical and just as engrossing but different. 

A light and easy read detailing life at what became Chester Zoo from its earliest days through to and just beyond World War Two. A memoir of highs and lows, of struggles and triumphs, Our Zoo is a wonderfully charming, nostalgic and, yes, thought provoking recollection of a life lived alongside animals.


13 comments:

Kelly said...

What an interesting sounding book. The story of the Chester Zoo is not one I was previously familiar with.

I love zoos, but find the older I get, the more concerned I am about keeping animals in captivity and whether they get proper care. Despite that, I still feel I would enjoy this book.

Brian Joseph said...

I have not seen the screen version. This sounds very different and very good.

I think that my wife would like this and I am recommending it to her.

Melliane said...

I didn't know about the TV show but you made me curious.

Suko said...

This sounds lovely, Tracy!

Aunt Mary said...

I would love to read the book, such a nice review :)

Arti said...

Sounds very charming, thank you so much for the beautiful review Tracy. The book reminded me of one of my favorite movies called The Dolphin's tale, though the stories of both are quite different, what connects them is the loving bond shared between humans and animals. I would love to grab this book sometime.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello Tracy, this book review makes me feel that it should be very interesting.

People living in town hardly see animals except perhaps cats,dogs, cows and hen. When my children were small I took them to the Zoo to see wild animals.

It was very touching to read that the little boy wanted to go home to see how much many he had in his money box.

Best wishes

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

This sounds sweet! I'm going to have to check out the BBC show as well!

Brandi Kosiner said...

Getting the history and feel of the zoo sounds like a nice read

Literary Feline said...

I am not familiar with this story, but it does sound interesting. There is a park a couple hours or so from where I live that has tried to retain some of the natural habitat type environment for many of its animals. I am not sure how much it succeeds, but I think the idea is a nice one if animals have to be kept in captivity.

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

the keeping of aimals in zoos and wildlife parks, is always a moot point, isn't it?

Without raising some of these endangered species in captivity they might be lost to us forever, on the reverse side, the keeping of non endangered animals just for people to come and look at is verging on cruelty.

I am not sure which side of the camp I am on, as we live right by Longleat and will quite often go to the safari park there, so we ar as guilty as the next man I guess!

We are a little more selective where we visit if we go to Florida now, as many aspects of Sea World and Busch Gardens worry us, as animals and roller coasters in such close proximity surely can't be good!

Not a book for me I'm afraid, although who of us in our rough age group, cannot fail to remember and rue the loss of the talented Johnny Morris :)

Thanks for sharing,

Yvonne

Claudine G. said...

Oh this sounds like one I'd want to read. Thanks for letting us know about it!

Karen Alderman said...

For the longest time it was my dream to run a small zoo lol

I'm definitely over that - too much work!

Karen @For What It's Worth