Adventures of a Young Naturalist (Hardcover, 2017, Two Roads) 4 stars

"In 1954, David Attenborough, a young television presenter, was offered the opportunity of a lifetime--to …

On Sir David Attenborough's first three Zoo Quests.

4 stars

When David Attenborough was just starting on his career at the BBC, he presented an unusual request to the broadcaster: to go on expeditions for the London Zoo to collect animals and film themselves there, wandering about and catching animals. This book is a collection of three of those Zoo Quests: to Guyana, Komodo Island and Paraguay. Written by him and updated with a new introduction, the book serves as an excellent travelogue and a snapshot of the countries at those time.

In each country he visits as part of the Zoo Quest, he had a particular set of animals he wishes to collect; but he also collects other animals as part of the quests. Along the way, he meets a colourful host of characters who either help or hinder his quest. Attenborough also describes the country as he travels, giving the reader a feel of how the various countries were in those days before cheap air flights and instant communication have made travelling so much easier.

Of course, as Attenborough notes in the introduction, Zoo Quest would never have been done now; collecting animals is now frowned upon and the London Zoo now acts as more of a way to preserve wild animals that may be close to extinction.

For those who enjoy watching and reading about David Attenborough, this is a good book to read. It fills in a lot of the details about the Zoo Quests left out in his biography and other books, and documentaries, about that period of time. The book also comes with a small selection of black-and-white and colour prints showing the various people and environments he encountered in those three Zoo Quests.