About the book
Live Like a Hunter Gatherer is an informative and immersive guide to the Stone Age, written by a real-life hunter gatherer!
If you imagined that all Stone Age people lived in caves, were not very clever, not very clean and said “Ugg” a lot, then think again. Marking the start of all human history, the Stone Age lasted around 3.5 million years (the last part of that was only 71 grandparents ago!). Delve into that incredible time with this book packed full of amazing facts, information, crafts, storytelling and myth debunking to find out what it was really like to live as a hunter gatherer.
Many of our Stone Age ancestors’ everyday needs were similar to ours –how to keep warm, where to sleep and what to eat and drink. We find out how they met those needs, what a typical day was like, what medicine they used and even how they had fun – all brought to life with beautifully detailed illustrations. Dotted through the book are step-by-step craft activities and recipes that give you first-hand experience of some vital Stone Age skills –making a Mesolithic shelter, fat lamps, a digging stick, creating cave art, making a bow and arrow and a fishing hook are just a few.
A fictional tribe member pops up throughout the book to tell us about her life, describing the sights, sounds, smells and emotions she experiences. The safety of a warm cave with flickering firelight and other tribe members nearby, the gnawing feeling of hunger when food is scarce and the excited relief when a deer is hunted.
What did the judges think?
Judge and teacher Jennifer Love said: "I was particularly looking for books that encourage the reader to get involved, and this book does just that. From craft projects to recipes, every element of this book is interactive. I used it to plan a week’s worth of lessons in my classroom, and the children loved getting their hands dirty and experiencing life as their ancestors would've lived."
About the author and illustrator
Naomi Walmsley runs Outback2Basics with her partner Dan Westall from their patch of woodland in Shropshire, UK. Specialising in bushcraft and Stone Age skills, they provide unique experiences for school children and teachers to connect to nature. Naomi is a qualified bushcraft instructor and Forest School Leader and believes that every child should be able to safely light a fire and have at least ten uses for a stick by the age of ten. She has also written for many magazines, including Bushcraft & Survival Skills, Living Woods and Juno. So passionate are they about the Stone Age way of life, they have actually lived and breathed it for themselves. Naomi and Dan undertook a five-month Stone Age immersion experience in the US in 2010, living in the wilderness without any modern equipment, profoundly influencing their lives and teaching. They also appeared in Channel 4’s fascinating documentary Surviving the Stone Age in 2020: a three-part series filmed in Bulgaria with six other Stone-Age experts living as a tribe of hunter gatherers for one month. Naomi has co-authored two previous books for GMC Publications; Forest School Adventure and Urban Forest School.
Mia Underwood is a designer and illustrator based in Brighton, UK. She loves a creative challenge and working with traditional and digital illustration as well as creating 3D characters. Being half Danish she particularly enjoys creating scenes with characters that conjure up the mystery and romance of dreamlike imaginary woodlands within Scandinavia.