Lights, Camera, Action!

ImageLights! Camera! Action! How a Movie is Made

Written and Illustrated By: Gail Gibbons

Thomas Y. Crowell Publishing House, 1985, Hardcover

Target Audience: Ages 6-9

Genre: Non-Fiction

How We Discovered This Book:

My son is very interested in how movies and television is made. Some of this probably stems from the natural process of learning what is real, and what is not. However, he takes a distinct interest in “peeling back the curtain” and figuring out how things are accomplished. We have watched videos on movie makeup, special effects, puppetry, and techniques like green screens and stop motion animation, but I was in search of a good book to explain the big picture of making movies and television.

What I Liked About This Book:

Even though this book was published almost 30 years ago, it covers the broad process in such a way that it does not feel outdated. The whole process is covered from the writing of the script all the way to opening night. We get to see all of the preparation involved, and the many people needed to make a movie.

What Did My Son Aidan Think?

He enjoyed this book much better than several others we read, which were way too general or outdated. This book seemed to have just the right amount of detail without getting bogged down in it. After reading this book, my son wants to learn more. Any suggestions on this topic? I have my eye on a Klutz book on stop-motion animation, but I’d love any suggestions for picture books.


Teaching Resources: This site has TONS of ideas for teaching kids about television and movies.

Write Your Own Activity Script: This site walks you through how to write a script with kids, and then mount a production. They base the script on Jon Sciezka’s The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, so it sounds extra fun.

11 thoughts on “Lights, Camera, Action!

  1. We own many Gail Gibbons books – so accessible for curious kids!

    I don’t have a book recommendation on this topic, but my daughter did take a movie making class at our local Apple store last summer. I think it was called Apple camp? And even though we don’t own a Mac or iAnything, they taught her how to use the store technology to create her own movie. At the end of the course they had a red carpet screening for all the kids’ movies. Very fun!

  2. This book sounds fantastic, Katie! Right up my alley. I was planning to suggest Amelia Makes a Movie, although I don’t know if it will be detailed enough for him, but I see Wendy beat me to it. Thanks, Wendy, for the shout-out!

  3. You don’t say how old your son is. I like Cathy’s suggestions. Sounds like your son may be very interested in computer generated animation at some point. And there are many programs out there. You might check out Peter H. Reynolds Fablevision website for ideas too. He sent out an e-mail today.

  4. I love hearing about a child’s reaction to a book. I’m always interested in hearing what they say and what they think. Thank you so much for sharing your son’s impressions and reactions.

    This looks like a very interesting book. I’ll have to see if I can find it.

    Thank you for the recommendation!

  5. So nice to connect with you via Susanna’s PPBF. 🙂 I love classic books…don’t know this one, so thank you! And I love how you do your review…with your response and your son’s response.

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