Primates: The fearless science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas by Jim Ottaviano and Maris Wicks
Date read: 26 August 2016
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Challenges: 2016gnc 2016nfc
Hardback, 140 pages
Published 2013 by First Second
Source: Deschutes Public Library [Teen Graphic Novel OTTAVIANI JIM]
I really enjoyed this book, as I have the previous two Ottaviano books I have read: Feynman and The Imitation Game [Sorry, no actual review of Feynman.] I have pretty much all other of his books on my to read list now.
This book tells the story of three fearless women: Jane Goodall and her chimpanzee research, Dian Fossey and her research into mountain gorillas, and of Biruté Galdikas and her research on orangutans. The book has four sections, in that order, with the fourth being on the three of them together. [All links in this paragraph to Wikipedia.]
All three women were protégés of Louis Leakey and they all became preeminent ethologists although they all started with little in the way of formal academic “qualifications.” In fact, all three made discoveries—repeated, recorded observations really [which is what much “discovery” consists of]—that radically changed how we think of ourselves and some of our closest relatives, much less the behavior and intelligence—tool use, anyone?—of animals in general.
The book is considered a young adult book but I fail to see why that is the case. Anyone older can certainly learn a great deal from this book and also appreciate it at the same time. But I guess it alerts us to the fact that it is appropriate for that age group and that is cool.
An afterword from the author discusses the fact versus fictionalized narrative issues, while the book ends with a picture of all three renowned scientists together, a bibliography and a colophon.
The artwork is in one sense fairly simplified but it is also extremely effective at relating the story. What I mean is that facial and body expression is used more prominently than over-detailed extraneous visual details. Thus, much of the rest is as minimal as needed to effectively help move the narrative along. I think the artwork is exceptionally done overall!
Highly recommended! For every one.