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Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas

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Jim Ottaviani returns with an action-packed account of the three greatest primatologists of the last century: Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas. These three ground-breaking researchers were all students of the great Louis Leakey, and each made profound contributions to primatology—and to our own understanding of ourselves. Tackling Goodall, Fossey, and Galdikas Jim Ottaviani returns with an action-packed account of the three greatest primatologists of the last century: Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas. These three ground-breaking researchers were all students of the great Louis Leakey, and each made profound contributions to primatology—and to our own understanding of ourselves. Tackling Goodall, Fossey, and Galdikas in turn, and covering the highlights of their respective careers, Primates is an accessible, entertaining, and informative look at the field of primatology and at the lives of three of the most remarkable women scientists of the twentieth century. Thanks to the charming and inviting illustrations by Maris Wicks, this is a nonfiction graphic novel with broad appeal.


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Jim Ottaviani returns with an action-packed account of the three greatest primatologists of the last century: Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas. These three ground-breaking researchers were all students of the great Louis Leakey, and each made profound contributions to primatology—and to our own understanding of ourselves. Tackling Goodall, Fossey, and Galdikas Jim Ottaviani returns with an action-packed account of the three greatest primatologists of the last century: Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas. These three ground-breaking researchers were all students of the great Louis Leakey, and each made profound contributions to primatology—and to our own understanding of ourselves. Tackling Goodall, Fossey, and Galdikas in turn, and covering the highlights of their respective careers, Primates is an accessible, entertaining, and informative look at the field of primatology and at the lives of three of the most remarkable women scientists of the twentieth century. Thanks to the charming and inviting illustrations by Maris Wicks, this is a nonfiction graphic novel with broad appeal.

30 review for Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    So many mixed feelings about this book. I'll start with the good: Yay! Women scientists! At times funny and fascinating. I learned things. I had no idea that Louis Leakey helped secure the funding for Dian Fossey and Jane Goodall and got them their starts in field research. I had never heard of Galdikas or her research with Orangutans. I learned about their significant findings that shook the scientific world: chimpanzees using tools and orangutans walking on the ground. The significance of thei So many mixed feelings about this book. I'll start with the good: Yay! Women scientists! At times funny and fascinating. I learned things. I had no idea that Louis Leakey helped secure the funding for Dian Fossey and Jane Goodall and got them their starts in field research. I had never heard of Galdikas or her research with Orangutans. I learned about their significant findings that shook the scientific world: chimpanzees using tools and orangutans walking on the ground. The significance of their political work and the toll their research took on their personal lives was also included in this slim volume. Now for the bad: Confusing shifts in narration. It started out well with Leakey's voice in brown and Goodall's voice in blue. But the other characters do not receive such clear treatment, changing fonts from serif to sans-serif as if that is a significant enough shift for the average reader. One page had voice bubbles that looked like they were typed in Comic Sans. The shifting voices were particularly distracting when one scientist was writing about another. The art was generally appealing, except that some noses looked distractingly odd. These are all minor distractions that could have been easily cleaned up by a more careful editor. This is the first time I have had such a criticism of a First Second book, whose titles have always been meticulously crafted. I see the target reader of this book as young girls with a burgeoning interest in science. But beware! The women were all brought into science thanks to Louis Leakey's sexism. His opinion that women were better in the field than men, more observant and more patient, was repeated several times in the book. Perhaps the writers felt that they were being feminists by complimenting women. But Leakey was making sweeping generalizations based on gender, and these authors seemed to buy into his theories that women are better at field studies. Also, Leakey's sexual exploits are problematic. Too much is left unexplained. How did Fossey die? The last image we have of her alive is toting an oxygen tank which implies a very different death. Why is Jane Goodall running up the mountain naked? Did she raise her son in Gombe? What did Galdikas sit on? What was up with Leakey and the card test? Worst of all is this damning sentence, "Some of what you just read is fiction." What?!?! I was bothered by the first-person narration and wondered if some old journals and letters had been used and heavily edited. But apparently it was all made up. I am sure that Ottaviani did a significant amount of research, but his choice to write in the voice of three scientists, one dead, is very problematic. I wonder that neither Goodall nor Galdikas have a blurb on the book, making me think that they were not involved in any of the writing. Such a shame because all three of these women have so much to say. Given the number of problems in this book, particularly the blending of fact and story-telling and the lack of cohesion in the final creation, I am not sure I can recommend this book for purchase.

  2. 5 out of 5

    First Second Books

    One of the questions that we frequently get asked about this book is: is it nonfiction? The answer is: it’s difficult to tell! Primates is ostensibly a nonfiction biography about three different women who work with primates – Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas. It tells about their lives and their work, and the author and the illustrator both did a lot of research and endeavored to be as faithful as possible to the historical realities of their subjects. So, why is it difficult to tell One of the questions that we frequently get asked about this book is: is it nonfiction? The answer is: it’s difficult to tell! Primates is ostensibly a nonfiction biography about three different women who work with primates – Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas. It tells about their lives and their work, and the author and the illustrator both did a lot of research and endeavored to be as faithful as possible to the historical realities of their subjects. So, why is it difficult to tell if it’s nonfiction? Graphic novels are one of those things that it’s hard to fit in the nonfiction category – because everything is so described that it’s just about impossible to be 100% accurate. For example, with Jim Ottaviani’s previous book, the #1 New York Times Best-Selling graphic novel Feynman, we had to have a whole big discussion about the depiction of Richard Feynman as a person who rolled up his sleeves. Apparently, in real life, he didn’t roll up his sleeves ever. But in the book, he had his sleeves rolled up all the time – and the depiction of him as a person who was always getting down to work was emblematically portrayed in those rolled sleeves. So – does it matter to an illustrated biography that the artist depicts the character with her hair in a ponytail in one panel when in that moment in real life it was actually in a braid? Or that the artist drew the character in a blue shirt when the shirt she was wearing that day was actually white? Does it make the book fiction instead of nonfiction? You decide!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Calista

    This is similar to Charlie's Angels if they were scientists. Louis, a scientist enlists the help of 3 brilliant women to study great primates. They go out and become part of the primate pack and bring back lots of data. The 3 women weave in and out together from time to time. The story is mostly told in 3 parts and each women gets a part. Jane Goodall is recruited first to study chimps. Dian Fossey is next to study Gorillas and if you have seen the 80s movie Gorillas in the Mist go see it now and This is similar to Charlie's Angels if they were scientists. Louis, a scientist enlists the help of 3 brilliant women to study great primates. They go out and become part of the primate pack and bring back lots of data. The 3 women weave in and out together from time to time. The story is mostly told in 3 parts and each women gets a part. Jane Goodall is recruited first to study chimps. Dian Fossey is next to study Gorillas and if you have seen the 80s movie Gorillas in the Mist go see it now and then finish this review. Birute Galdikas went to Indonesia to study the Orangutans. I had never head of Birute Galdikas before. I thought this was a great introduction to these amazing women and they are strong female women from real life. The art was safe and fun. Louis said women are more patient and better to be accepted into a society. He also thought they were smarter. He was correct.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Primates is an ambitious book that largely succeeds at giving a "slice of life" look to three amazing scientists and their contributions to primatology. Birute Galdikas, Jane Goodall, and Dian Fossey in the field I was familiar with Goodall and Fossey, but I confess to have never read about Galdikas, and I am grateful for the opportunity to learn more about her work here. Each of these women were selected by Dr. Louis Leakey, premier anthropologist to study and observe in the field. Goodall and F Primates is an ambitious book that largely succeeds at giving a "slice of life" look to three amazing scientists and their contributions to primatology. Birute Galdikas, Jane Goodall, and Dian Fossey in the field I was familiar with Goodall and Fossey, but I confess to have never read about Galdikas, and I am grateful for the opportunity to learn more about her work here. Each of these women were selected by Dr. Louis Leakey, premier anthropologist to study and observe in the field. Goodall and Fossey had no formal training when they began working with Leakey, as he saw it, not being bogged down with jargon and method, but a clear view of primate study. Nuance and development are hard to bring in a graphic form - subtleties and glances, and general "feelings", but author Ottaviani and illustrator Wicks perform some spectacular character development of the three "Trimate" scientists, and their sponsor/benefactor Leakey here. Leakey comes across both lecherous and generous: he recruits young women and there are implied relationships - and then works to get funding and sponsorships for each woman to do their fieldwork unimpeded. He believes that women's keen observation skills work well in the field, and with Goodall, Fossey, and Galdikas - he sponsors their PhD education at Cambridge University. Each woman is profiled as they begin their studies - Goodall with the chimpanzees in Tanzania, Fossey with the gorillas in Rwanda, and Galdikas with the orangutans in Indonesia - setting up camp, establishing patterns in the primate populations, and slowly getting deeper into the primate society. The cartoon illustrations may lead people to think this is geared to a young audience (and it could be read and understood by 10+). The design and style was well though-out. Some of the interactions between the three scientists could have been confusing, but the illustrator made note to change the fonts for each: Goodall gets a curvy cursive, Fossey gets a serif typewriter font, and Galdikas gets a block script. The format does limit any true detail, but this book is meant to give you an amuse-bouche, so the reader can get a cursory glance at each scientist, and follow up with the provided bibliography for many more details later. It worked on me. I want to read more about these extraordinary women now! -- 2016 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge - a non-superhero comic

  5. 5 out of 5

    Roya

    A perfect example of a good idea that's poorly executed. Things ended on a vague note and I'm not sure how I feel about it. Is it or isn't it nonfiction? This book (I believe) set out to make people more aware of female scientists, but in the end I was left not knowing what was true and what wasn't. A perfect example of a good idea that's poorly executed. Things ended on a vague note and I'm not sure how I feel about it. Is it or isn't it nonfiction? This book (I believe) set out to make people more aware of female scientists, but in the end I was left not knowing what was true and what wasn't.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Brigid ✩

    So, my little sister was reading this and I picked it up last night because it looked cute and interesting––so then I went and read the whole thing, of course. I already knew a bit about Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey, but I don't think I'd ever heard of Biruté Galdikas. This book is a fascinating look into all of their lives and the fearless and groundbreaking work they did. I really loved the artwork, it's really adorable. For the most part, I liked how it was written. However, there were a few c So, my little sister was reading this and I picked it up last night because it looked cute and interesting––so then I went and read the whole thing, of course. I already knew a bit about Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey, but I don't think I'd ever heard of Biruté Galdikas. This book is a fascinating look into all of their lives and the fearless and groundbreaking work they did. I really loved the artwork, it's really adorable. For the most part, I liked how it was written. However, there were a few confusing shifts in point of view. The three narrators' perspectives are in different "handwriting" but I often forgot whose was whose. There were also some gaps in the narrative that I found jarring. I had a feeling a lot of things were glossed over because the book is meant to be kid-friendly ... also I guess many years had to be skipped over at parts so that it wasn't hundreds of pages long. But over all, I really enjoyed it. It's a very interesting, touching, and inspiring story.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Wanda

    When I put a hold on this book through my public library, I had no idea that it was a graphic novel meant for teenagers. All that registered for me was that it was a new book about my personal hero, Jane Goodall, as well as two other admired women, Dian Fossey and Birute Galikas. It is a graphic novel, so it doesn't take long to read--maybe an hour or so. I would consider it to be a gentle introduction to the work done by three indomitable women for those who are unfamiliar with it. I guess becaus When I put a hold on this book through my public library, I had no idea that it was a graphic novel meant for teenagers. All that registered for me was that it was a new book about my personal hero, Jane Goodall, as well as two other admired women, Dian Fossey and Birute Galikas. It is a graphic novel, so it doesn't take long to read--maybe an hour or so. I would consider it to be a gentle introduction to the work done by three indomitable women for those who are unfamiliar with it. I guess because I grew up watching National Geographic specials about Jane, I just can't believe that anyone is unaware of her work. I spent my teenage years wanting to be her. Unfortunately, there were no chimpanzees on my little stretch of Canadian prairie, so I had to practice on other animals: gophers, sparrows, even cats and dogs. And no on who is interested in either primates or wildlife conservation is unfamiliar with all three women. But we all have to start somewhere, so this is a good introduction for the next generation. It's obvious that Ottaviani and Wicks have done their homework. The lives of the three researchers are portrayed accurately, although they feel a bit brief. Although the book's jacket says that it is meant for teens, to me it felt like it would be better for slightly younger children, maybe the tweens. I would like to think that teenagers would want something a bit more substantial, but it's been a long time since I was a teen and even then I probably wasn't typical. It is definitely a sanitized version--nowhere is it explicitly stated that Dian was murdered for her conservation work, although it is pointed out that her extreme views didn't make her many friends in Africa and it says that she is buried next to her beloved gorilla, Digit. Jane's personal life ceases to be mentioned after the birth of her son--no mention is made of her divorce and remarriage. There is one humerous reference to her "presenting" to a dance partner at a conference, but since the concept of "presenting," i.e. assuming a sexually receptive pose like a female chimp, is never explained elsewhere in the book, I wonder how many young readers will have any idea why it is supposed to be funny? Birute's divorce is treated very matter-of-factly, when I believe that it was actually a very painful, bitter parting. And none of her children, Canadian or Indonesian, are ever mentioned. Not that I expect a children's books to probe the details of these women's personal lives, but why include their personal lives at all? Surely it's supposed to be their research that is featured, as suggested in the subtitle? Not a complaint, but an observation: none of the drawings really look like the women. Sometimes I had difficulty deciding if I was looking at Dian or Birute and had to depend on the dialog to help me sort them out. Jane was obvious because she was made very blonde (was she ever that blonde?) Louis Leakey is portrayed as considerably less eccentric that he truly was and his wife, Mary, is drawn wearing a man's suit and smoking a cigar--perhaps accurate of some period of her life, but rather dismissive. [In the only figure where she appears, she says to Biruate, "Married, eh? Good, not like the other ones." Perhaps a jab at Louis' rather unprofessional interest in all the women with his occupational reach]. A strange mixture of research and the personal. I would definitely give the book to children of the appropriate age. Perhaps it's my extra knowledge of the life details of these three women that leaves me feeling a bit uneasy. Those with less background might not notice some of the digs and jabs. I also wonder if a story about male researchers would include so many details of personal relationships? Somehow I doubt it and that is the source of my misgivings.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    I so wanted to love this book! The artwork is fantastic, and the three scientists (Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas) come across as individual personalities, each admirable, tough, and dedicated in her own way. Unfortunately, as other reviewers have pointed out, there are some problems. My biggest beef is the parroted belief of Louis Leakey that women are better in the field because they're "more perceptive and more patient than men." It would be nice if there was anything here to c I so wanted to love this book! The artwork is fantastic, and the three scientists (Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas) come across as individual personalities, each admirable, tough, and dedicated in her own way. Unfortunately, as other reviewers have pointed out, there are some problems. My biggest beef is the parroted belief of Louis Leakey that women are better in the field because they're "more perceptive and more patient than men." It would be nice if there was anything here to challenge this totally sexist and paternalistic notion. Instead, the book seemed to endorse it. Also, the point of view is confusing, and it was difficult for me to pick the book up after putting it down. I think this aspect of the book could be too challenging for a young reader. So much is told in first person, only to be called out as partial fiction in the author's note, ugh. I had believed while reading that these were actual quotes from the scientists. And finally, I wish there was more about the fieldwork these women did and the significance of their discoveries. That is pretty glossed over, each woman's work reduced to one major discovery. In the meantime, their personal lives get fairly detailed treatment. I imagine they'll want to be remembered for their work, not their rocky love lives. Overall, a disappointment! It has a great cover, the illustrations are so well done, and I do like the subject matter. So at least a few redeeming qualities.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth A

    When I was in primary school, we had to read a book titled "Great Men and Women". Do I need to mention that Gandhi was the only person of color in the book? At least there were two women: Marie Curie and Florence Nightingale. I am glad that times have changed in that respect, and that young people can find books that are somewhat more representative today. In my home the name Leakey was used as often as the name Kardashian seems to be used by the media today, so imagine my delight in learning th When I was in primary school, we had to read a book titled "Great Men and Women". Do I need to mention that Gandhi was the only person of color in the book? At least there were two women: Marie Curie and Florence Nightingale. I am glad that times have changed in that respect, and that young people can find books that are somewhat more representative today. In my home the name Leakey was used as often as the name Kardashian seems to be used by the media today, so imagine my delight in learning that Louis Leakey played a key role getting these women scientists started on their careers. There are some Goodreads reviewers who are unhappy with Leakey's stance that women would be better in the field because they were "more perceptive and more patient than men." Doesn't bother me one bit. Women getting a leg up because of a sexist attitude is actually a refreshing change. This is a graphic biography of sorts about the three greatest primatologists of the last century: Jane Goodall (Chimps), Dian Fossey (Gorillas), and Biruté Galdikas (Orangutans). It is not non-fiction as the book blurb proclaims. In the afterword the authors state: "Some of what you just read is fiction." There are holes in this story, huge gaping holes, and when the lives of the three women intersect, the text is often confusing as to who is saying what. But I say that as an adult reader, and I plan to add the books in the bibliography to my TBR list. This book is targeted for a young adult audience (read tween), so the art is cute and colorful, and the timeline and events highly simplified. This would be a fun way to introduce kids (especially girls) to these three ground-breaking researchers who each made profound contributions to primatology and to our own understanding of ourselves.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Seth T.

    When my daughter was two, we watched a lot of David Attenborough documentaries. Planet Earth especially. She named the polar bear trio in the first episode after her, her mother, and her infant brother—I, the papa bear, was at the office. One of our favourites though was an episode of The Life of Mammals that we found on Netflix called "Social Climbers." It's all about monkeys and it's amazing to watch. I know all kinds of animals are smart and use tools and surprise us constantly with their ing When my daughter was two, we watched a lot of David Attenborough documentaries. Planet Earth especially. She named the polar bear trio in the first episode after her, her mother, and her infant brother—I, the papa bear, was at the office. One of our favourites though was an episode of The Life of Mammals that we found on Netflix called "Social Climbers." It's all about monkeys and it's amazing to watch. I know all kinds of animals are smart and use tools and surprise us constantly with their ingenuity—there's just something wonderful about these creatures in particular. My daughter and I always had a grand time snuggling up and watching the habits of these intelligent animals unfold under the warming tones of Attenborough's soothing narration. When I heard First Second would be publishing a non-fictional account of three of the foremost pioneers in primate studies, I was intrigued. When I discovered that it was written by Jim Ottaviani, I had to have it. His Feynman is one of my favourite non-fiction comics. Ottaviani's sense of what out of everything to convey is masterful. I couldn't wait to burn through Primates. Attenborough primed me for the book and Ottaviani's involvement sold me on its viability, but I was wholly unprepared for Maris Wicks. [Wicks wants you to think this is imaginary Jane Goodall but I choose to believe it is real-life Wicks herself swooping in to make all things beautiful] Wicks is beautiful.1 Wicks is gorgeous. Wicks is vibrant and verdant and lush and bright and comfortable and lively. This is cartoon art of the first caliber. I fell in love within pages. Her sense of these animals is perfect. Before reading Primates, I probably could have imagined any number of artists exploring Ottaviani's script with him. Now, that is impossible. Wicks owns Primates as much as Ottaviani (if not more!2). Adding to the tremendous strength of Wicks' work on the book is her choices in colouring. It probably helps that she both illustrates and colours the work herself and that she evidently has some pretty mean skill with a palette. I've used words like verdant and lush and lively to describe her art. It's because of the colours. This is one of the greenest books I own. And not just some sad mix of drab greens that might dot the hillsides in your standard, grim contemporary fantasy adventure. Nah, Wicks' greens punch you in the face with how happy they are. This is a book that makes sitting for hours and days and weeks in the jungle to catch a glimpse of some monkeys doing something (anything!!)—well, it makes that jungle seem like the best place in the world to be. [It's like they can see into each other's souls!] And lest we imagine that Wicks has made a lie of the arduous routines that Primates' three protagonists underwent, I like to read this as Wicks transcending the mundane world of insect bites and cold mornings and wet clothes and cramping muscles and instead delivering us into the transformative mindset of the women who would happily endure these things for months and years in service to their dreams. In that sense, I think Wicks has captured something marvelous, something beyond words. Because while these women are built of tremendous determination, it's the joy they take in these animals that is what fuels that stubborn willpower. Primates tells the overlapping stories of three women who (through hard work that others were unwilling or unable to take on) discovered new things about chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans. Two of them, Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey, were familiar to me. I had seen several documentary pieces on Goodall in high school circa 1990 and I was at least aware of the 1986 Sigourney Weaver film about Fossey, Gorillas in the Mist (even if it was a bit outside my interests at the time). Biruté Galdikas was entirely unknown to me—though the delightful fact from the cover that she wore a blade on her hip helped me anticipate her section. Each of these women are deeply associated with primate studies and each were tied together through the early direction of Louis Leakey.4 As a primer on these three women's work, Primates is perhaps a wild success. The reader is given a fair assessment of both the content of their work and a glimpse into its importance. The act of reading is almost wholly without challenge and is even invigourating; through the different narrative voices Ottaviani uses for each of the women (and briefly for Leaky as well) I found myself happily drawn into their own recollections of their work. For the neophyte in whom this book sparks interest, an initial list of resources for further studies is provided (being boring and lame and sometimes satisfied with too little, I simply opted for Wikipedia to round off some of the corners to my own body of knowledge in respect to these women). Someone more familiar with these women and their scientific contributions will doubtlessly find Primates a less lively read than I did—as would anyone approaching a text aimed at an audience with a lower proficiency in a subject. A book of 133 pages dedicated to biographizing three lives is going to understandably overlook much of the content of those lives. This is not a criticism, but may be important for fans of Goodall or Fossey or Galdikas to keep in mind. Ottaviani does make understated references to certain things that those more familiar with his subjects will pick up on. An example: And another: One time Ottaviani and Wicks were a bit too coy, I think, and the mystery still eats at me. My wife too as it turns out. She read Primates a day or so after I finished, sparked by my exuberance for Wicks' art. After she turned the last page, I began to probe her (as I am wont) regarding her assessment of the work. I interrupted her just as she was getting started with the question: "Was there anything you didn't get?" A pause of consideration and then we spoke in unison: "What did she sit on?!" We still don't know. I tried Google and read a couple biographical articles on Galdikas, hoping against hope the event would be described—to no avail. Maybe some day. For now, when I think of Primates, two thoughts pop into mind before any others: 1) Soooooo pretty; and 2) What did she sit on?! If you read all that and somehow are confused as to what I think, here's the short version: I very much enjoyed Primates. It's a lot of fun even if it may leave the reader hoping for more information. I would have happily read the same book had it been 270 pages long. I might even had done so had it been 380. Maybe not, but probably. Primates' three (or, briefly, four) narrators are not as buoyant or rambunctious as Feynman was for Feynman, but they are different people and Primates' use of their voices is comfortable and warm (perhaps in Fossey's case, warmer than the woman herself). Ottaviani does a good job balancing between the three women and prevents the work from being about any single one of them to the diminishment of the others. I expect the work will age well and will be especially useful in giving younger readers a foothold into the study of primate ethnology.5 I think most readers will really really like6 Primates and most of those will even learn a thing or eight. ________ Footnotes 1) This shouldn't need clarification, but I'm here talking about Wicks' art. Like how we might say that Monet is blotchy or Van Gogh is swirly or Pollack is drippy or Warhol is boring. I mean, we probably wouldn't but hopefully that gives you the idea of what twist of language we're working with here. Wicks, the human person, might be beautiful and gorgeous and vibrant and verdant (verdant?) and all these things, but I can't know that because I've never met or even seen her. So we'll stick to describing her luscious art. 2) Sorry, man! If you want all the glory, you should choose to work with a lesser light next time.3 3) Don't worry! I'm kidding. I know you're not a glory hog. 4) I'm not certain how much direction he actually gave, but the book makes it seem minimal. More logistics and networking within the home theater than anything. 5) That the focus of the work is on three women (and not just arbitrarily on three women but justly) may be of help provoking interest in the sciences in young girls—a demographic to whom the sciences sadly seem rather opaque and uninteresting. 6) This was my wife's actual evaluation: she "really really liked" the book. ________ [Review courtesy of Good Ok Bad.]

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mickie

    After LOVING Feynman my teens (boys aged 18/15) and I were really excited to find this book. But we all were frustrated and confused by it. The kids (who have little to no knowledge of these women) found the narrator switch confusing and were left with lots of questions that were never answered(what did Birute sit in that hurt her? Why did Jane hike naked? What was the point of the card test? What bridge is Birute referring to with Jane? What happened to Dian?). They also didn't "get" how what th After LOVING Feynman my teens (boys aged 18/15) and I were really excited to find this book. But we all were frustrated and confused by it. The kids (who have little to no knowledge of these women) found the narrator switch confusing and were left with lots of questions that were never answered(what did Birute sit in that hurt her? Why did Jane hike naked? What was the point of the card test? What bridge is Birute referring to with Jane? What happened to Dian?). They also didn't "get" how what they did was groundbreaking or how it mattered. They did like the artwork. I was enthralled by the anecdotes in the book until I read this line in the afterword: "...some of what you just read is fiction. You probably guessed that already..." what? Soooo...what was real and what was fiction? grrrrr I have no idea, so I have to count the entire thing as false. I'm not going to read every book in the bibliography to figure it out. Some notes giving context or disclaimers or explanation would have made this a much more interesting read and one that left us with some idea of what these women did, how it was fearless and what it means for today? I won't be recommending it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sesana

    I was mostly enjoying reading this, even though it could be really choppy in places and the perspective shifts could have been handled better. But then I get to the note at the end. So it's partially fiction? But you won't say which part? Fair or not, that left a sour taste. I was mostly enjoying reading this, even though it could be really choppy in places and the perspective shifts could have been handled better. But then I get to the note at the end. So it's partially fiction? But you won't say which part? Fair or not, that left a sour taste.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Vincent Desjardins

    This slim graphic novel might serve as an introduction to the work of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey and Birute Galdikas but it is really too short to do justice to the ground-breaking work these women accomplished. The book’s subtitle is “The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey and Birute Galdikas,” but the book isn’t so much about the science as it is about the roads they took and the battles they fought to do their studies. On another note, I wasn’t crazy about the art. The human charact This slim graphic novel might serve as an introduction to the work of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey and Birute Galdikas but it is really too short to do justice to the ground-breaking work these women accomplished. The book’s subtitle is “The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey and Birute Galdikas,” but the book isn’t so much about the science as it is about the roads they took and the battles they fought to do their studies. On another note, I wasn’t crazy about the art. The human characters are drawn on the level of a cheap Saturday morning cartoon and the primates aren't much better. I especially didn’t like how the orangutans were drawn. In my opinion, there should have been more texture and coloration in their faces. I was also surprised how the author basically skipped over the fact that Dian Fossey was murdered. Although I don’t think her killing has ever been solved, it is believed by some that poachers were responsible for the crime. The author basically states that she made some enemies, her life was a tragedy and then shows a picture of her tombstone with no indication of how she died. I know that this book is geared for kids, but the fact that they included some rather blatant hints about Louis Leakey’s marital infidelities, makes me wonder why they couldn’t be more honest about Fossey’s death. Anyway, this book is a fast read, and it is interesting and entertaining, but if you want any kind of depth about these three remarkable women, I would suggest looking elsewhere.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Preeti

    It's pretty sad (on my part) that I'd never heard of Biruté Galdikas before learning about this book. I'll have to correct that in the next year or so. Of course, I "know" Jane Goodall (love her) as well as Dian Fossey (I've seen Gorillas in the Mist and have the book on my to-read list). This book is geared towards younger audiences, but because of the subject matter and the fact that it was a comic, I had to check it out. The art is beautiful - it's simple and cute, and some of the scenes are j It's pretty sad (on my part) that I'd never heard of Biruté Galdikas before learning about this book. I'll have to correct that in the next year or so. Of course, I "know" Jane Goodall (love her) as well as Dian Fossey (I've seen Gorillas in the Mist and have the book on my to-read list). This book is geared towards younger audiences, but because of the subject matter and the fact that it was a comic, I had to check it out. The art is beautiful - it's simple and cute, and some of the scenes are just really well done. The story - or stories, since it covers all three scientists - are very simple. After having read a couple of Jane Goodall's books, I know that this simplifies her work a lot, and I assume it's the same with Fossey and Galdikas. But again, since it's geared towards younger audiences, this makes sense. It's basically an intro to the three women, and hopefully encourages kids to find out more. The one thing that stood out to me, especially since this is a kid's book, is the inclusion (though somewhat subtle) of Louis Leakey's womanizing behavior. I actually hadn't known this about him (I actually don't know much about him generally), but I'm planning on reading Virginia Morell's book, Ancestral Passions: The Leakey Family and the Quest for Humankind's Beginnings, so I look forward to learning more. I would definitely recommend this book, not just for kids, but for adults who are artistically inclined and want an introduction on these three incredible women. To Explore Check out an exclusive excerpt of Primates from Boing Boing. Alternatively, there's a great SciShow episode of Great Minds that covers these three women.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    I hadn't liked T MInus, I had liked his Feynman (though didn't like Feynman himself as depicted in the book), shut when Primates showed up I didn't think I would read it… but this story is great, maybe especially for girls, and is maybe an encouragement for girls to get involved in science, animals, wildlife study and ecology. It's the story of three women who became famous for working with, living with, developing close relationships with, and researching primates: Jane Goodall with chimpanzees I hadn't liked T MInus, I had liked his Feynman (though didn't like Feynman himself as depicted in the book), shut when Primates showed up I didn't think I would read it… but this story is great, maybe especially for girls, and is maybe an encouragement for girls to get involved in science, animals, wildlife study and ecology. It's the story of three women who became famous for working with, living with, developing close relationships with, and researching primates: Jane Goodall with chimpanzees, Diane Fossey with gorillas, and Birute Gaidkas with orangutans, all of whom were less than academically prepared to do the work but particularly suited for it. It's s a story that questions the need for university "training" to do something, since they seem to be ideal to do the work emotionally and intellectually, and they learn on the job technical aspects of research and the culture they live in, they do just fine without the degrees. . . though over time a couple of them do get more academic/scholarly background… It's also (in a smaller way) the story of Dr. Richard Leakey, who recognizes the gifts of these young women, denies they need university training, gets funding for them, and leaves them to become recognized for themselves. One man, having worked with one of them, having gotten his PhD and gotten a tenure track job, asked her what her academic or scholarly plans were and she said she was doing what she wanted to do; in other words, she wasn't using the work to "get something" else such as academic credentials or university job, as he and so many people typically do. It was fulfilling work for her (and the three of them) in and of itself. So: the academy is seen as separating you, potentially, from your passion, making it into something else, into a means to an end, and this can definitely be true. Primates is also a book about non-fiction, because Ottaviani even says it has fiction in it, it is a fictionalized biography, but this is not surprising, how could it be otherwise? He has to fill in details, so what? It's not just a kid's book, finally, in case you were wondering. It's really good on so many levels. I was happily surprised!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    My third graphic novel, very entertaining and informative. This is a book that never would have been on my radar had it not been a selection for Booktopia Petoskey 2015. Now I want to read this author's earlier work, Feynman I wracked my brain because I knew I had heard of Louis Leakey before. Was it in that wonderful fictional account of Margaret Mead called Euphoria?...no, hmmmm, or maybe that Hanya Yanagihara anthropological themed The People in the Trees??....nope, not that either....so I goog My third graphic novel, very entertaining and informative. This is a book that never would have been on my radar had it not been a selection for Booktopia Petoskey 2015. Now I want to read this author's earlier work, Feynman I wracked my brain because I knew I had heard of Louis Leakey before. Was it in that wonderful fictional account of Margaret Mead called Euphoria?...no, hmmmm, or maybe that Hanya Yanagihara anthropological themed The People in the Trees??....nope, not that either....so I googled. Turns out where I heard of Leakey is Leonard Hofstadter's middle name is Leakey after the great anthropologist and he takes a great deal of teasing about it. Yes, that's how highbrow I really am, I heard of Louis Leakey on The Big Bang Theory....lol.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Gauri

    This graphic novel focuses on three female trailblazers and scientists who respectively observed different primates and made landmark discoveries. This book serves as a good introduction to kids of the significance of their discoveries and their journeys to success. However, it only scrapes the surface of their stories, it's not entirely historically accurate, the conversations are fictional, and it doesn't adequately cover Fossey's aggressiveness with the native people of the land she covered. This graphic novel focuses on three female trailblazers and scientists who respectively observed different primates and made landmark discoveries. This book serves as a good introduction to kids of the significance of their discoveries and their journeys to success. However, it only scrapes the surface of their stories, it's not entirely historically accurate, the conversations are fictional, and it doesn't adequately cover Fossey's aggressiveness with the native people of the land she covered.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dani Shuping

    Little was understood about primates prior to 1950. While many researchers tried to understand and observe them they all failed and came back frustrated and dejected or with misinformation. And then....three women, Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas, all students of Louis Leaky, changed everything that we knew about primates and changed what we understood about ourselves. This book weaves a story and introduces the reader to the woman and their work...and leaves us wanting more. For m Little was understood about primates prior to 1950. While many researchers tried to understand and observe them they all failed and came back frustrated and dejected or with misinformation. And then....three women, Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas, all students of Louis Leaky, changed everything that we knew about primates and changed what we understood about ourselves. This book weaves a story and introduces the reader to the woman and their work...and leaves us wanting more. For me Maris Wicks artwork is what sells this book. Don’t get me wrong Ottaviani’s writing and storytelling and par none, but Maris’s art takes this story and makes it special. Her character design effortlessly captures the movement of not only the human characters, but the grace of the various primates they studied. The colors are bright and vibrant and just breathe life into the story. The colors and character design in this book remind me a lot of Smile by Raina Telgemeier. Ottaviani’s writing style is pitch perfect for this type of book and helps the reader feel like we’re a part of the adventure vs. reading a history book. His stories and descriptions make me want to know more abou the three women and makes me want to tell others to check them out as well. What I really like about this book is that he intertwines their stories together to help create one cohesive narrative and flowing story. Were parts of the story imagined to make a good story? Yes, but it helps readers better understand these three powerful and free thinking women who challenge preconceived notions on how things should be and helped make the world their own. Ottaviani’s and Maris provide a biography and an explanation of how the book was created to help readers understand what was changed and how they can learn more. I highly recommend this book for all ages and anyone that wants to learn more, not only about primates, but about the three amazing women that helped us begin to understand them. ARC provided by NetGalley

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amy Rae

    The movie Gorillas in the Mist is one that will always be special to me--I remember watching it with my mother, who liked it a great deal. So I was excited from the start to read a book that included Dian Fossey's life, and for the most part, I wasn't disappointed. This is a beautifully coloured graphic novel, with dot-eyed heroines that remind me a little of Tintin. (The roommate points out that the overall style is a little too complicated to be true ligne clair, but I think there's some inspir The movie Gorillas in the Mist is one that will always be special to me--I remember watching it with my mother, who liked it a great deal. So I was excited from the start to read a book that included Dian Fossey's life, and for the most part, I wasn't disappointed. This is a beautifully coloured graphic novel, with dot-eyed heroines that remind me a little of Tintin. (The roommate points out that the overall style is a little too complicated to be true ligne clair, but I think there's some inspiration here nonetheless in Maris Wicks' illustrations.) The bold illustrations bring the jungles of sub-Saharan Africa and southeast Asia to life, and the different lettering styles and narration boxes were easy to understand and follow. That said, I'm not completely satisfied with this book. It really doesn't make much space for people of colour, nor does it note that Leakey's academic field didn't, either, and Dian Fossey's murder is really underplayed. The book doesn't even state outright that she was murdered. I don't require graphic illustrations by any means (i don't think anyone does :( ), but I think real, textual acknowledgment of what happened to her would have been appropriate. I also think it would have been a good idea to mention that she'd developed emphysema, rather than just showing her oxygen tank in a panel without any real explanation. But when you take what's actually there, I think Ottaviani's writing captures the joy of scientific discovery. Reading this book, it's easy to understand why these women were captivated by the primates with which they worked, and why it's so important to preserve these natural habitats. This was a quick, generally pleasant read that I would happily share with any young scientist in need of a little inspiration.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Claudia

    I know of Goodall's work, and Fossey's. I know something about their research and temperments. But Galkikas? Nothing. Three women under the thrall of Louis Leakey...and held in great suspicion by Mrs. Leakey. They all were inspired to go study primates: chimps, gorillas, orangutans. In their native land. Leakey thought, sexist that he was (and philanderer??) that women were more suited for this kind of field work because they were more patient...and these three were, to an extent. Goodall seems t I know of Goodall's work, and Fossey's. I know something about their research and temperments. But Galkikas? Nothing. Three women under the thrall of Louis Leakey...and held in great suspicion by Mrs. Leakey. They all were inspired to go study primates: chimps, gorillas, orangutans. In their native land. Leakey thought, sexist that he was (and philanderer??) that women were more suited for this kind of field work because they were more patient...and these three were, to an extent. Goodall seems to be the one who keeps her own identity the best, living among her critters, raising her family. Fossey seemed to have a split personality and didn't know how to back down from a fight. It got her gruesomely murdered, but the book glosses over this. And Galdikas goes native -- splits with her husband and marries a local man. The science is glossed over, but there's a list of sources for those of us who want to know more. Interesting in what is not said as much as is said. A good introduction to three remarkable women who contributed...and continue to contribute...to our knowledge of primates.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Raina

    Sweet combo-bio piece about three women who really like watching animals. And not as evolution-focused as I expected. As someone who's very interested in how various industries work, I loved the behind-the-scenes on HOW Jane Goodall got to the chimps. Apparently, there was this anthropologist who sent/funded these ladies to go watch monkeys - for years at a time. I loved the way this portrayed the study of animals - many of us love to watch birds, or our pets, or animals at the zoo. And as long a Sweet combo-bio piece about three women who really like watching animals. And not as evolution-focused as I expected. As someone who's very interested in how various industries work, I loved the behind-the-scenes on HOW Jane Goodall got to the chimps. Apparently, there was this anthropologist who sent/funded these ladies to go watch monkeys - for years at a time. I loved the way this portrayed the study of animals - many of us love to watch birds, or our pets, or animals at the zoo. And as long as you have the attention span to do so for hours at a time, this makes science feel very accessible. I'm sure that things have changed since Goodall, Fossey, and Galdikas were studying their subjects. Internet, globalization, and other factors have changed everything about how we operate. But the way things went down for them feels accessible, even desirable (for anyone who likes to camp). A contender (among a crowded field of awesome GNs) for my 2016 middle school booktalks.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Adan

    A pretty good book about three remarkable scientists who studied apes around the world. I wish there had been a bit more science to complement the personal stories like in Ottaviani's other books. This could have easily been three longer books, one on each woman. A pretty good book about three remarkable scientists who studied apes around the world. I wish there had been a bit more science to complement the personal stories like in Ottaviani's other books. This could have easily been three longer books, one on each woman.

  23. 4 out of 5

    LibraryCin

    This is a YA graphic novel that tells of the lives and great ape studies of Jane Goodall (chimpanzees), Dian Fossey (gorillas), and Birute Galdikas (orangutans). This was really good! I’ve read about Goodall and Fossey before, but nothing about Galdikas (though I’ve now added one of her books to my tbr!). Because it’s a fairly short graphic novel that covers all three women, it skips a lot of detail, but I really enjoyed the information that was there, and I loved the illustrations! There is als This is a YA graphic novel that tells of the lives and great ape studies of Jane Goodall (chimpanzees), Dian Fossey (gorillas), and Birute Galdikas (orangutans). This was really good! I’ve read about Goodall and Fossey before, but nothing about Galdikas (though I’ve now added one of her books to my tbr!). Because it’s a fairly short graphic novel that covers all three women, it skips a lot of detail, but I really enjoyed the information that was there, and I loved the illustrations! There is also a very nice bibliography included at the end. Beautiful graphic novel about three amazing women.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mary Ellen

    I have been obsessed with Jane Goodall since I was about 7 years old. I was going to be just like her when I grew up. (I even dressed like her for Halloween one year.) Well, my love for animals was eventually won over by my love for books. Then I married an animator/cartoonist and now I have a special love for graphic novels. So, you can imagine how ECSTATIC I was that there was a graphic novel about Jane Goodall!! All my favorite things! There was no way this was going to be a strike out. Well, I I have been obsessed with Jane Goodall since I was about 7 years old. I was going to be just like her when I grew up. (I even dressed like her for Halloween one year.) Well, my love for animals was eventually won over by my love for books. Then I married an animator/cartoonist and now I have a special love for graphic novels. So, you can imagine how ECSTATIC I was that there was a graphic novel about Jane Goodall!! All my favorite things! There was no way this was going to be a strike out. Well, I just finished it and I am a little heart broken. It was such a good idea! The drawings were perfect! I loved the style and the first thirty-six pages were EXCELLENT! It all fell apart for me on page 37. I had two major issues with this book. 1) They tried to stuff 3 full lives and stories into 133 pages (roughly 650 illustrations). They easily could have spent all of those pages diving into ONE of their life stories. Fitting all three of these ladies work into this one book felt really rushed. I knew a lot about Jane Goodall before, so I was following along with her story really well. I knew hardly anything at all about Dian Fossey and Birute Galdikas. Their stories were VERY briefly covered and I got confused a lot. The second major problem was writing this book in first person form. This did not sit well with me because - 1) it got SO confusing. In the beginning the "I" referred to Jane and then suddenly the I just switched over and it took me a page and a half to realize that the "I" had turned into Dian Fossey. This got EXTREMELY confusing at the end when all three women were together. I read through the last section 3 times and I'm still not positive who it is talking. 2) This book was not written by any of these three women. There was absolutely no reason to tell this story as if the women themselves were telling it. The only way I would have been ok with this being in first person is if they had sited every quotation. (See Drown City by Don Brown). I was very put off by the disclaimer at the end "Maris and I didn't observe Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas the same way they observed chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans. As a result, some of what you just read is fiction." There is enough written about and BY these women that none of what is in this book should have to be fiction! And, as far as I know- two of them are still alive! They could have (and should have) interviewed them! And if they are going to say some of it is fiction- they need to at least tell me what parts of the story are fiction! What is the point of writing a non-fiction graphic novel if your readers can't even be sure which parts are real and which aren't? It was such an amazing idea! It could have been SO much better. All I can do now is hope that this got readers interested enough in these women's work that they will read more about them elsewhere. I suppose that would be the goal even if it was all indisputable truth. But, I just really want graphic novels to be taken serious as pieces of informative literature. This book just plain disappointed me. I still love you though Jane Goodall.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Erica

    ** Reviewed for Netgalley.com, Electronic Advanced Reader copy provided through NetGalley by the publisher ** I loved this book! The three life stories of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas are told in one fascinating graphic novel. Each individual woman's story is told, how they each became interested and came to work with their respective primates. One figure, Louis Leaky, seemed to have played a role in all of their lives, the passion for their interest and work was recognized by t ** Reviewed for Netgalley.com, Electronic Advanced Reader copy provided through NetGalley by the publisher ** I loved this book! The three life stories of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas are told in one fascinating graphic novel. Each individual woman's story is told, how they each became interested and came to work with their respective primates. One figure, Louis Leaky, seemed to have played a role in all of their lives, the passion for their interest and work was recognized by this one gentleman. The artwork is beautifully done by Maris Wicks and having seen photos of the finished book on the First Second website (http://www.firstsecondbooks.com/books...) it's going to be more beautiful in person. The colors are perfect for the setting that each scientist is working in and the chimps, gorillas and orangutans are all drawn and colored in such a way that you want to cuddle them but also see the dignity of the creatures. A great continuation of the books about Jane Goodall that came out a few years ago, for example Me...Jane by Patrick McDonnell, while also introducing other great women scientists to kids who may not know Dian Fossey and Biruté Galdikas. I had known about Dian Fossey from the movie, "Gorilla's in the Mist" but had no idea Biruté Galdikas had studied orangutans. This could be a great biography and a bibliography is included to help kids, parents, teachers and librarians who to learn more about the individual women. One thing I noticed was missing was Dian Fossey's murder, it's mentioned that her life was cut short. Her dear gorilla friend, Digit, was killed by poachers and her anti-poaching efforts earned her many enemies but murder is never mentioned. That may have been intentional considering the age group this book is written for but I think young teens could have handled it.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas offers the readers a beautiful introduction to three amazing scientist who changed the way we look at primatology, conservation, and the very woozy line between the human animal divide. Jim Ottaviani does an outstanding job of tying the narrative arc of the story through anthropologist Louis Leakey, who helped all three women get into their fields of expertise. Maris Wick's artwork is phenomenally vibrant throughout Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas offers the readers a beautiful introduction to three amazing scientist who changed the way we look at primatology, conservation, and the very woozy line between the human animal divide. Jim Ottaviani does an outstanding job of tying the narrative arc of the story through anthropologist Louis Leakey, who helped all three women get into their fields of expertise. Maris Wick's artwork is phenomenally vibrant throughout and compliments Ottaviani's narrative nicely. I especially loved scenes where the scientist and primates interacted with one another. The story is divided into five parts. The first three parts tell the story of how Jane, Dian, and Biruté got their start and what their research looked like originally. The fourth section brings women together, once again, after Dr. Leakey has passed away and sheds a light on the direction each women plans to take as they continue their life's work. Ottaviani finally brings each story to a close in the Prologue. With a pleasant mix of humor and research, Ottaviani and artist, Maris Wicks have created a book that is sure to capture the imagination of young and older alike. The Afterword and Bibliography beg to be read and do a fantastic job of encouraging readers to continue learning about these important scientist and their work with primates.* I know this reader has a handful of new books to add to my "to read shelf" here on goodreads! *A special thanks to :01 First Second for providing me with this copy, which will now be put to good use in my classroom library.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    This was a wonderfully fun introduction into the lives of these three outstanding women. As several other people have mentioned, it's not technically a nonfiction biography but does contain the basic facts about these women and their incredible devotion to their science. It also has a very helpful appendix that lists websites, books and articles for further discovery. For me, one of the most interesting things was the belief held by Dr. Leakey that women were more patient and more suited to the p This was a wonderfully fun introduction into the lives of these three outstanding women. As several other people have mentioned, it's not technically a nonfiction biography but does contain the basic facts about these women and their incredible devotion to their science. It also has a very helpful appendix that lists websites, books and articles for further discovery. For me, one of the most interesting things was the belief held by Dr. Leakey that women were more patient and more suited to the painstaking research necessary for these studies. This was an unusual belief for this era. This is a great resource for helping encourage girls who are interested in science, math and research. The illustrations were very fun with facial expressions that really added another dimension to the story. My only issue was that the abbreviated text sometimes led me to be confused about what was going on. I frequently thought that I had skipped a page because some segments didn't make sense. But, that was a minor issue andI would highly recommend this book for school libraries and animal lovers.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    I enjoyed this book, but I am not sure that I will buy it for my 5th grade classroom. The book introduces three primatologists - Dian Fossey, Jane Goodall and Biruté Galdikas - and their work with their respective primates. It also introduces Louis Leakey, who was the one to get each of these women started doing the science that they did. Although each story is told chronologically (except where the story of Louis Leakey's childhood interrupts the story of Jane Goodall), and this is good, but th I enjoyed this book, but I am not sure that I will buy it for my 5th grade classroom. The book introduces three primatologists - Dian Fossey, Jane Goodall and Biruté Galdikas - and their work with their respective primates. It also introduces Louis Leakey, who was the one to get each of these women started doing the science that they did. Although each story is told chronologically (except where the story of Louis Leakey's childhood interrupts the story of Jane Goodall), and this is good, but there is much left out in a 144 page graphic novel that covers the stories of four people. I felt that without significant background knowledge of these scientists, students would not be able to follow the story easily. There were also a few places that I questioned material that was included in the story - including references to Louis Leakey's affair(s). Is it really necessary to include these details in a book that is written for students?

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    Such a beautiful and playful graphic novel! I love love LOVED Maris Wicks' illustrations and Jim Ottaviani's ability to tell three distinct but intertwined stories (he did a fabulous job with Feynman...I'm really going to have to read more of his work). I was obsessed with Dian Fossey in middle school, only recently learned more about Jane Goodall a few years ago (spurred by the seeming glut of awesome picture books on her life published a couple years back), and only had a vague knowledge of Bi Such a beautiful and playful graphic novel! I love love LOVED Maris Wicks' illustrations and Jim Ottaviani's ability to tell three distinct but intertwined stories (he did a fabulous job with Feynman...I'm really going to have to read more of his work). I was obsessed with Dian Fossey in middle school, only recently learned more about Jane Goodall a few years ago (spurred by the seeming glut of awesome picture books on her life published a couple years back), and only had a vague knowledge of Birutė Galdikas, but had no idea they were all connected by Louis Leakey. That was quite a thrilling realization. I would have killed for this book when I was in grade school and middle school when I needed it most--three kick-ass, strong, independent female scientists--but I am so glad to have read it now.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Grippo

    Needs More About Primates... I was actually very bored with this book as there was so little about Primates. I learned nothing about them. I'm not against bio-comics on theses remarkable people, but actually there was little about the three heroines too. Just how they got their jobs, office talk, packing for Africa - boring! With the exception of the Jane section, the author didn't dig deep into who these people are/were, and showed us so little about how they interacted with our cousin primates. Needs More About Primates... I was actually very bored with this book as there was so little about Primates. I learned nothing about them. I'm not against bio-comics on theses remarkable people, but actually there was little about the three heroines too. Just how they got their jobs, office talk, packing for Africa - boring! With the exception of the Jane section, the author didn't dig deep into who these people are/were, and showed us so little about how they interacted with our cousin primates. I don't this book would interest kids or adults.

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