Thursday, May 30, 2013

Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birutė Galdikas, by Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks

The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birutė Galdikas
Authors: Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks
Publisher: First Second
Publication Date: June 11, 2013
I'm not even going to debate with myself about whether or not I would have loved this comic-book-style biography as a child. I know I would have. I had the Mother Theresa comic book as a child! I was a little surprised by how much I enjoyed Primates as an adult though. It was like Persepolis with primates. (I feel like I've made that comparison before. Oh yeah, here. Can you tell I don't read a lot of comics?)

But seriously, y'all. Did you know about "Leaky's Angels"? I thought I knew a little about Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey but obviously I knew nothing because I didn't even realize that their entire careers with primates (chimpanzees for Goodall and gorillas for Fossey--I knew that much at least) started when they were hired by the famous Louis and Mary Leakey to do field work. They've been working on grants set up by the Leakeys all this time! Well, I'm sure Jane Goodall has her own funding now, and Dian Fossey is sadly dead.

And what about Birutė Galdikas? I hadn't even heard about her! Apparently she does the same thing, except with orangutans.

This book is a (much) abridged biography of the three women, told in comic book form. It makes some fascinating allegations, like that Louis Leakey hired each of them because he had a thing for young women, much to the consternation of his wife Mary. Is that true? I don't even know but I'm now obsessed with finding out more about all of them.

I learned so much from this book. Yes I get that it's aimed at children but whatever. You're never too old to learn. Or to have your interest piqued into going out and learning some more.

Disclaimer: I received a digital galley of this book free from the publisher from NetGalley. I was not obliged to write a favourable review, or even any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.


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