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THE GOOSE MAN by Elaine Greenstein


The Story of Konrad Lorenz

by Elaine Greenstein & illustrated by Elaine Greenstein

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-547-08459-6
Publisher: Clarion

From childhood, Konrad Lorenz was fascinated by ducks and geese, growing up to become a prize-winning scientist who offered new insights into animal behavior. This picture-book biography, a first for young readers about the famous ethologist, summarizes his life’s work with geese (although the word instinct is used only in the author’s note). Appropriately for the audience, this introduces the idea of imprinting through describing his pets, a duck in his childhood, a goose he named Martina and Martina’s mate from the wild, Martin. (Unfortunately, the author states that after the pair flew away, Lorenz never saw them again, but Lorenz himself mentions recognizing Martin in a flock of wild geese, early in his 1952 landmark work, King Solomon’s Ring.) The pastel illustrations, in gouache, ink and colored pencil, use a technique that includes scratchboard effects and is childlike in style but also suggestive of Renoir and other impressionists. These pictures tell the story as clearly as the simple text, whose language and frequent repetition make this scientific biography easily accessible to beginning readers. (bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)