More story than study, the book provides an accessible introduction to Goodall’s, Fossey’s and Galdikas’ lives and work.

READ REVIEW

PRIMATES

THE FEARLESS SCIENCE OF JANE GOODALL, DIAN FOSSEY, AND BIRUTÉ GALDIKAS

Veteran science writer Ottaviani (Feynman, 2011, etc.) teams up with illustration newcomer Wicks in this semifictionalized overview of the “Trimates,” three women primatologists championed by Louis Leakey.

The book opens with Goodall’s cozy first-person account of her childhood dreams of studying animals in Africa, her recruitment by Leakey, the establishment of her long-term chimpanzee study in Nigeria and her key discoveries regarding chimpanzee behavior. The narrative then shifts from Goodall to Leakey’s other protégées, Fossey and Galdikas, and their influential research on, respectively, gorillas and orangutans. Fossey and Galdikas also tell their own tales in distinct, often funny, voices. Wicks’ cheerful drawings complement the women’s stories by highlighting their humorous moments. However, the simplicity of Wicks’ rounded figures and flat backgrounds make the panels documenting primate behavior less effective than they could be. Another weakness is the text’s tendency to summarize when more scientific and biographical detail would be welcome. For example, the final chapter covers the later stages of the Trimates’ careers but only briefly addresses the circumstances surrounding Fossey’s death. Readers looking for more substantial biographies or science should seek out other sources after whetting their appetites here.

More story than study, the book provides an accessible introduction to Goodall’s, Fossey’s and Galdikas’ lives and work. (afterword, bibliography) (Graphic novel. 10-14)

Pub Date: June 11, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-59643-865-1

Page Count: 144

Publisher: First Second/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Give this a pass: much clearer pictures of what DNA does and the strong personalities who were involved in winkling out its...

THEY CHANGED THE WORLD

CRICK & WATSON—THE DISCOVERY OF DNA

From the Campfire Heroes series

The story of the discovery of the structure of DNA, in graphic format.

Failing to take advantage of either the format or the historic search’s drama, this rendition presents a portentous account heavy on explication and melodramatic rhetoric and featuring a cast of grimacing or pinched-looking figures spouting wooden dialogue. Watson: “So if we combine our research with Rosalind’s data and…” Crick: “And Linus’s approach of building models. We might be able to figure this out.” Helfand diffuses the focus by paying nearly as much attention to the childhoods and early careers of Linus Pauling, Maurice Wilkins, and Rosalind Franklin as he does to Watson and Crick but downplays the rivalries that drove the race. Also, for all the technical detail he injects (“the phosphates would have to be on the outside”) and further explanations in the back, readers will be left in the dark about the role of genes, how DNA actually works, or even the significance of its double helix structure. A closing note about the contributions of Indian-born Nobelist Har Gobind Khorana adds a note of diversity to the all-white cast.

Give this a pass: much clearer pictures of what DNA does and the strong personalities who were involved in winkling out its secrets are available. (Graphic nonfiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Aug. 16, 2016

ISBN: 978-93-81182-21-5

Page Count: 92

Publisher: Campfire

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

It’s a lot to take in at one sitting, but this anatomical extravaganza really gets to the heart of the matter. Not to...

HUMAN BODY THEATER

A theatrical introduction to human anatomy, as well-choreographed as it is informative.

In 11 “Acts” hosted con brio by a skeletal impresario (“Bring out the lungs!”), Wicks parades a revue of body systems across a curtained stage. It’s a full program, with a teeming supporting cast from Dopamine to Diaphragm, Golgi Body to Gastroenteritis joining more-familiar headliners. The presentation opens with a zoom down to the cellular and even molecular levels to lay foundations for later macro and micro views of digestion, infection, and disease. Following this, the five senses (only five), the “dance of the oxygen fairies,” allergic reactions, and other anatomical processes that make up each system’s major components, most sporting cheery emoji-style faces, expressively demonstrate their respective functions. The reproductive system’s named parts deliver a frank but visually discreet turn with descriptions of erections and fertilization but no direct depictions, and it stops with the onset of puberty. The performances are enhanced by labeled diagrams, pitches on relevant topics from the importance of immunization and proper nutrition to synonyms for “fart,” and lists of important words and further resources. A few miscues aside (no, the speed of sound is not invariant), it’s a grand show, with a logically placed intermission following a peek into the bladder and a literal “wrap” at the end as the emcee puts herself together from inside out.

It’s a lot to take in at one sitting, but this anatomical extravaganza really gets to the heart of the matter. Not to mention the guts, nerves, veins, bones…. (glossary, bibliography) (Graphic nonfiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-62672-277-4

Page Count: 240

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: July 22, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more