Jane Goodall might be a household name for most grownups, thanks to her pioneering work with chimpanzees and more recent efforts at habitat preservation. But many kids don't know the Goodall story and will love this chance to hit the ground in Tanzania and learn about the remarkable scientist and her beloved chimp friends. With dozens of vintage photographs, Goodall recounts her early research in Gombe National Park, including a recap of her childhood and how she came to know Louis Leakey and first enter the bush. With clear and careful prose, Goodall explains her findings about chimp communities and communication, the role of hierarchies, and what sort of threats chimpanzees face today. Best of all, Goodall's account always keeps curious young readers in mind, even relating some of her mistakes, such as when she became too close to her subjects and interfered with her own research.
Young protoscientists will appreciate Goodall's frank descriptions, from kerosene-can-assisted dominance displays to her discovery that chimps engage in hunting and warlike behaviors, and hopefully, such detail will inspire further interest in the future of chimpanzees and other threatened species. Proceeds from the book will go to Roots & Shoots, a "grassroots environmental and humanitarian education program for young people" under the Jane Goodall Institute. Because "hundreds of roots and shoots--young people like you--around the globe can break through and make the world a better place for all living things." (Ages 4 to 8) --Paul Hughes
From Publishers Weekly
Striking an admirable balance between scientific reporting and deep affection, Goodall's (My Life with the Chimpanzees) impassioned introduction to the creatures to whom she's dedicated her life's work may well ignite in readers a similar appreciation. "Chimpanzees are more like humans than any other creature living today," argues Goodall. She supports her claims with firsthand observations of chimp communication, relationships and behavior culled from 41 years of experience, primarily in what is now Gombe National Park in Tanzania. She describes with humor how the knuckle-walking chimps "don't like putting their hands on the ground when it is cold or wet," and records familiar sibling dynamics as Frodo follows his older brother Freud's examples. Dramatic close-up color photographs illustrate Goodall's unique relationship with her subjects; in one, she grooms alpha male David Greybeard; in another stunning scene, Jou-Jou, newly freed from captivity in a Congolese zoo, reaches out to touch Goodall's forehead. She documents the chimps' recognizable emotions of sadness, affection and fear, as well as their ability to create tools, learn American Sign Language and operate computers. An especially poignant story tells of eight-year-old Flint, who was with his mother, Flo, when she died: "He died six weeks after losing Flo. I think he died of grief." In closing, Goodall catalogues the many threats to the animals in the wild and in captivity, yet she ends this remarkable volume with a note of hope and invites readers to join her efforts in protecting chimps worldwide. Ages 8-up. (Oct.)be donated to Roots & Shoots, an education program at the Jane Goodall Institute.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.