Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Jane Goodall: Animal Scientist

Jane Goodall: Animal Scientist

Katherine Krohn
Illustrator:  Cynthia Martin , Anne Timmons 
Nonfiction Graphic Novel  Series
For ages 8 to 10
Capstone Press, 2006   ISBN: 978-0736868853

From the time when she was a little girl Jane loved animals, and her parents encouraged her interest. She dreamed of going to Africa, but there was very little money available so she had to go to secretarial school instead of being able to go to university. Luckily, Jane had a friend who moved to Africa, and after saving her earnings, Jane was able to go and visit her friend in Kenya.

Jane loved Africa and was fascinated by the wonderful creatures that she saw there, and it was during her first visit that Jane met Dr. Louis Leakey, a scientist who studied animals and fossils. Jane was able to get a job working as Leakey’s secretary and she so impressed her employer that he decided to let her go and do a research project for him.

So Jane began to study chimpanzees in Gombe, East Africa. She worked under very difficult conditions for a year and then she went to Cambridge University in England to get a degree. Leakey hoped that this would help Jane in her career as a zoologist.

When she went back to Gombe, Jane continued to watch the chimps, making friends with them and recording what they did. She discovered that chimps are highly social animals who use tools in the daily lives.

Over time, thanks to the National Geographic Society, word got out about what Jane was doing, and photographs of her working in the field were seen by people all over the world. In addition to her research, Jane began to fight for the protection and conservation of chimps.

This wonderful graphic-rich biography will give young readers an excellent picture of one of the world’s most beloved and hard working zoologists and conservationists. An interesting text and excellent comic book style illustrations make this a perfect book for young readers.