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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group


The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas

Written by Jim Ottaviani, illustrated by Maris Wicks

First Second



Jim Ottaviani returns with an action-packed account of the three greatest primatologists of the last century: Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas. These three ground-breaking researchers were all students of the great Louis Leakey, and each made profound contributions to primatology—and to our own understanding of ourselves.
Tackling Goodall, Fossey, and Galdikas in turn, and covering the highlights of their respective careers, Primates is an accessible, entertaining, and informative look at the field of primatology and at the lives of three of the most remarkable women scientists of the twentieth century. Thanks to the charming and inviting illustrations by Maris Wicks, this is a nonfiction graphic novel with broad appeal.

Green Earth Book Award Winner, Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, Vermont Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award ML, Vermont Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award Master List

Praise for Primates

An accessible introduction to Goodall's, Fossey's and Galdikas' lives and work.” —Kirkus Reviews

“A graphic format admirably propels this lightly fictionalized group biography.” —The Horn Book

“Presented as dedicated, iconoclastic, and profoundly in awe of the creatures around them, Goodall, Fossey, and Galdikas are inspiring figures, and Ottaviani does a first-rate job of dangling enough tantalizing tidbits to pique readers' interest in the topic.” —Booklist

“The story of how each of these women loved primates and lived among them to study their behavior is compelling, and might inspire a whole new generation of scientists to follow in their footsteps.” —School Library Journal

“This is an inviting introduction that will undoubtedly lure many readers into further investigation of this groundbreaking fieldwork.” —BCCB

“Splendid.” —The Miami Herald on Feynman

“Entertaining and informative.” —Science on Feynman

“Lovely.” —Newsday on Feynman

“Captures the jazzy flow of Feynman's life in its spare lines.” —USA Today on Feynman

“These images capture with remarkable sensitivity the essence of Feynman's character. The comic-book picture somehow comes to life and speaks with the voice of the real Feynman.” —Freeman Dyson, The New York Review of Books on Feynman

In the Press

This graphic novel presents the stories of three women who profoundly changed our understanding of the great apes: Dian Fossey, Biruté Galdikas and Jane Goodall. - The New York Times

Reviews from Goodreads

Written by Jim Ottaviani, illustrated by Maris Wicks

Jim Ottaviani has written nonfiction, science-oriented comics since 1997, notably the number one New York Times bestseller, Feynman and Fallout which was nominated for an Ignatz Award. He has worked as a nuclear engineer, caddy, programmer, and reference librarian. Primates is his first collaboration with artist Maris Wicks. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Maris Wicks (Primates) lives in Somerville, Massachusetts. She has used her opposable thumbs to draw comics for Adhouse Books, Tugboat Press, and Spongebob Comics, and written stories for Image and DC Comics. When Maris is not drawing comics, she can be found prepping slides for her collection of vintage microscopes. She is an avid tool user and is particularly fond of bananas.

image of Jim Ottavianio
Portrait by Leland Myrick
image of Maris Wickso
photo credit: D. Campbell

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