As a child, Jane Goodall dreamed of living with the wild animals of Africa. As a young woman, she amazed the world with her groundbreaking discoveries about chimpanzees, which she documented in her acclaimed National Geographic television specials. Ever since, Dr. Goodall has campaigned unceasingly for the protection of the chimpanzeenow an endangered species. This moving, personal account will inspire readers of all ages to join in her vital work.
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.) FYI: All of the author's proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to Roots & Shoots, an educationprogram at the Jane Goodall Institute. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.