The Goose Man: The Story of Konrad Lorenz

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Konrad Lorenz (1903-1989) was a boy who loved animals. He grew up to be a man who studied animals and received a Nobel prize for his work. This book centers on the ground-breaking discoveries he made while observing and interacting with geese. His affection for his subjects and his fascination with their behavior illuminate the process by which a boy who had a house full of pets became a revered, award-winning scientist. Clear, carefully researched text is accompanied by warm, impressionistic paintings in this ...

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Overview

Konrad Lorenz (1903-1989) was a boy who loved animals. He grew up to be a man who studied animals and received a Nobel prize for his work. This book centers on the ground-breaking discoveries he made while observing and interacting with geese. His affection for his subjects and his fascination with their behavior illuminate the process by which a boy who had a house full of pets became a revered, award-winning scientist. Clear, carefully researched text is accompanied by warm, impressionistic paintings in this engaging picture book biography, which will have special appeal for young animal lovers and science enthusiasts. Author's note, bibliography. 

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Although geese may not seem like the cuddliest of creatures, this is a nice choice to introduce the concept of interspecies connections, and it shows how a love of animals can become a lifelong passion."—Booklist
 
"These pictures tell the story as clearly as the simple text, whose language and frequent repetition make this scientific biography easily accessible to beginning readers."—Kirkus
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Greenstein tells the story of Nobel Prize winner, Lorenz, clearly and simply enough for youngsters to understand. Young Lorenz loves all animals, but is particularly interested in geese. He becomes a scientist studying animal behavior; his first experiment begins with goose eggs. When one hatches and that gosling follows him home, he observes her behavior until she flies away. Soon he is raising goslings that follow him everywhere. After studying them, his reported research wins him the Nobel Prize in 1973. There is a sketchy innocence to the illustrations of Lorenz and his geese, in gouache, ink, and colored pencil, in very simple settings. We watch him grow and age—always involved with the geese around him. A note adds factual information. There is also a bibliography. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Paring down the zoologist's complex work to very simple terms, this congenial picture-book biography focuses on Lorenz's fascination with geese and his studies of their behavior from the moment of hatching. Greenstein explains how his childhood love of animals finally prevailed over his early career as a medical doctor and then tells the story of his experiences in becoming the adopted parent of newly hatched goslings. Her homey gouache, ink, and colored-pencil sketches match the cheerful simplicity of the text as they follow events inside and outside Lorenz's house. His first goose child leaves home with a new mate in a migrating group, and Lorenz goes on to learn much more about geese in the following years. The author describes his patience and understanding in communicating with the birds. "The annoyed parent geese hissed at him, but Konrad knew what to hiss back." The instinctive behavior of the geese is explained in clear but general terms. Greenstein concludes with the vague statement that "When Konrad was an old man, he won a big, important prize for the new things he had learned." A very brief author's note explains his winning of the 1973 Nobel Prize in part for his work on imprinting. This title barely begins to introduce Lorenz's complicated life and science, but children will enjoy both the notion of people studying animals at such close range and the comical and personable interactions between Lorenz and the geese.—Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
Kirkus Reviews
From childhood, Konrad Lorenz was fascinated by ducks and geese, growing up to become a prize-winning scientist who offered new insights into animal behavior. This picture-book biography, a first for young readers about the famous ethologist, summarizes his life's work with geese (although the word instinct is used only in the author's note). Appropriately for the audience, this introduces the idea of imprinting through describing his pets, a duck in his childhood, a goose he named Martina and Martina's mate from the wild, Martin. (Unfortunately, the author states that after the pair flew away, Lorenz never saw them again, but Lorenz himself mentions recognizing Martin in a flock of wild geese, early in his 1952 landmark work, King Solomon's Ring.) The pastel illustrations, in gouache, ink and colored pencil, use a technique that includes scratchboard effects and is childlike in style but also suggestive of Renoir and other impressionists. These pictures tell the story as clearly as the simple text, whose language and frequent repetition make this scientific biography easily accessible to beginning readers. (bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547084596
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 1/18/2010
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Elaine Greenstein has illustrated a dozen picture books, some of which she also wrote. As a child, she says, "Our house was on the beach. I was interested in birds, especially the families of geese"-an interest she had in common with Konrad Lorenz. A native New Yorker, Ms. Greenstein lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.

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