Flying Solo—The Jerrie Mock Story
On the cover of this biography, Geraldine Mock looks like a modest midcentury housewife. Appearances, though, can be deceiving. Jerrie Mock was a fearless female, who acquired a love of flying as a young child, and became the first woman to fly solo around the world in 1964. Out of personal interviews with
Mock, held just before her death in 2014, and the recollections of her loved ones, Pimm weaves a narrative of a young girl’s early aspirations to become a pilot, the tension between domestic life and love of adventure, and each leg of her 29-day, circumnavigational journey. Asides in the margins discuss common piloting procedures in Mock’s time and today. A glossary, a timeline, and several maps and images put Mock’s accomplishments and travels in context and touch on several themes of geography.
This is a high-interest biography of a woman who is less of a household name than her idol, Amelia Earhart, but no less gutsy and accomplished.
— Erin Anderson
The Heart of the Beast
This collection of true stories about famous gorillas reveals that these animals are caring, compassionate, intelligent, and sensitive creatures worthy of respect and understanding. Among the gorillas profiled are Binti Jua, a young female gorilla who exhibited nurturing concern for a young boy who fell into her zoo enclosure, and Snowflake, an albino gorilla who taught a group of younger gorillas how to behave in various circumstances. Perhaps the most famous gorilla profiled is Koko, whose extraordinary ability to communicate through sign language became a well-known story. Readers will find this fascinating collection of accounts informative, surprising, and frequently poignant. Interspersed among the stories is information about gorilla taxonomy, mental and physical development, and diet. Black-and-white photographs of the gorillas in each story are included. Appendixes include a bibliography, time line, and suggestions for further reading. Sullivan, Ed.
Midwest Book Review
“The Heart Of The Beast: Eight Great Gorilla Stories” by animal enthusiast Nancy Roe Pimm (who once worked as a docent at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Columbus, Ohio, giving tours of the zoo and eventually serving as an animal handler at local school assemblies) has compiled eight true stories featuring well-known gorillas that reveal the ability of these powerful animals to be caring, communicating, protecting, and grieving. Mostly docile animals that like to spend their days caring for and playing with their young, foraging for plants, and even ‘singing’, children will learn about the history, behaviors and nature of these largest members of the ape family. Replete with facts and anecdotes, expertly illustrated with color photography, “The Heart Of The Beast” is a fun and informative addition recommended for inclusion into family, elementary school, and community library Pets & Wildlife collections.
VOYA, June 2007
At the end of Pimm’s heartfelt look into the world of gorillas, she writes, “due to their strength, size, large jaws, and sharp teeth, gorillas have unfortunately long been misunderstood as ferocious, unfeeling beasts.” It would have been far more helpful to begin with this information in a book that explores the lives of eight great gorillas who really are not beasts at all. From Hanabi-Ko “Koko,” who learned to sign more than two hundred words by the time she was five years old, to Copito de Nieve “Snowflake,” the “world’s one and only known albino gorilla,” this book is filled with the tales of gorillas who raise kittens, dine and drink from champagne glasses, and take on the role of single fatherhood. Librarians might have a difficult time selling this title to teens, but once it is in their hands, they will likely voraciously devour the plethora of fascinating facts presented in this tale. The pictures of these creatures who have been captured from Africa and beyond and the sometimes haunting recounting of their time in captivity is well done. Pimm delivers on a tough subject. By the time one is finished reading about Binti Jua, a “good gorilla mom” who nurtured, rocked, and held a “three-year-old human child who had fallen into her enclosure,” the reader will have a special place in his or her heart for each of the beasts described. Expect to talk to budding zoologists when this book hits the shelves.
Children’s Bookwatch, September 2004
Indy 500: The Inside Track by Indy 500 by Nancy Roe Pimm includes photography from The Indianapolis Motor Speedway enhancing a text specifically written to engage the interest of young readers ages 9 through 12. An information-packed guideline that teaches young readers about the basic history of the Indianapolis 500 car races, the demands placed upon race car drivers, the mechanical improvements that have made race cars safer and speedier, the meanings of the various flags, and much more, Indy 500 is as fascinating and educational for adults as it is for young people. The no-nonsense narration does not talk down to the reader, and the splendid full-color photographs highlight this engaging introduction to the fast-paced auto racing world.
MA Children’s Lit, Nancy Garhan Attebury
What is three cars wide and eleven rows deep? It’s the line-up for the annual rip-roaring race known as the Indy 500. The book’s attractive red, white and yellow cover depicting a race car running toward the reader will pique interest of more than just race enthusiasts. In this fast paced book, Pimm, whose husband is a racer, covers everything from the pre-race to the winner’s circle. The sharp, clear photos flanked by detailed description are possible only because of her inside connection. Crisp, clear explanations hold many informative facts from the past to today. Who would imagine that the top speed, 74.6 miles per hour, in the first race in 1911, could accelerate to a zipping 185.981 reached in 2000? Chapter titles are shown as a blur of words and support the race idea of speed. In addition, a gray and white-checkered border helps the reader maintain a race mindset. Eleven chapters run the gamut of topics from the car’s cockpit to its frenzied pit stops. The author’s gift to keep things moving makes this a book to grab the attention of even the most reluctant readers. Girls and boys can climb into the driver’s seat when they choose to read this book, which is a Junior Library Guild Selection.