Aussie Stem Stars: Gisela Kaplan

Aussie Stem Stars: Gisela Kaplan

"Aimed at 10 to 13 year old readers, the story of Gisela’s childhood in Berlin during the 1950s is a moving account of her life, very sensitively told by accomplished children’s author Emily Gale. There are also helpful illustrations by Diana Silkina and a glossary of terms to assist younger readers with some concepts.

Emily Gale captures the immense difficulties of Gisela Kaplan’s childhood, one of constant hunger, and the confronting antisemitism Gisela experienced because her family was Jewish.

Complicated family relationships as well as inspiring and influential adults in Gisela’s life, set the context in terms of how such circumstances and experiences shaped Gisela’s decisions and choices. Gisela’s story of forging a career from adversity, that eventually led to science is told with very moving explanations of the sheer hard work and convoluted path that was necessary."

Reviewed by Angela Brown in Reading Time

"I like this book and for me, it is five-star rated because it shows an emotional story of immigration. It also shows how much practice has to go into work till you can fulfil your dream, as you can see how she consistently worked away from home, in the work field.

This book would be for ages ten and up to read by themselves although most children from the age of six to ten can read with someone to help the children understand. Go grab a copy of this amazing book either online or hard copy."

Review by Gabriel, aged 10, for Alphabet Soup




  • Shortlisted, Speech Pathology Awards 2023


Gisela Kaplan’s story begins in post-World War II Germany. Despite incredible challenges as a child, she retained a profound curiosity, care and compassion for all living things. Her captivating, ground-breaking scientific research on Australian magpies, tawny frogmouths and other iconic bird species, as well as primates, make Prof. Kaplan a world-leading expert in animal behaviour, especially of Australian birds.

She is a leading voice in animal behaviour worldwide with a special expertise in birds. As well as caring for hundreds of birds in her back garden – from wedge-tailed eagles to tiny rosella chicks – her captivating scientific studies on Australian magpies, tawny frogmouths and other iconic species have uncovered incredible facts about their complicated lives that will delight and fascinate children and adults alike.

Professor Kaplan is on a mission to spread the word about how intelligent and surprising birds are, before time runs out for many of them.