Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life With the Chimps

The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps. Jeannette Winter. 2011. Random House. 48 pages.

"Jane, Jane, where are you?"
"Jane, can you hear me?"
EVERYONE had been searching for hours and hours, looking for little Valerie Jane Goodall.
Then, from the henhouse, Jane came running to her mother, shouting--"I know how an egg comes out!"
At five years old, Jane was already a watcher.
Jane watched ALL the animals in her world, big and small--earthworms, insects, birds, cats, dogs, and horses.

The Watcher is a picture book biography of Jane Goodall. And, I believe, it's a good way to introduce Goodall to young audiences. The focus is exclusively on her work--her life--with chimpanzees. Which, I think is how it should be. Readers see Jane grow up ever-curious. Readers see Jane prepare to go to Africa. Readers see Jane slowly but surely become successful. Readers see how this took patience, patience, and more patience. And diligence! But eventually she becomes accepted as "a white ape." The chimps accept her, welcome her, and she is able to observe them naturally and diligently. The book records her observations, noting the similarities between humans and chimpanzees. The book also records her work to help save chimpanzees and their habitat.

I liked this one. I liked the text. The illustrations were also quite nice.

Text: 3 out of 5
Illustrations: 3 out of 5
Total: 6 out of 10

© 2011 Becky Laney of Young Readers

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