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|Watcher : Jane Goodall's life with the chimps|
Author: Winter, Jeanette
The inspiring true story of Jane Goodall and her chimps in the African forests of Tanzania.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 4.20
Points: .5 Quiz: 143322
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: K-2
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 1.0 Quiz: 53387
Booklist - 03/01/2011 *Starred Review* Winter adds to her growing shelf of exemplary picture-book biographies with this stirring introduction to Jane Goodall’s life and work. The meaning in the title becomes clear in the first pages: Goodall’s passionate love of nature began in early childhood, when she “watched ALL the animals in her world, big and small—earthworms, insects, birds, cats, dogs, and horses.” As an adult, she moved to Tanzania with the desire to “learn things that no one else knew,” and she does just that, making the study and protection of the chimpanzees in the Gombe forest a focus of international fascination. Once again, Winter distills her subject’s life into elegantly simple language that has the lyrical rhythm of poetry, while well-chosen excerpts from Goodall’s journals bring an even greater sense of her personality and the immediacy and thrill that comes with sustained scientific observation and connection with animals. The vibrant acrylic paintings showcase Winter’s signature patterned compositions, richly saturated colors, and elemental shapes, and echo the graceful polish of the words in scenes of Goodall living and working in the dense forest; and young children will enjoy spotting the chimps hidden in the trees. An author’s note rounds out this beautiful celebration of one of the world’s most influential animal advocates. - Copyright 2011 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 04/01/2011 This spring brings us not one but two picture-book biographies about the great primate researcher Jane Goodall. McDonnell’s focus is narrower, sticking largely to Goodall’s childhood and her fascination with animals in her backyard and in the books she read, while Winter expands her overview into Goodall’s work in Africa and her growing relationship with the Gombe chimpanzees. Both texts are smooth and lucid, with McDonnell’s taking on a dreamy lyricism (“Jane could feel her own heart beating, beating, beating”) while Winter’s offers a gentle descriptive simplicity (“At night, after a supper of beans and tomatoes and onions, Jane listened to Mozart and Bach”). The absence of context in Me . . . Jane leaves the story dangling, unfortunately, since there’s not much point to it without knowing about Goodall’s adult impact (a small-print author’s note does provide some additional information); viewers will also need to check the copyright page to know that some of the included visual material is Goodall’s childhood work. The design, though, is quietly elegant, mixing cuddly line-and-watercolor vignettes with shadowy stylized prints and the occasional photograph of Goodall against latte-toned pages. Winter’s sturdy and stylized acrylics tacitly make their point about Goodall’s life transition through layout, depicting her pre-Africa life in thickly, strictly bordered squares and her Tanzanian idyll in sweeping full spreads; in a nice evocation of the challenge Goodall faced, the scene of her watching fruitlessly for chimps from a hilltop cunningly tucks peeping chimp faces into the landscape. Use the McDonnell as part of a unit, so that audiences can get some necessary context, while the Winter can stand alone as a biography for budding young naturalists. In addition to the author’s note in the McDonnell, there’s a message from Jane Goodall herself; the Winter sources its quotes to two Goodall autobiographies and will include an author’s note in the bound book. DS - Copyright 2011 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 04/01/2011 Gr 1–3—Watching is an apt theme for this picture-book introduction to Goodall's notable studies of chimpanzees. Drawing on the scientist's autobiographical writing, Winter begins with five-year-old Jane watching egg-laying in the henhouse. The childhood years of animal watching and finding inspiration in books such as Dr. Dolittle and Tarzan move quickly into Goodall's adult travel to Africa and meeting Louis Leakey. The long, often solitary years as a watcher of chimps are the main focus, succinctly described and depicted in wide, stylized acrylic paintings suggesting the expansive forest terrain. "Now Jane watched every day, all day—even huddled in the rain. She saw the chimps accept the rain, not look for shelter, as we do. And she kept notes about it all." Goodall's great piles of notes filling her tent are among many bits of humor tucked into the spare scenes. Her childhood is the subject of Patrick McDonnell's Me...Jane (Little, Brown, 2011). Children who are already independent readers will be intrigued by The Watcher's hard-earned encounters with the chimps. This more fulsome account closes with Goodall's world travels to speak out about saving the chimps, a timely note touching today's environmental concerns. As in The Librarian of Basra (Harcourt, 2005) and other biographies, Winter takes readers to a far part of the world in an appealing story for children who love animals or like books about real people.—Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston - Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.