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Acclaimed picture book biographer Jeanette Winter has found her perfect subject: Jane Goodall, the great observer of chimpanzees. Follow Jane from her childhood in London watching a robin on her windowsill, to her years in the African forests of Gombe, Tanzania, invited by brilliant scientist Louis Leakey to observe chimps, to her worldwide crusade to save these primates w Acclaimed picture book biographer Jeanette Winter has found her perfect subject: Jane Goodall, the great observer of chimpanzees. Follow Jane from her childhood in London watching a robin on her windowsill, to her years in the African forests of Gombe, Tanzania, invited by brilliant scientist Louis Leakey to observe chimps, to her worldwide crusade to save these primates who are now in danger of extinction, and their habitat. Young animal lovers and Winter's many fans will welcome this fascinating and moving portrait of an extraordinary person and the animals to whom she has dedicated her life. The Watcher was named a Best Book of the Year by the Boston Globe, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, and the Bank Street College of Education.


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Acclaimed picture book biographer Jeanette Winter has found her perfect subject: Jane Goodall, the great observer of chimpanzees. Follow Jane from her childhood in London watching a robin on her windowsill, to her years in the African forests of Gombe, Tanzania, invited by brilliant scientist Louis Leakey to observe chimps, to her worldwide crusade to save these primates w Acclaimed picture book biographer Jeanette Winter has found her perfect subject: Jane Goodall, the great observer of chimpanzees. Follow Jane from her childhood in London watching a robin on her windowsill, to her years in the African forests of Gombe, Tanzania, invited by brilliant scientist Louis Leakey to observe chimps, to her worldwide crusade to save these primates who are now in danger of extinction, and their habitat. Young animal lovers and Winter's many fans will welcome this fascinating and moving portrait of an extraordinary person and the animals to whom she has dedicated her life. The Watcher was named a Best Book of the Year by the Boston Globe, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, and the Bank Street College of Education.

30 review for The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps

  1. 4 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    I’ve loved chimpanzees since I was a child. Whenever I even hear - or see the name *Jane Goodall* - the British primatologist- it’s impossible to not immediately identify her with chimpanzees. Is there any other person more famous — more of an expert on them? If there is - I don’t know ‘their’ name. I took a look at this book for my own guilty pleasure. I would be happy to purchase this for my friends child. It shows how chimpanzees are similar to humans. The book inspires a love of nature and r I’ve loved chimpanzees since I was a child. Whenever I even hear - or see the name *Jane Goodall* - the British primatologist- it’s impossible to not immediately identify her with chimpanzees. Is there any other person more famous — more of an expert on them? If there is - I don’t know ‘their’ name. I took a look at this book for my own guilty pleasure. I would be happy to purchase this for my friends child. It shows how chimpanzees are similar to humans. The book inspires a love of nature and respect for animals. Centered around Jane’s personal story - kids experience Jane’s love for animals as a child - and ‘her story’ of how she saved her own money so she could take a boat Africa when to study the chimps. I think what’s great about the illustrations- is that we are suppose to ‘look closely’ ....BE THE WATCHER. Jane doesn’t see the chimpanzees right away ( they were hiding behind a tree) - the illustrations are a good way to have discussions with a child. What do we observe when out walking with a child —-there are many ‘WATCHER’ observing games a parent can play with a child.....with the trees - dogs sharing the trail - etc. This book stimulated my own observant - third eye. And I’m hiking today. I’ll be ‘watching’. So, yep....I enjoyed this Biography for young readers - suggested for ages 4-8. And .... would definitely choose this book to give as a gift.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mischenko

    I love Jane Goodall and her entire story and it's one that needs to be heard. This book starts out in her childhood and illustrates her story into adulthood. Children will enjoy reading about her ambition and also how important it is to care about our animal wildlife. I love that this book is a quick, educational read for kids to learn about Jane Goodall and what she stands for. 5***** I love Jane Goodall and her entire story and it's one that needs to be heard. This book starts out in her childhood and illustrates her story into adulthood. Children will enjoy reading about her ambition and also how important it is to care about our animal wildlife. I love that this book is a quick, educational read for kids to learn about Jane Goodall and what she stands for. 5*****

  3. 4 out of 5

    Idarah

    "I wish that when I was a little girl, I could have read about someone like Jane Goodall—a brave woman who wasn't afraid to do something that had never been done before. So now I've made this book for that little girl, who still speaks to me."—Jeanette Winter I grew up watching documentaries about Goodall and Fossey circa the early 80s, when all their research garnered recognition and praise. I just can't remember if I was a "watcher" like Jane or Dian before or after. I just know I've always adm "I wish that when I was a little girl, I could have read about someone like Jane Goodall—a brave woman who wasn't afraid to do something that had never been done before. So now I've made this book for that little girl, who still speaks to me."—Jeanette Winter I grew up watching documentaries about Goodall and Fossey circa the early 80s, when all their research garnered recognition and praise. I just can't remember if I was a "watcher" like Jane or Dian before or after. I just know I've always admired them! My grandparents remember not being able to find me one afternoon when I was about 6, until they checked the backyard. There I was in a corner of Gypsy's (their massive Great Dane/German Shepard mix) doghouse watching her nurse her two-day old puppies. Everyone was both awed and scared to approach because Gypsy, usually docile and happy-go-lucky, had turned a bit scary and overprotective when her babies arrived. She even allowed me to hold them after a few of these visits. As I read this book this evening, I couldn't help but laugh because I visited my grandfather this afternoon, and he told me about a group of juvenile kittens and their mom that had taken up residence in a shed in the same backyard, but would scatter when anyone approached. I took a book and sat in front of the shed not saying a word. An hour later, my mom came to check on us, and there I was surrounded by 4 kittens! Naturally curious, they gradually came closer and closer to me! I came home wondering how many more visits before they allow me to pet them. Sometimes you think you outgrow things, but you don't! Animals and insects have always fascinated me. So what a perfect read at the perfect time!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    Jane Goodall was in town the other day so I ordered this book from the library, a fine picturebook introduction to her work with chimpanzees and emphasizing the importance of watching, observing the world in order to begin to ask questions in order to understand it. "I wanted to learn things no one else knew, uncover secrets. . ." So she went to Kenya, she worked for primatologist Louis Leakey. She lived among the apes, and learned things about chimps no one knew, secrets. She learned how much we Jane Goodall was in town the other day so I ordered this book from the library, a fine picturebook introduction to her work with chimpanzees and emphasizing the importance of watching, observing the world in order to begin to ask questions in order to understand it. "I wanted to learn things no one else knew, uncover secrets. . ." So she went to Kenya, she worked for primatologist Louis Leakey. She lived among the apes, and learned things about chimps no one knew, secrets. She learned how much we have in common with these other animals. Beautifully illustrated. Goodall makes it clear that you don't have to be brilliant to be add to the knowledge-base in this world. You just have to have deep curiosity about things and be willing to watch, to keep your eyes open and jot down what you see and share it with others with a similar curiosity and commitment. That kinda sounds like how science and becoming a scientist begins.

  5. 4 out of 5

    SheriC (PM)

    Crossing the ocean, Jane stayed on deck and watched the waves, even when the cold wind blew. She saw all the different blues and greens of the sea, and fish that glowed through the dark water. What I loved best about this little children’s book was the emphasis that was placed on Jane Goodall’s accomplishments and the characteristics of her person and work that helped her to achieve them – curiosity, determination despite hardship, and patient observation, but done in a way that was celebratory rath Crossing the ocean, Jane stayed on deck and watched the waves, even when the cold wind blew. She saw all the different blues and greens of the sea, and fish that glowed through the dark water. What I loved best about this little children’s book was the emphasis that was placed on Jane Goodall’s accomplishments and the characteristics of her person and work that helped her to achieve them – curiosity, determination despite hardship, and patient observation, but done in a way that was celebratory rather than preachy. I enjoyed the artwork, too, with its bright unusual colors and sense of motion. In telling Goodall’s story, the book also tells us a story about the forest in Gombe in Tanzania, where deforestation and poaching were threatening the chimpanzees with extinction, accompanied by a rather horrifying illustration of a poacher aiming a gun at a mother chimp playing with her infant chimp amid tree stumps. Although the book tries to end on a high note, that illustration is the one that stuck with me after finishing. This was an ebook, borrowed from my public library. I read this for The 16 Tasks of the Festive Season, square 14: Book themes for Quaid-e-Azam: Pakistan became an independent nation when the British Raj ended on August 14, 1947. Read a book set in Pakistan or in any other country that attained sovereign statehood between August 14, 1947 and today (regardless in what part of the world). This book is set in Tanzania, which became independent from the UK in 1961, according to Wikipedia.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lisa (not getting friends updates) Vegan

    This is a nearly perfect picture book biography. It covers just Jane Goodall’s work with the chimps (except for a very brief description of other aspects of her life mentioned in the author’s note at the end of the book.) It goes from when she was a little girl to a young woman and to her work that continues to this time. Most of what’s covered is Jane’s work with the chimpanzees but there is more than a mention of the problem of poaching and other atrocities committed against the chimps, and of This is a nearly perfect picture book biography. It covers just Jane Goodall’s work with the chimps (except for a very brief description of other aspects of her life mentioned in the author’s note at the end of the book.) It goes from when she was a little girl to a young woman and to her work that continues to this time. Most of what’s covered is Jane’s work with the chimpanzees but there is more than a mention of the problem of poaching and other atrocities committed against the chimps, and of Goodall’s dedication to working to protect them. I love the humor shown, and I appreciated how Jane’s curiosity about animal behavior started when she was a child, and how she had a goal for her life in mind, and how she found what she was looking for in life. This is an excellent book for young naturalists, young activists, and children who love animals. I always want to love this author-illustrator’s art more than I do. I really liked the pictures but, as with other books by her I’ve read, I don’t fall in love with them. 4 ½ stars

  7. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Anze

    "What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make." Jane Goodall Jane was an observant child and no animal was beneath her interest. As Jane grew however, she became particularly fond of the chimpanzees. When she saved enough money, she travelled to Africa, where she was fortunate to get the job of observing wild chimpazees for Louis Leakey. Thus her love for these magnificent animals was the start of a life-long advocacy and research in animal conser "What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make." Jane Goodall Jane was an observant child and no animal was beneath her interest. As Jane grew however, she became particularly fond of the chimpanzees. When she saved enough money, she travelled to Africa, where she was fortunate to get the job of observing wild chimpazees for Louis Leakey. Thus her love for these magnificent animals was the start of a life-long advocacy and research in animal conservation. It is always a pleasure to read about women that have made their mark in the world (and continue to do so still). Jane Goodall is without a doubt in these ranks. Curious from a young age, Jane always sought to learn by observing and that passion eventually led her to Tanzania. She was able to see firsthand the interactions of wild chimpanzees. Her observations changed how chimpanzees were seen, which in turn led to better ways in which to protect them. This is a book for children but it is most definitely worth reading for anyone. The illustrations are bright and the text perfectly compliment these colorful images. Winter depicts Goodall in a most wonderful way that encourages children to be curious and observant (advice that is good for any age). What a wonderful book! Jane Goodall's love for chimpanzees started, in part, because of her father. Instead of a teddy bear, he gifted her a stuffed chimpanzee called Jubilee. Reportedly, Goodall still has Jubilee to this day. My interest has definitely been piqued and I will be on the lookout for a full length book about this amzing woman.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lata

    A greatly simplified biography of Jane Goodall and her years spent studying chimps. The illustrations are pretty, in soothing colours. I’m sure there was probably more struggle and adversity during Ms. Goodall’s years of research and disseminating her findings, but as this book is aimed at children, it’s all pretty positive and light in tone. And if that convinces some young girl that protecting habitats/environment and science are important, than the book worked.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    This is a fine picture book biography of Jane Goodall. I like how the thread of Jane being "the watcher" begins right away when she runs into the house as a little girl, having watched the chickens in the yard and declaring happily to her mother that she knows where eggs come from ;-) And how she was so patient and gentle with a bird outside her bedroom window that it eventually approached her and even made a nest in her bookcase. The "watching" continued when Jane went to Africa to study chimps This is a fine picture book biography of Jane Goodall. I like how the thread of Jane being "the watcher" begins right away when she runs into the house as a little girl, having watched the chickens in the yard and declaring happily to her mother that she knows where eggs come from ;-) And how she was so patient and gentle with a bird outside her bedroom window that it eventually approached her and even made a nest in her bookcase. The "watching" continued when Jane went to Africa to study chimps. At first, they would hide from her, but they watched her as she watched them and, gradually, they came to accept her. Jane's love for the animals and her patience and desire to understand them really shine through in this book and even uses some direct quotes from her books. The afterward helps fill in a few other aspects of her life not covered in the story. Alas, I did not really like the illustrations in this book, but they were adequate to convey what was happening and it is just personal taste, I think. (I should point out that sensitive audiences may be very unsettled by the illustration on the page talking about poachers where a hunter is pointing a gun at the back of an unsuspecting mother chimp playing with her baby.) I read this after having fallen in love with Me . . . Jane and I must say this one didn't quite speak to me as did "Me... Jane", but "The Watcher" is also a more complete look at Jane's life and I think that reading both would benefit young readers interested in learning more about Goodall, chimps, and/or what it takes to be a "watcher".

  10. 5 out of 5

    Abigail

    This outstanding picture-book biography of primatologist Jane Goodall, whose work with the chimpanzees of Gombe has revolutionized our understanding of our closest relatives in the animal kingdom, has both visual and narrative appeal, with artwork that is vivid and engaging, and a simple text that follows its subject from her days as an animal-obsessed youngster who dreamed of Africa, through her many years at Gombe, and then her later turn to activism. The theme that runs throughout, as suggest This outstanding picture-book biography of primatologist Jane Goodall, whose work with the chimpanzees of Gombe has revolutionized our understanding of our closest relatives in the animal kingdom, has both visual and narrative appeal, with artwork that is vivid and engaging, and a simple text that follows its subject from her days as an animal-obsessed youngster who dreamed of Africa, through her many years at Gombe, and then her later turn to activism. The theme that runs throughout, as suggested by the title, is Goodall's tireless observation of the world around her. Her patience, in watching the animals that interest her, whether that be the hatching of a chicken egg, as a girl, or the long process of getting the chimpanzees to accept her, in Gombe, has obviously stood her in good stead, making her one of the best "watchers" in the world. Informative, without being overwhelming, The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps is exactly what a biography for younger children should be! A brief afterword gives more details about Goodall, whom Winter obviously admires a great deal, while the main narrative skillfully sustains the reader's interest. I'm not always the greatest admirer of Winter's artwork - I've read a number of her books, at this point, and while I always appreciate her paintings, they aren't usually a personal favorite - but this time I was really blown away! I loved the color schemes used, and the composition of each painting - I even loved the feel of the thick pages. I think this would make a great companion piece to Patrick McDonnell's recent Me...Jane , but if the reader only has time for one, I recommend that Winter's be it. Highly recommended to all young animals lovers and watchers, and to fans of the marvelous Jane Goodall!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tasha

    Follow Jane Goodall’s life in this vivid picture book. The book follows Jane from her childhood where she spent a lot of time watching the animals around her, including having a robin nest built on her bookcase in her room. Jane left home soon after graduating from school, heading to Kenya. There she met Louis Leakey who was looking for someone to observe chimpanzees. Jane headed into the jungle to watch the chimpanzees, spending time out near them just quietly viewing them. She learned all sort Follow Jane Goodall’s life in this vivid picture book. The book follows Jane from her childhood where she spent a lot of time watching the animals around her, including having a robin nest built on her bookcase in her room. Jane left home soon after graduating from school, heading to Kenya. There she met Louis Leakey who was looking for someone to observe chimpanzees. Jane headed into the jungle to watch the chimpanzees, spending time out near them just quietly viewing them. She learned all sorts of things that no one had ever discovered before. Jane spent many years with the chimpanzees learning, but then people began to threaten the chimpanzee habitat, so Jane had to leave them and become their voice, speaking out to assure their survival. Winter has created a book that speaks to the heart of what Goodall has done, all of her accomplishments and discoveries pale in the book and in life to her dedication to the animals themselves. Goodall is a perfect subject for a picture book. She is a brave woman who braved living alone in the wilderness to do what she felt she was meant to do with her life. Winter captures all of this in few words, allowing Goodall’s life to speak for itself. Winter’s illustrations are done in acrylic paint and pen. They have strong forms, deep colors, and a childlike quality that make the book even more approachable for children. I especially enjoy the cover image with the reflection of the chimpanzees in the lenses of her binoculars. It sums up the book delightfully. There is something special about a book that tells children to follow their hearts, but this one is even more special because it also shows children the value of watching and learning too. Appropriate for ages 5-8.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Reading_ Tam_ Ishly

    I love this woman. This amazing, superb, unique human. She has done something no one has the curiosity for, or interested enough to go through what she had. Such a powerful example. And yes, this biographical picture book is the best from the author as well. Love it to bits and pieces! The writing is amazing! The artwork is endearing and memorable.

  13. 4 out of 5

    حسناء

    i love Jeanette winter and her lovely lovely books . i wish i can own them all

  14. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    Cute fun book about Jane Goodall. Good example for little girls to see such a groundbreaking woman achieve her goals.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Emily Miles

    ***This was my ebook The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with Chimps by Jeanette Winter is a great biography that details the life of Jane Goodall. The biography begins with Jane Goodall’s first interactions with chimpanzees and leads all the way into her activism for the endangered species later on in her career. I think that this book would be perfect for 3rd grade. I think that this book would be a good fit in a unit about change agents. Jane Goodall was a big agent of change and activist, so sh ***This was my ebook The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with Chimps by Jeanette Winter is a great biography that details the life of Jane Goodall. The biography begins with Jane Goodall’s first interactions with chimpanzees and leads all the way into her activism for the endangered species later on in her career. I think that this book would be perfect for 3rd grade. I think that this book would be a good fit in a unit about change agents. Jane Goodall was a big agent of change and activist, so she is definitely a good figure to study. She would also be a good person for a student to choose for a wax museum project. I also think that this book would be a really good read aloud book. It has a lot of vibrant pictures and is fairly short so it would be engaging for students. When reading this book aloud the teacher could model different metacognitive strategies such as making connections to background knowledge or they can model predictions as well. This book is a WOW book for me as it presents a well-rounded biography of Jane Goodall without being too overwhelming. I learned a lot more about Jane Goodall than I ever did before and the illustrations and language used in the book really brought it to life

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dolly

    This is a wonderful biography about Jane Goodall and her life's work observing and protecting the chimpanzees in Africa. The story offers a good amount of detail from her life, without being overwhelming with details or boring. I liked that the author explains at the end of the book what she chose to include and not to include in the story, so the reader can understand that there's even more to learn about the scientist's life. The acrylic paint and pen illustrations are colorful and expressive. This is a wonderful biography about Jane Goodall and her life's work observing and protecting the chimpanzees in Africa. The story offers a good amount of detail from her life, without being overwhelming with details or boring. I liked that the author explains at the end of the book what she chose to include and not to include in the story, so the reader can understand that there's even more to learn about the scientist's life. The acrylic paint and pen illustrations are colorful and expressive. We really enjoyed reading this book together. We read Me...Jane by Patrick McDonnell about eighteen months ago, and we absolutely loved that story. We were not as bowled over by this book, but it was a very interesting and informative read. interesting quote: "'You have to be patient if you want to learn about animals,' she wrote." (p. 23)

  17. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Flowers

    This biography of Jane Goodall is truly an example of how interdisciplinary literature can be! I love how it incorporates science by giving readers an example of a scientist who doesn’t work in a lab with potions and chemicals, which is a common misconception young readers may have. Moreover, it highlights all of the incredible work that Jane Goodall has done throughout her life and how she started with a love and desire to work with animals (just like many of our students!) and ended up changin This biography of Jane Goodall is truly an example of how interdisciplinary literature can be! I love how it incorporates science by giving readers an example of a scientist who doesn’t work in a lab with potions and chemicals, which is a common misconception young readers may have. Moreover, it highlights all of the incredible work that Jane Goodall has done throughout her life and how she started with a love and desire to work with animals (just like many of our students!) and ended up changing the world of science because she acted on this and made a lifelong career of it. If that isn’t motivating for young children to hear, I’m not sure what is! I looooove books that feature women scientists because I think a lot of children think science is a “boy subject” and only boys and men can be scientists, but that is simply not true! This book is a great book to have to teach children that no matter your gender, if you have a passion for something, act on it! I also love that it incorporates social studies aspects (showing different countries-like Tanzania, the presence of deforestation and talking about habitats for animals vs. habitats for people, etc.) are topics I immediately thought of that I could use this book to teach my Kindergarten students during a social studies lesson or two. I think this book would be an excellent lesson introduction to either a science or social studies unit for younger grades like kindergarten (as mentioned above) but would also be a great mentor text for writing for second or third grade. The language in this book is descriptive and lovely (“That first night, Jane lay awake listening to new sounds- the croak of a frog, the hum of crickets, the laugh og a hyena, the hoot of an owl- and looking up at the stars. She knew she was home”) and would be a great example to read to the class before having them create their own biography or autobiography using similar language and detail.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ruut DeMeo

    "The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps" is a children's illustrated biography book, intended for ages 4-8. It was named a Best Book of the Year by the Boston Globe, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, and the Bank Street College of Education. The narrative follows Jane Goodall from age five to her old years, very clearly depicting the theme of the book - Jane's love and ability for "watching" animals. In searching for excellent biographies for younger readers, parents and educators are often bom "The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps" is a children's illustrated biography book, intended for ages 4-8. It was named a Best Book of the Year by the Boston Globe, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, and the Bank Street College of Education. The narrative follows Jane Goodall from age five to her old years, very clearly depicting the theme of the book - Jane's love and ability for "watching" animals. In searching for excellent biographies for younger readers, parents and educators are often bombarded with wordy, heady books resembling encyclopedias with confusing graphics and busy illustrations. Perhaps the creators and publishers of such volumes do not want their "factual books" to be confused with storybooks. But then, every once in a while, we stumble on a treasure like "The Watcher", where the person's life story is told skillfully by a storyteller who understands why many children prefer (and learn better from) storybooks rather than encyclopedias. Characters who "do" something different and remarkable are much more memorable for children, than text "about what that character did", which is what made this biography so excellent. I suppose it's easier to accomplish this if the person's life is "exciting" (after all, she did go to live with chimps in the jungle - excellent storybook material). But it still takes careful consideration on the part of a seasoned author and illustrator, such as Jeanette Winter, to decide how to break up the story into digestible chunks and keep the reader turning pages. In this book, Jane Goodall's love of watching animals was established by a fun narrative from her early childhood, a sure way to capture young readers' attention and hook them to hear the rest.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kris Dersch

    Really nice picture book biography of an often-covered subject. I like that the early pages solidly ground the reader in Goodall's childhood, making her relatable for the target audience. Back matter isn't much but is very helpful, especially noting why the focus and what of her life isn't included in the narrative. Really nice picture book biography of an often-covered subject. I like that the early pages solidly ground the reader in Goodall's childhood, making her relatable for the target audience. Back matter isn't much but is very helpful, especially noting why the focus and what of her life isn't included in the narrative.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Taylor Carr

    The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps is a fascinating and inspiring portrait of the life and achievements of the world's foremost animal conservationist. The book starts out with Jane in her youth and portrays her passion about animals that parallels the interests of many boys and girls. I think this is a subject to naturally be curious about; animals are life in its purest form, without the rules of human adults. Jane eventually finds her way to Africa to study the chimps she is mos The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps is a fascinating and inspiring portrait of the life and achievements of the world's foremost animal conservationist. The book starts out with Jane in her youth and portrays her passion about animals that parallels the interests of many boys and girls. I think this is a subject to naturally be curious about; animals are life in its purest form, without the rules of human adults. Jane eventually finds her way to Africa to study the chimps she is most passionate about and starts her life's work. The way Jane pursues her dream and changes how the world views our closest animal relatives is so exciting to see unfold. I believe Jane could especially be a great role model to girl readers that are interested in science and animals, and it could perhaps inspire them to pursue an educational path that helps the animals of our world. Chimpanzees are endangered and they absolutely do need our help. The author, Jeanette Winter, makes a strong point about the dangers that chimps face and how Jane and others are fighting to save them. This book could be immediately segwayed into a lesson about animal conservation or could be integrated into a science or social studies (or both) unit on the subject. [I actually made an Endangered Species 3rd grade science unit for a class, which includes activities like visiting the zoo, researching local endangered species, and "adopting" an endangered animal online. I am happy to share this with other teachers here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1m...]

  21. 5 out of 5

    Chinook

    I am obsessed with all of the Leakey Girls, as they were called for awhile. I’m glad it’s so easy to pass on this obsession to the girls, at least for Jane Goodall. We need books about the others too! This is such a lovely book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lydia Ferrell

    It's been pretty cool reading this book! It's been pretty cool reading this book!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Simple biography, suitable for young children. The language is beautifully gentle and the tone is factual and playful. The author gives due attention to conservation efforts without losing the story of Jane.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Brooke Dotson

    This is a biography about a girl who is fascinated with wildlife mainly chimps. She gets an opportunity to observe chimps and learn new things. I enjoyed this book the quality was good. The colors were very pretty and well chosen. The illustrator Jeanetter Winter did a great job adding texture to the animals to make them look rough. She went a did something most people would be afraid to do so I think this is a good book for children to learn that. She also looks at things closely and is very pa This is a biography about a girl who is fascinated with wildlife mainly chimps. She gets an opportunity to observe chimps and learn new things. I enjoyed this book the quality was good. The colors were very pretty and well chosen. The illustrator Jeanetter Winter did a great job adding texture to the animals to make them look rough. She went a did something most people would be afraid to do so I think this is a good book for children to learn that. She also looks at things closely and is very patient and I think some kids can take away from this because she had to wait a while to see the chimps and it didn't happen overnight so its a good lesson to never give up.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    This is a biography of famed primatologist Jane Goodall, focusing almost exclusively on the years she spent studying chimps in Gombe during the 1960s – 1970s. I really wanted to like this book. Goodall’s life and accomplishments are extraordinary, but this book only lightly touches on them, offering an overly simplistic story. The reader is introduced to Jane as a young child in England and we learn that she was fascinated by animals from an early age. When her school days ended, Jane bought a p This is a biography of famed primatologist Jane Goodall, focusing almost exclusively on the years she spent studying chimps in Gombe during the 1960s – 1970s. I really wanted to like this book. Goodall’s life and accomplishments are extraordinary, but this book only lightly touches on them, offering an overly simplistic story. The reader is introduced to Jane as a young child in England and we learn that she was fascinated by animals from an early age. When her school days ended, Jane bought a plane ticket to Kenya so she could live in Africa to learn about animals. This act of independence was an exceptionally brave decision, and I think the author should have stressed that in the book. The way it’s presented, it almost seems like this was a run-of-the mill decision. The fact that Jane virtually worked alone and bravely became introduced to the chimps through her own experimental actions is also downplayed in the story. The author continues to lightly mention some of Goodall’s findings – information that changed everything known to science about chimp behavior. Another disappointment is the fact that the author says very little about the contributions Goodall has continued to make in the many years after she left Africa. The Jane Goodall Institute is a global leader in protecting chimps and their habitats. It also has a program called “Roots and Shoots” which involves young people in supporting local solutions to global problems. If these topics were introduced (and I think they could be even in a book meant for young children,) it could begin a discussion that might lead to a school service project in this area. Because of the simplicity of the book, I think it’s most appropriate for young children. I encourage the establishment of background knowledge before reading it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Peacegal

    The Watcher is a delightful picture book and a wonderful humane education resource. “The watcher” of the title is Jane Goodall, who from an early age cultivates the qualities of patience and stillness to observe the animals who share her world. Goodall doesn’t observe the animals to harm them through hunting or trapping—she just wishes to learn about them for their own sakes. Goodall’s famous anthropological study of wild chimpanzees is discussed at length, along with some of the amazing things The Watcher is a delightful picture book and a wonderful humane education resource. “The watcher” of the title is Jane Goodall, who from an early age cultivates the qualities of patience and stillness to observe the animals who share her world. Goodall doesn’t observe the animals to harm them through hunting or trapping—she just wishes to learn about them for their own sakes. Goodall’s famous anthropological study of wild chimpanzees is discussed at length, along with some of the amazing things she learned about them—such as their social lives and ability to make simple tools. Her well-known activism on behalf of the primates she studied is also addressed, I’m very happy to report. The text describes Jane’s grim discovery that spurred her to action: All across Africa, forests were being cut down, and the chimps were losing their home. Poachers were shooting grown chimps and kidnapping their babies to sell to laboratories, to the circus, and as pets. Jane’s beloved chimpanzees were in danger of becoming extinct. They needed Jane to speak for them. And Jane took up that obligation with an inspiring passion: She traveled to big cities and small towns the world over, month after month, year after year, asking for help to save the chimps and the forests.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Luann

    I enjoyed reading this, but there were a few things that bothered me. First, I didn't really like the title. I understand why it was chosen, and it is referenced within the story. But it feels too vague and a little creepy to me - even though I know it isn't meant that way at all. The subtitle does help, but that isn't always included when referencing a book. My second problem was that it felt like Jane grew up way too quickly. And there weren't enough details in the text or the pictures to clue I enjoyed reading this, but there were a few things that bothered me. First, I didn't really like the title. I understand why it was chosen, and it is referenced within the story. But it feels too vague and a little creepy to me - even though I know it isn't meant that way at all. The subtitle does help, but that isn't always included when referencing a book. My second problem was that it felt like Jane grew up way too quickly. And there weren't enough details in the text or the pictures to clue me in to when she was grown up. On the sixth page of text, it says "When Jane's school days were over, she worked and saved to buy a ticket to Kenya." In the illustration, she still looks really young - not all that much older than the five-year-old Jane from the page before. So I was confused when she was suddenly on a ship and then stepping off of it onto African soil. The author's note at the end cleared it up for me - she was 26 when she first went to Africa, but she sure didn't look 26 in the illustration. Anyhow, those are two small complaints for an overall very nice picture book biography of Jane Goodall. There were a LOT of details left out that I would have found very interesting, but this is a nice biography for children and would work well as a jumping-off point to a study of Jane Goodall and other scientists who study animals.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I checked The Watcher out for my niece. She enjoys non-fiction stories, and she likes animals and science, so I thought she'd enjoy learning about Jane Goodall. She didn't seem all that impressed with The Watcher, however, and when I asked her what she thought of it she said, "It was ok. I liked 365 Penguins better." So what was wrong with The Watcher? Well, first of all, the pictures were cute, but far from realistic, and I think that my niece likes her pictures to be fairly realistic when we re I checked The Watcher out for my niece. She enjoys non-fiction stories, and she likes animals and science, so I thought she'd enjoy learning about Jane Goodall. She didn't seem all that impressed with The Watcher, however, and when I asked her what she thought of it she said, "It was ok. I liked 365 Penguins better." So what was wrong with The Watcher? Well, first of all, the pictures were cute, but far from realistic, and I think that my niece likes her pictures to be fairly realistic when we read non-fiction stories. We were both disappointed that there wasn't even a photograph of the real Jane Goodall anywhere in the book. A photograph would have gone a long way toward making Jane Goodall a real person to my niece. Secondly, Jane's story was simplified. The author admits this on the final page of the book, but I felt like in so simplifying Jane's story, a great deal of Jane Goodall was lost. It was a very selective biography--much of the struggle and determination that she must have undergone both personally, and on behalf of chimps was lost. There just wasn't enough feeling to this story to move me or my niece.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    Perhaps because Jane Goodall herself is so interesting, this book was also an intriguing glimpse into her life. I like that it started with her as a child observing animals; that tradition is carried on throughout the book. In the author's note, it was really interesting that her mother first accompanied her to Africa, and then left shortly thereafter since she felt like Jane could handle herself. Jane's slow progress with the chimpanzees was kept interesting by the lively illustrations, and the Perhaps because Jane Goodall herself is so interesting, this book was also an intriguing glimpse into her life. I like that it started with her as a child observing animals; that tradition is carried on throughout the book. In the author's note, it was really interesting that her mother first accompanied her to Africa, and then left shortly thereafter since she felt like Jane could handle herself. Jane's slow progress with the chimpanzees was kept interesting by the lively illustrations, and the factor of seeing how she got the chimpanzees to come out around her, and then to allow her to be close to them and observe and interact with them for so long. It was evident from this that chimpanzees have their emotional and social life, from laughing and hugging and holding hands, to being scared or to fighting with one another. Goodall is breaking a gender barrier here as a female scientist, researcher, and advocate, but it's hard to say how much of what she does is traditional in her vein of research without knowing the field better. It's clear, though, that Jane's way of living was very non-traditional in terms of how most Britons live, and that there is change involved in the chimpanzees' lives from the deforestation that was occurring around them in Tanzania.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Like the picture book Me...Jane, this wonderful picture book tells about the life of primatologist Jane Goodall. Her early love for animals and her curiosity about the living world are described in simple fashion, but once she arrives in Gombe, Winter goes to great pains to describe how Jane studied the chimpanzees. Taking notes, she sits quietly and waits, eventually earning their trust. Winter also provides details about the encroaching nature of civilization with greedy individuals destroying Like the picture book Me...Jane, this wonderful picture book tells about the life of primatologist Jane Goodall. Her early love for animals and her curiosity about the living world are described in simple fashion, but once she arrives in Gombe, Winter goes to great pains to describe how Jane studied the chimpanzees. Taking notes, she sits quietly and waits, eventually earning their trust. Winter also provides details about the encroaching nature of civilization with greedy individuals destroying the animals' habitat. Her concern about the animals' welfare prompts Goodall to leave the area to raise awareness. Winter includes a couple of direct quotes from Goodall herself in the text, and an author's note provides additional information. The story is told in simple fashion but with just enough detail to make readers feel as though they are right beside Goodall. The acrylic paint and pen illustrations pay tribute to Goodall and the chimps, showing Jane's infinite patience and respect for the animals she was studying. This is a worthy addition to a library or classroom collection of ground-breaking women, and it is sure to inspire others to follow Goodall's lead.

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