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.
With her customary care, Winter (Biblio-burro) covers the whole of primatologist Goodall's life and work: her childhood observing animals and dreaming of Africa, her fateful meeting with Louis Leakey, early encounters with the chimpanzees ("David Greybeard has yes he has TAKEN BANANAS FROM MY HAND"), and, years later, her departure from Gombe because her "beloved chimpanzees were in danger of becoming extinct. They needed Jane to speak for them." The story's drama comes from the suspense of approaching the chimps, little by little; it took months for trust to build and required trials like sitting out in all kinds of weather: "She saw the chimps accept the rain, not look for shelter, as we do." Winter's repeated, stencil-like patterns give a sense of the wealth of green and the endless reaches of the Tanzanian landscape. (The chimpanzees don't fare as well; her flat style doesn't lend itself to the nuances of expression that distinguish primate individuals.) It's a fine introduction both to Goodall's life and to the idea that excellent science can come from nothing more than close, extended observation. Ages 4 8.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I liked this book because it had cute chimpanzees and cute chimp babies.