The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps

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Overview

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 ...

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The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps

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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
Starred Review, Booklist, March 1, 2011:
“An author’s note rounds out this beautiful celebration of one of the world’s most influential animal advocates.”

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2011:
“This gorgeous, accessible biography allows young readers to absorb the significance of Jane’s tireless research, her groundbreaking discoveries and important work protecting Africa’s land and animals."

Steve Jenkins
…a lively and elegant introduction…Though the biography is conventional in its chronological account of Goodall's life, there is a poetic quality to the writing—a meter that tempts one to read the book aloud.
—The New York Times
School Library Journal
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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375867743
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 4/5/2011
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 106,667
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

JEANETTE WINTER has written and illustrated almost 50 books for children, including Diego (a New York Times Best Illustrated Book, Parents' Choice Award winner, and Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies), Emily Dickinson's Letters to the World (New York Times Notable Book, Parents' Choice Silver Medal), The Librarian of Basra (ALA Notable Book), My Name Is Georgia (Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, ALA Notable, Booklist Editors' Choice), and Mama (Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book, Society of Illustrators Silver Medal). Her art with flat colors and perspectives in the folk art tradition have brought her many honors.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2012

    Expensive with a capital e

    Omg this is like so expensive for a picture book about monkeys

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2012

    Ok.......

    Thus book is really weird

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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