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The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps
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The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  1,489 Ratings  ·  220 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by Schwartz & Wade
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Lisa Vegan
Aug 05, 2011 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Jane Goodall & chimpanzees; young naturalists; young activists
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 ...more
May 16, 2011 Tasha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
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 ...more
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 ...more
Aug 27, 2013 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
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.
Jun 11, 2015 Kathleen rated it it was ok
Shelves: info-bios
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 ...more
Apr 22, 2011 Peacegal rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humane-education
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
Nov 14, 2011 Luann rated it liked it
Recommended to Luann by: JLG
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 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
Apr 01, 2013 Hannah rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Jul 30, 2011 Barbara rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Jul 18, 2013 Ashley rated it really liked it
Audience: Primary
Genre: Nonfiction (Biography)
Format: eBook (Borrowed from the Omaha Public Library)
Fiction Twin Text: I chose Chimpanzee: Oscar and Freddy for the fictional twin text. It is a Disney book that tells a fictional story of these two chimps and their habitat in the African rainforest. I think it pairs with The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps in that it supplements with real pictures as opposed to The Watcher, which is acrylic paint and pen. Jane's life is very fascinati
Jessica B
Jun 10, 2015 Jessica B rated it really liked it
I read this on the kindle app. This is a picture book biography on the famous Jane Goodall. Readers will see Jane as a child and watch her life until she is older, helping chimpanzees in Africa. The book explains hardships chimpanzees face such as poachers. This is a great informational read with fun pictures about how Jane Goodall helped protect many chimpanzees in Africa.

I loved the pictures in this book as well! I would recommend using this in a primary classroom grades K-2 as a read aloud, a
Jun 15, 2011 Shannon rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
How unfortunate to print a book with such a common name AND to print it the same year as another Jane Goodall picture book (the vastly artistically superior Me... Jane).

This book beats out Me... Jane in the historical department because it talks more about her life with the chimps in Africa. Did you know, for example, that she had so many notes that they almost filled up her tent? Those are the kinds of details that make a nonfiction book neat. A Siebert contender?

My kids were excited to read th
Dec 04, 2016 Macy added it
Title: The Watcher
Author: Jeanette Winter
Illustrator: Jeanette Winter
Genre: 3-5 biography
Theme(s): following your dreams, doing what you love, perseverance, standing up for what you believe in
Opening line/sentence:
“Jane, Jane, where are you?”
Brief Book Summary:
This book goes through the life of Jane Goodall. She is a watcher of animals and her dream was to live with the apes in Africa like Tarzan and talk to animals like Dr. Doolittle. When Jane is old enough, she decides to accomplish her dream
I have a predisposition to like anything about Jane Goodall. What an amazing person! I admire someone who knew what they wanted to do from an early age, achieved it, and really contributes to our world. Pair this with Me, Jane for young readers. Love the story of the robin building a nest in her bookcase.
Disney Princess Recovery
I'm becoming convinced that any book by Jeanette Winter awesome.
This one strengthens the belief.
The Reading Countess
For me, this is a 3 star read. For the intended audience? A 4. I think I like Me...Jane more when compared side by side.
This book provides a nice introduction to the life and work of Jane Goodall. Perfect for young readers who have never heard of her. I would pair it with Me, Jane.
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Simple, direct biography about Jane Goodall.
Justin Myerson
Nov 08, 2016 Justin Myerson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: life-stories
No Awards
A little girl named, Valerie Jane Goodall, who people call "Jane" is a five year old girl who is an amazing watcher who wanted to go to Africa to live with the apes. She finally raised enough money to travel to Africa and went there and spent time in the jungle with chimps, studying them closely. Unfortunately the homes of the chimps were being torn down by humans which prompted Jane to travel back to Africa and traveled around convincing people to stop tearing down the chimps homes.

Marcie Master
Nov 15, 2016 Marcie Master rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-lit
Maybe 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 ...more
Haley Welker
Nov 06, 2016 Haley Welker rated it really liked it
This is an amazing informational text/biography about Jane Goodall and her life. It starts with her as a child watching a hen laying eggs. At 5 years old she was already fascinated with observing animals and learning about them. It goes on to explain how she crossed the ocean to learn about animals and all of her work with the chimps. It even took excerpts from her diary such as "You have to be patient if you want to learn about animals". The illustrations in this book are accurate and fun, some ...more
Nicole Voerg
Oct 27, 2016 Nicole Voerg rated it really liked it
Shelves: life
1. No awards
2. k-2nd grade
3. This is the story of Jane Goodall and her observations of just birds out the window to living in London observing the chimpanzees. The story starts when she is a young girl and proceeds to show what she does throughout her life with her observations and saving of animals in danger.
4. I think this book is adorable. The illustrations are very simple and nice. How the story starts out in her childhood shows children how you can grow up to be anything, even something yo
Kimberlee Gutterman
Nov 16, 2016 Kimberlee Gutterman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biographies
I did a lot of research on Jane Goodall during my freshman year of college so I know a lot of facts about her. This book was extremely accurate in depicting her life and what she did in her research of chimps. This book shows the significance of Jane’s tireless research, her groundbreaking discoveries and important work protecting Africa’s land and animals while keeping the content easy enough for young readers to comprehend. I would say this book is great for children 4-8 years old. This book ...more
Nicole E
Nov 30, 2016 Nicole E rated it it was amazing
The Watcher is a great biography picturebook for young readers. It is the biography of Jane Goodall, the book starts with Jane as a little girl being so interested in animals, as you watch Jane grow up in the book it goes more in depth about how she became so close with the chimps and her passion for her study and work. In this book there are even snippets of her diary with her findings. Biography picturebooks are a great way to get young kids interested in these types of books. The ...more
Geena Gurman
Dec 02, 2015 Geena Gurman rated it it was amazing
Title: The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with the Chimps
Author: Jeanette Winter
Genre: Non-fiction (biography k-2)
Theme(s): Exploring can take you very far
Opening line/sentence: “Jane, Jane, where are you?”
Brief Book Summary: This picture book biography is about Jane Goodall and her life working with Chimpanzees. The biography starts with Jane’s childhood and takes the reader on a journey to follow her life through all the work she did observing Chimpanzees in Africa. The book then ta
Katie DeBrisco
Title: The Watcher- Jane Goodall’s Life with the Chimps
Author: Jeanette Winter
Illustrator: Jeanette Winter
Genre: Biography (younger elementary)
Theme: Love for animals; ambition; education
Opening line/sentence: “Jane, Jane, where are you?”

Book Summary: This book is about the life and career of Jane Goodall and how she loved animals growing up. She did not let anyone get in her way from traveling to Africa and studying animal behavior. Through the appealing pictures, watch and expierence how Jan
Colleen McCormack
Nov 11, 2016 Colleen McCormack rated it really liked it
A great book that allows the reader to see what Jane Goodall did with chimps and the research she discovered. A really comfortable read that students can use to research but still find fascinating with all the pictures. I enjoyed it!
Andie Siegel
Title: The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life With the Chimps
Author: Jeanette Winter
Genre: Biography (K-2)
Theme(s): Studying, Watching, Chimpanzees, Science, Speaking Out
Opening line/sentence: “Jane, Jane, where are you?”
Brief Book Summary: Jane Goodall was always a watcher growing up, but she finally found her passion when she came to Gombe, Tanzania. It was here where she studied and became a trusted individual in the world of the chimpanzees that she watched. Goodall observed for years
Betty Caporal
Biography of Jane Goodall an her love for animals. Through her story we learn how to become an observer and the importance of being patient and keeping record of what you observe.
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