Peacegal's Reviews > The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps

The Watcher by Jeanette Winter
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Apr 22, 11

bookshelves: humane-education
Read in April, 2011

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.
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