Carolynne's Reviews > Me...Jane

Me...Jane by Patrick McDonnell
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Feb 02, 12

bookshelves: picture-books, caldecott-honors, biography
Recommended to Carolynne by: The Caldecott committee!
Recommended for: Malinda, Jeracalea, Emily, Gundula
Read on February 02, 2012

_Me . . . Jane_, scenes from the early life of the inspiring naturalist and activist Jane Goodall, just won a Caldecott honor award for one of the most distinguished picture books published in 2011. (_A Ball for Daisy_ just won the Medal. I cannot wait to see it if it is better than this one!) In a beautifully designed book illustrated with watercolors and India ink, McDonnell has enriched the drawings with drawings made by Goodall herself, as well as a funny drawing about her time in the Gombe Stream Game Reserve, and exquisite ornamental engravings from the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Even the font, Caslon Book, has a delicate elegance that enhances the appearance of the book. Not a typical children's biography, this eschews dull details in favor of highlights from Goodall's life, like her interest in the Tarzan books, which seemed to show that a young woman could actually live among animals in the jungles of Africa. These books may have helped her achieve her early dreams of living among the animals of Africa. There is a message from Goodall and an author's note about her work. The Lexile number is AD740 (so, read aloud to young children.) I thought last year's Medalist, _A Sick Day for Amos McGee_, was pleasant but not truly outstanding. This one picks up the slack and lives up to the Caldecott standard.
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