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The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  2,591 ratings  ·  348 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 w ...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by Schwartz & Wade
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  2,591 ratings  ·  348 reviews

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Elyse  Walters
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’ve loved chimpanzees since I was a child.
Whenever I even hear - or see the name *Jane Goodall* - the British primatologist- it’s impossible to not immediately identify her with chimpanzees. Is there any other person more famous — more of an expert on them? If there is - I don’t know ‘their’ name.

I took a look at this book for my own guilty pleasure. I would be happy to purchase this for my friends child. It shows how chimpanzees are similar to humans. The book inspires a love of nature and r
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love Jane Goodall and her entire story and it's one that needs to be heard. This book starts out in her childhood and illustrates her story into adulthood. Children will enjoy reading about her ambition and also how important it is to care about our animal wildlife.

I love that this book is a quick, educational read for kids to learn about Jane Goodall and what she stands for.

Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, picture
"I wish that when I was a little girl, I could have read about someone like Jane Goodall—a brave woman who wasn't afraid to do something that had never been done before. So now I've made this book for that little girl, who still speaks to me."—Jeanette Winter

I grew up watching documentaries about Goodall and Fossey circa the early 80s, when all their research garnered recognition and praise. I just can't remember if I was a "watcher" like Jane or Dian before or after. I just know I've always adm
Dave Schaafsma
Jane Goodall was in town the other day so I ordered this book from the library, a fine picturebook introduction to her work with chimpanzees and emphasizing the importance of watching, observing the world in order to begin to ask questions in order to understand it.

"I wanted to learn things no one else knew, uncover secrets. . ."

So she went to Kenya, she worked for primatologist Louis Leakey. She lived among the apes, and learned things about chimps no one knew, secrets. She learned how much we
SheriC (PM)
Crossing the ocean, Jane stayed on deck
and watched the waves, even when the cold wind blew.
She saw all the different blues and greens of the sea,
and fish that glowed through the dark water.

What I loved best about this little children’s book was the emphasis that was placed on Jane Goodall’s accomplishments and the characteristics of her person and work that helped her to achieve them – curiosity, determination despite hardship, and patient observation, but done in a way that was celebratory rath
Lisa Vegan
Jul 27, 2011 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
Stephanie Anze
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
"What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make."
Jane Goodall

Jane was an observant child and no animal was beneath her interest. As Jane grew however, she became particularly fond of the chimpanzees. When she saved enough money, she travelled to Africa, where she was fortunate to get the job of observing wild chimpazees for Louis Leakey. Thus her love for these magnificent animals was the start of a life-long advocacy and research in animal conser
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
A greatly simplified biography of Jane Goodall and her years spent studying chimps. The illustrations are pretty, in soothing colours. I’m sure there was probably more struggle and adversity during Ms. Goodall’s years of research and disseminating her findings, but as this book is aimed at children, it’s all pretty positive and light in tone. And if that convinces some young girl that protecting habitats/environment and science are important, than the book worked.
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 chimps ...more
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Picture-Book Readers Interested in Jane Goodall
This outstanding picture-book biography of primatologist Jane Goodall, whose work with the chimpanzees of Gombe has revolutionized our understanding of our closest relatives in the animal kingdom, has both visual and narrative appeal, with artwork that is vivid and engaging, and a simple text that follows its subject from her days as an animal-obsessed youngster who dreamed of Africa, through her many years at Gombe, and then her later turn to activism. The theme that runs throughout, as suggest ...more
Jan 31, 2011 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 sort ...more
Reading_ Tamishly
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love this woman. This amazing, superb, unique human. She has done something no one has the curiosity for, or interested enough to go through what she had. Such a powerful example.

And yes, this biographical picture book is the best from the author as well.

Love it to bits and pieces!
The writing is amazing!
The artwork is endearing and memorable.
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
i love Jeanette winter and her lovely lovely books .
i wish i can own them all
Jul 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Cute fun book about Jane Goodall. Good example for little girls to see such a groundbreaking woman achieve her goals.
Emily Miles
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wow-books
***This was my ebook

The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with Chimps by Jeanette Winter is a great biography that details the life of Jane Goodall. The biography begins with Jane Goodall’s first interactions with chimpanzees and leads all the way into her activism for the endangered species later on in her career. I think that this book would be perfect for 3rd grade.
I think that this book would be a good fit in a unit about change agents. Jane Goodall was a big agent of change and activist, so sh
May 08, 2013 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.
Hannah Flowers
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed-books
This biography of Jane Goodall is truly an example of how interdisciplinary literature can be! I love how it incorporates science by giving readers an example of a scientist who doesn’t work in a lab with potions and chemicals, which is a common misconception young readers may have. Moreover, it highlights all of the incredible work that Jane Goodall has done throughout her life and how she started with a love and desire to work with animals (just like many of our students!) and ended up changin ...more
Ruut DeMeo
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps" is a children's illustrated biography book, intended for ages 4-8. It was named a Best Book of the Year by the Boston Globe, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, and the Bank Street College of Education. The narrative follows Jane Goodall from age five to her old years, very clearly depicting the theme of the book - Jane's love and ability for "watching" animals.

In searching for excellent biographies for younger readers, parents and educators are often bom
Kris Dersch
Really nice picture book biography of an often-covered subject. I like that the early pages solidly ground the reader in Goodall's childhood, making her relatable for the target audience. Back matter isn't much but is very helpful, especially noting why the focus and what of her life isn't included in the narrative. ...more
Taylor Carr
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps is a fascinating and inspiring portrait of the life and achievements of the world's foremost animal conservationist. The book starts out with Jane in her youth and portrays her passion about animals that parallels the interests of many boys and girls. I think this is a subject to naturally be curious about; animals are life in its purest form, without the rules of human adults. Jane eventually finds her way to Africa to study the chimps she is mos ...more
Nov 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids, africa, science
I am obsessed with all of the Leakey Girls, as they were called for awhile. I’m glad it’s so easy to pass on this obsession to the girls, at least for Jane Goodall. We need books about the others too!

This is such a lovely book.
Mar 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A smart picture book biography that focuses solely on Goodall's work, rather than on her personal life. I did think it jumped too quickly through time, but the afterword information is fantastic, and the book itself is solid. ...more
Lydia Ferrell
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's been pretty cool reading this book! ...more
Sep 13, 2021 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.
Simple biography, suitable for young children. The language is beautifully gentle and the tone is factual and playful. The author gives due attention to conservation efforts without losing the story of Jane.
Brooke Dotson
Sep 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a biography about a girl who is fascinated with wildlife mainly chimps. She gets an opportunity to observe chimps and learn new things. I enjoyed this book the quality was good. The colors were very pretty and well chosen. The illustrator Jeanetter Winter did a great job adding texture to the animals to make them look rough. She went a did something most people would be afraid to do so I think this is a good book for children to learn that. She also looks at things closely and is very pa ...more
Jun 11, 2015 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 p ...more
Apr 22, 2011 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 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
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