Patty's Reviews > Me...Jane

Me...Jane by Patrick McDonnell
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May 02, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: biography, humorous, picture-book
Read in November, 2011

In this picture book biography Patrick McDonnell focuses on the young Jane Goodall, conveying her traits of insatiable curiosity, boundless determination, and poetic devotion that together would shape the person she would become. McDonnell introduces Jane and her cherished stuffed chimpanzee Jubilee as they revel in, explore, and discover the vast world of nature. ”It was a magical world full of joy and wonder, and Jane felt very much a part of it.” The images McDonnell has created using pen, India ink and watercolor evoke a child’s world; simple, yet compelling, where there is something new to see around every corner. The playful illustrations are complemented by the simple but eloquent text which is presented in the center of the opposite page. Accompanying the text are reproductions of 18th and 19th century engravings which give scientific weight to the words and provide a counterpoint to the whimsical illustrations. The text is spare, but straightforward and allows the reader to readily follow Jane on her paths of discovery, whether to the top of a tree or inside a chicken coop. The book also includes sketches and observations made by Jane for her club, the “Aligator Society” (misspelling intentional), enhancing the already affecting narrative. The book comes full circle as it ends, not with an illustration, but with a heartwarming photograph of a grown-up Jane reaching out to a young chimp that looks quite a bit like Jubilee. Endnotes which include supplemental biographic information and a personal message from Jane Goodall complete this inspirational offering that would be enjoyed by readers of all ages.
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