The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life With the Champs by Jeanette Winter
Schwartz & Wade
Fiction, Ages: 4-8
Hardcover: 48 pages
Available at bookstores and at Amazon.com
The Watcher is a book that any teacher or librarian would recognize as an essential addition to the early elementary classroom or library. It will also be a welcome addition for the home library. Both written and illustrated by Jeanette Winter, this biography gives any young child a charming introduction to one of the most admired biologists of our time.
The Watcher introduces the reader to this fascinating scientist in a unique way. The reader is introduced to Jane Goodall in much the same style that this beloved scientist introduced the world to our nearest relatives of the primate world, the chimpanzees of Gombe. As the story progresses we watch Jane Goodall observing the animals from her early childhood through adulthood. Scientific observation is actually introduced by the story itself. The illustrations, like the text, are simple in the same style of Jane Goodall's own observations. The focus is on the action. We watch Jane watch the chimpanzees.
The illustrations are as spare as the text. We watch Jane grow from a girl to an adult and finally to an elderly person who works for the interests of the chimpanzees. Jane speaks against cutting down the forests which are the homes of the chimpanzees and other animals. At the end of the story the author has added a page of further details for the adults about Jane Goodall and her own approach in writing the story.
-- Sarah Reaves White
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