Me... Jane

By Patrick McDonnell,

Book cover of Me... Jane

Book description

In his characteristic heartwarming and minimalistic style, Patrick McDonnell tells the story of a young Jane Goodall and her special childhood toy chimpanzee named Jubilee. As the young Jane observes the natural world around her with wonder, she dreams of 'a life living with and helping all animals,' until one…

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Why read it?

5 authors picked Me... Jane as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This book is about Jane Goodall, famous chimp researcher and United Nations Messenger of Peace. As a child, she shared her backyard “magical world of nature” with her stuffed chimp named Jubilee. The book Tarzan of the Apes expanded her passion into dreams of going to Africa to study animals. “Wow!” She did it, and her stick-to-it observations led to the discovery that chimpanzees make and use tools. As she protects wildlife she also helps people in wild places to get better food, water, and education. Her concerns for all creatures have inspired children around the world to take some…

It feels so perfect that Jane Goodall had a stuffed toy chimpanzee, named Jubilee, as a child! This charming picture book uses clear, concise, language and illustrations to portray Jane Goodall realizing her childhood dream (while making history). There’s a message from Ms. Goodall at the end, and she can even be seen reading the book on YouTube.

From Nina's list on women who shaped history.

This is a book for the very young, with simple, poetic text. Not truly a biography, it shows us a curious, imaginative little girl who is fascinated by nature and wants to learn everything about it. She gives her favorite climbing tree a name, and as she lays her cheek against its trunk she seems to “feel the sap flowing beneath the bark.” There’s a scene in the henhouse where Jane, eager to learn where eggs come from, waits behind some straw and “observes a miracle.”

The transition between her childhood dreams and the future life they lead her to…

From Diane's list on picture book biographies.

Not all scientists work in laboratories. Me...Jane tells the story of primatologist Jane Goodall, climbing trees with her stuffed chimp, Jubilee, and a tattered copy of Tarzan. Sepia-tinged spreads look like pages torn from young Jane’s science notebook, with everything from sketches of wings to notes from “Alligator Club” meetings. Jane’s path - spending time outdoors, reading about science and nature, and studying hard – will feel both commendable and achievable. When it was published Me… Jane received many well-deserved awards and accolades. This book deserves a spotlight on your young scientist’s bookshelf, too. 

From Tami's list on inspiring your young scientist.

Me... Jane is the epitome of a well-written children’s picture book biography. With just a few words, McDonnell beautifully captures the sweet, inspiring story of how young Jane, accompanied by her toy chimpanzee, Jubilee, dreamed of living in Africa and helping animals near and far. This simple story is about following a dream, never giving up, and then blazing a trail that others can follow. Classic. Inspiring. Perfect.

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