Young Jane, accompanied by her beloved stuffed toy chimpanzee Jubilee, loves being outside: observing squirrels and birds, learning how chickens lay eggs, climbing trees, and dreaming about a different life, far away in Africa. Curious and endearing, the little girl appearing on the pages of Patrick McDonnell's Me... Jane could be almost any child, and that's the point. Adults will surmise quickly that this Jane is actually the young Jane Goodall, respected primatologist, humanitarian, and environmentalist -- which makes this book a special read for kids and grown-ups alike.
Young readers, however, will simply understand how powerful dreams can be and how real they can feel. Me… Jane, written in a flowing, simple style will appeal to even very young children. The book is recommended for ages 1 and up. The illustrations, which range from playful depictions of Jane as she imagines life in Africa to more intricate, scientific drawings of animals, help capture the magical nature of the outside world and our place in it. Kids will be delighted that, as evidenced by the book’s final image, Jane truly exists and is continuing to focus on her hard work and dream of helping animals: she recently celebrated 55 years of research at Gombe Stream National Park. An inspiring and enchanting (and quick) read, Me… Jane is sure to encourage generations of young nature-lovers to care about the earth and take action to preserve it and the creatures dwelling on it.
All images © Patrick McDonnell