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*The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps* by Jeanette Winter
Also by Jeanette Winter:

Kali's Song

Follow the Drinking Gourd
The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps
by Jeanette Winter
Ages 5-9 48 pages Schwartz and Wade April 2011 Hardcover    

Jeannette Winter has created yet another intriguing picture book biography with The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps. Taking the perspective of Jane, focusing the readerís attention on the immediate (what Jane is doing, observing and writing), Winter captures the wonder of the moment with text and illustrations which are simple yet intentional and engaging.

The story begins when Jane is a young child, always observing nature in her own British backyard. She dreams of watching the wild animals, and as a young adult saves all her money to go to Africa. Here she has the good fortune of meeting Dr. Louis Leakey and is sent to Gombe, Tanzania to study the chimpanzees.

At first Jane does not see the chimpanzees, but they see her. Janeís patience pays off as she stays with them, always watching and taking copious notes. Slowly, the chimpanzees accept her into their community, interacting with her and displaying a range of behaviors never before observed.

Eventually, Jane leaves Gombe and begins to advocate for the chimpanzee population, which is endangered due to the environment and poaching. She travels the world speaking to children and adults alike about the importance of preserving the chimpanzees and their habitats. Still, she returns to Gombe periodically, once again a part of the chimpanzee community. An authorís note completes the book.

The Watcher begs to be read aloud with carefully chosen words and bright, colorful illustrations. Teachers will find multiple ways to integrate this short biography into their curriculum Ė teaching about ecology, Earth Day, endangered species and even the simple skill of watching and recording observations. Highly recommended.

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  Kristine Wildner/2011 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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