In his characteristic heartwarming style, Patrick McDonnell tells the story of the 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 day she finds that her dream has come true. One of the world’s most inspiring women, Dr. Jane Goodall is a renowned humanitarian, conservationist, animal activist, environmentalist, and United Nations Messenger of Peace. In 1977 she founded the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), a global nonprofit organization that empowers people to make a difference for all living things. With anecdotes taken directly from Jane Goodall’s autobiography, McDonnell makes this very true story accessible for the very young—and young at heart.
In his signature sweet-and-simple illustrative style, Patrick McDonnell tells the story of a young girl named Jane who is very curious about the natural world around her. It doesn’t give a lot of information on Jane Goodall’s life or work, but it does serve as a gentle introduction to who she is and would be great for sparking the curiosity of toddlers or preschoolers. The illustrations are simple, but each page has lots of little details to examine, and the book has a perfect words-to-page ratio. I’m always a sucker for children’s books that are nonfiction but read like a story, and this one is a great addition to our collection.
Patrick McDonnell is the creator of Tek: The Modern Cave Boy, Thank You and Good Night, A Perfectly Messed-Up Story, The Monsters’ Monster, and Me…Jane, a Caldecott Honor Book. He is also the creator of the internationally syndicated comic strip Mutts, which inspired his picture books The Gift of Nothing, Hug Time, and others. He lives in New Jersey.