Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 117

Picture Book: Me…Jane

Author & Illustrator: Patrick McDonnell

Summary: This is such a delightful book about renowned chimpanzee expert, Dr. Jane Goodall. It begins with a photograph of Jane at about 4 with her stuffed toy chimpanzee, Jubilee. As a child, her cherished toy goes with her everywhere, especially when she is exploring outside. There are 2 pages of Jane’s own animal drawings and puzzles from her childhood notebooks. Young Jane dreams of a life of living with and helping animals, particularly in Africa. The prize is at the end of this book when the author skillfully over 3 double page spreads has Jane 1) falling asleep as a child with Jubilee in her arms, 2) waking up as an adult in the Tanzanian Game Reserve she made famous, and 3) in her celebrated photograph as she and a baby chimpanzee reach out to touch hands.  

Hanna’s Comments: I got goose bumps when I experienced those beautiful pages described above. What follows those pages are 2 important entries that you’ll want to summarize for young audiences: “About Jane Goodall” - the factual basis of this picture book and a “Message from Jane” - in which she invites readers to join Roots and Shoots, the children’s program she established to educate and empower children regarding environmental and social problems. What child wouldn’t be inspired by this book to learn more about God’s creatures and protect them? How wonderful for them to learn that with intelligence and determination, even a very young child’s dream can come true! The world is a better place because of this determined dreamer.

Publisher & Date of Publication: Little, Brown Books, 2011

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up

# of Pages: 40

Available in Spanish? Not at present

Formats other than Book: Amateur videos on, Audible, Also there would be lots of information about Jane Goodall on the internet.

PBT Category: Biography, Award Winner (Caldecott Honor), Post 2K

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: action, adventure, Africa, animals, attentiveness/observation/seeing, authenticity, babies/children, beginnings/morning, bonds/connections, call/calling/vocation, care of creation, commitment, dreams/aspirations, the environment/nature, exploration, gentleness/meekness, gifts/giftedness/talents, growing up/growth, heroes, hope, individuality/uniqueness, journeys/migration/pilgrimages/quests, jubilee, leadership/servant leadership, mission, passion, play, power, preparation/preparing, presence, prevenient grace, purpose, reverence, safe place/sanctuary, satisfaction, time/timing/over time, travel, wonder

Scripture Connections: For I know the plans I have for you…to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11); walk in the manner worthy of your calling… with humility and gentleness… with patience … and love (Ephesians 4: 1-2)

Idea(s) for Application: Consider studying Jane Goodall when you study the concept of careers or vocation in a homeschool or private school where you can speak freely of God-ordained gifts and callings. You may want to consider other books about her for older students. 

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