Two great picture book biographies were published in April 2011 on the life of primatologist Jane Goodall. Me…Jane by Patrick McDonnell focuses on Jane’s young life as an animal lover and avid reader. McDonnell uses stories taken from Goodall’s autobiography and peppers the story with actual artifacts from Jane Goodall’s life.
The Watcher by Jeanette Winter covers Jane’s life as she grows up to when she begins to study the chimpanzees in Tanzania. Readers learn about the patience she had to embody in order to get the chimps to trust her and let her near to their group.
The New York Times recently posted a great video interview with the authors of both books and Jane Goodall. The authors discuss the inspiration and respect they find in Jane’s life and example, and Jane recounts her experiences in a male-dominated field and explores the role of women in the study of science.
For those inspired by the work of Jane Goodall, children should check out Roots and Shoots, a youth organization designed by the Jane Goodall Institute. The organization encourages youth to create and take action in the needs of their community.