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The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps Hardcover – April 5, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Starred Review, Booklist, March 1, 2011:
“An author’s note rounds out this beautiful celebration of one of the world’s most influential animal advocates.”


Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2011:
“This gorgeous, accessible biography allows young readers to absorb the significance of Jane’s tireless research, her groundbreaking discoveries and important work protecting Africa’s land and animals."

About the Author

JEANETTE WINTER has written and illustrated almost 50 books for children, including Diego (a New York Times Best Illustrated Book, Parents' Choice Award winner, and Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies), Emily Dickinson's Letters to the World (New York Times Notable Book, Parents' Choice Silver Medal), The Librarian of Basra (ALA Notable Book), My Name Is Georgia (Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, ALA Notable, Booklist Editors' Choice), and Mama (Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book, Society of Illustrators Silver Medal). Her art with flat colors and perspectives in the folk art tradition have brought her many honors.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: AD820L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Schwartz & Wade (April 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375867740
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375867743
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.5 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As an anthropologist, I got both "The Watcher" and "Me, Jane" for my 2-year-old daughter. "The Watcher" is quite a bit better - with more words and better vocabulary, the story introduces children to the basic concepts in primatology and anthropology. Winters' illustrations can be used to get children involved in watching too: Jane doesn't immediately see the chimps, who are hiding in the trees, and it's fun to ask my daughter to point them out and count them. One of the things I dislike about "Me, Jane" is that it jumps from little Jane dreaming about chimps to Goodall in the field, skipping the trouble, hardships, and work she had to put in to get from interested kid to adult researcher. "The Watcher" tells a surprisingly thorough (for a kids' book) story of Jane Goodall's life in a way that challenges younger readers but at the same time doesn't talk down to them.
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Format: Hardcover
Starting with the cover, Jeanette Winter's latest book is the product of a great illustrator at the top of her game. Her non-western style is a perfect match for this story set in Africa -- the shapes and colors perfectly evoke the jungle, with a feel that is both exquisitely primal and vibrant. And, starting with the title, the story very simply and matter-of-factly focuses a child's attention on what it means to be a "watcher," an observer. It's so important, in a picture book biography, that there be some over-arching metaphor which holds the story together -- as opposed to, "and then she did this, and then she did that." If you you're looking for a book which gets right to the heart of what makes Jane Goodall important, without trivializing it or talking down to its child readership, this one's for you. Brilliant work, Jeanette Winter!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is my 7-year-old's review:

I love this book because it tells you how important and endangered some animals are. Also because now I know that someone else loves animals and wants to protect them as much as I do. It was interesting how Jane Goodall got a job and saved her own money so she could take a boat to Africa to study the chimps.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an outstanding picture book biography about one of the world's most beautiful women. Who does not adore Jane Goodall and her tireless efforts to understand and bring to the rest of the world the hidden culture of chimpanzees? It's a wonderful character story to read to a child, and the bright and comely yet unobtrusive pictures will stir the reader's imagination. This book begs to be read again and again, not only for the lovely story, but to retake an occasion to reap and admire small treasures missed in the pictures the first time around. The author says, "I wish that when I was a little girl, I could have read about someone like Jane Goodall.... I've made this book for that little girl. Thank you Jeanette Winter. Suitable for classroom, library or personal ownership.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I used this book with second through fifth graders to discuss how Jane Goodall encompasses the "global learning" focus of our school. My students loved the story and illustrations, and loved learning about how chimps are so similar to humans. My older students were able to have amazing discussions about how Jane investigated the world around her, how she effectively communicated her ideas to the public, and how she worked to preserve Gombe. The writing itself is simple enough that my younger students could easily follow along, but the topics were complex enough to engage my older students. Wonderful book!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good, not great but good. Strong female protagonist and based on a real life person to boot. Good old Jane Goodall. What's not to love? Read it to my 2yr old & 5 year old. We enjoy and my oldest was very concerned about forest clearing and chimp habitats on our last reading. That was kind of cool. Art is fine. Get it for your kids!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this as part of themed gift for my niece with Children's Hard Plastic Safari Pith Helmet and Educational Insights Geosafari Jr. Kidnoculars. Big hit! I also looked at the popular _Me . . . Jane_ book but found this to be a better choice for actually highlighting Goodall's interest in the research process.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a great book for adults as well as children to learn about Jane Goodall and her work. What a wonderful woman who lived her dream. Role model for girls and for anyone concerned about animals and our earth.
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