Sunday, June 5, 2011
Review: Me...Jane by Patrick McDonnell
Me...Jane published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in Apr 2011
Author/Illustrator: Patrick McDonnell
I received a review copy of this picture book from the publisher a while ago, and originally intended to feature it on Earth Day, but something stopped me. The book is beautiful, hardly a surprise given Patrick McDonnell's skill and experience. It shows Jane Goodall as a child and how her way of viewing the world led to her eventual inspirational work with chimpanzees.
Great stuff, and I have read a number of great reviews by people who are either huge fans of Dr. Goodall, or of Mr. McDonnell. The problem that I have with the book is that the audience it is aimed at doesn't know Ms. Goodall is or what she did, and the book really doesn't explain. In many ways, the best part of the book is the afterword which actually describes Dr. Goodall's passion and work.
All of the work is left to the parent or other adult reading to the child. Even the big reveal which shows the photograph of Dr. Jane Goodall does so without explanation or identification. I love to read picture books to kids, and love science and picture books which show science. I just wouldn't choose this one without preparing a clear explanation of who Jane Goodall is, a job which the author neglected to do in any form accessible to the audience.
Three stars out of five.
Buy 'Me . . . Jane' on Amazon.com