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THE WATCHER by Jeanette Winter Kirkus Star


by Jeanette Winter, illustrated by Jeanette Winter

Age Range: 2 - 10

Pub Date: April 5th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-375-86774-3
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Economical art and language produce a fully fleshed-out biography of Jane Goodall, tracing her early years as a watcher of English fauna to her adult work as scholar of animal behavior in Africa. Winter’s deliberate illustrations, as rich, complex and unaffected as all great folk art, complement equally engaging, unadorned text. Initial illustrations break through square inset panels, encouraging readers to look, pause and think about how Jane also broke out of boxy boundaries. When Jane finally reaches Tanzania, revelatory double-page spreads invigorate readers with their dense lushness and panoramic views. Myriad trees dot hillsides; countless stars congest the sky. Green mountains and bustling canopies run off the page, and chimps scamper across the book’s gutter. While crowded with shapes, color and activity, Winter’s illustrations calm the eye with their compositional integrity and cool palette. 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. Quotes from Jane augment this inspiring book, encouraging young people to join her as dutiful watchers of the world. (author’s note) (Picture book/biography. 2-10)