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ME...JANE by Patrick McDonnell Kirkus Star

ME...JANE

By Patrick McDonnell (Author) , Patrick McDonnell (Illustrator)

Age Range: 2 - 10

Pub Date: April 5th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-316-04546-9
Publisher: Little, Brown

Little Jane Goodall and Jubilee (her toy chimpanzee) ramble outside their English country home observing everyday animal miracles and dreaming of a life in Africa, "living with, / and helping, / all animals." Readers familiar with the groundbreaking primatologist will love seeing her as a conventional, buttoned-up child, wearing a plaid skirt, classic bob and hair clip as she squats in a coop to watch a chicken drop an egg. McDonnell’s simple ink-and-watercolor illustrations appear as sunny, amorphous panels in ample white space. Purposeful black lines provide specificity with small suggestive strokes—a tiny apostrophic smile relays Jane’s complete contentment sprawled in grass. Opposite pages offer groupings of faint, intricate stamps that correspond with young Jane’s early outdoor experiences and engage readers with their fine details. The playful interplay among stamps, cartoonish drawings and real photographs of Jane reminds readers of a child’s hodgepodge journal—one like Jane’s, which appears as a double-page spread showing her animal studies, charts, games and doodles. Children will appreciate McDonnell’s original format and take heart that interests logged in their own diaries might turn into lifelong passions. Backmatter includes a pithy biography, additional photographs and a letter and drawing from Jane herself—children will thrill at the connection. (Picture book/biography. 2-10)