Saturday, October 27, 2012


Author and Illustrator - Patrick McDonnell

Do you wonder what kids would dream about? What shapes their dreams and hopes? This question always brings to my mind about a book that my younger one was mad about. She loves dancing. She dances by herself all the time. When we read a book about Anna Pavlova, for days she would go around imagining herself as a dancer - not necessarily as a ballet dancer, but a dancer who moves to music that only she can hear. Did she find her calling? I am not sure, but, this incident keeps reminding me that books have a very important place in any household to inspire and let the kids dream. 

Me...Jane is one such inspirational book. Simple and evocative. It is a story of young Jane Goodall, the primatologist, anthropologist, conservationist extraordinaire. She made us rethink the meaning of what a human being means by showing us how the chimps can use tools similar to humans. 

The book is a story of a young girl Jane, who goes around her house and surroundings observing nature, along with her trusted stuffed chimp called Jubilee. She dreams - a dream where she lives in Africa with animals and helps to protect them. A dream she accomplishes with aplomb. 

Patrick McDonnell's illustrations are simple and tempts the young readers to try their own hand on drawing some of the pictures. Simple and straightforward lines and plain colours contribute to the simplicity of the whole book. The first page lays down the structure of the book immediately. It shows a young girl receiving a stuffed chimp as a gift. The girl and the chimp are the central character as they tramp throughout the house - hiding behind straw to find out how the hen lays eggs, climbing trees to read about Tarzan & Jane and imagining her house in Africa. After going through this book, I can understand why one of the picture book bloggers that I follow closely(Donna McKinnon of 32Pages) loves Patrick McDonnell. 

The book also has some very impressive engravings of trees and plants that forms the background of various pages. It has an inspiring letter from the lady herself - Jane Goodall. A lovely book. Hopefully, this book will inspire a few more kids and dream their life. 


Choxbox said...

Awesome Sathish! Will look out for this book, am loving the length of the list of books waiting to be discovered.

Had read an intro by Jane Goodall in Eric Carle's Slowly Slowly Said the Sloth (if I remember right).

Sheela said...

wonderful pick, Sathish! I liked the simplicity of this book; the 7 yo liked it for its direct and short story-telling. Text is very spare and illustrations are charming in the greens and browns...

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