Saturday, May 14, 2011

Me . . . Jane

Me . . . Jane
by Patrick McDonnell
Little, Brown and Co., 2011. Unpaged. Picture Book

Many books have been written about Jane Goodall, but few as charming as this. McDonnell brings his patented Mutt comics style to the story of Jane and her stuffed toy chimpanzee (Jubilee) to fine effect. The story begins with a photograph of Jane clutching an actually kind of hideous Jubilee and then follows the story of her lifelong love of nature to her life with the living chimpanzees of Africa. Particularly charming are scenes of Jane and Jubilee hiding behind a pile of straw to watch how a chicken lays an egg and Jane sitting on a tree limb reading and rereading the story of Tarzan of the Apes and that other girl, Jane. Me . . Jane is a lovely, evocative story of a delightful young girl who grew up to change the world. Woodcut-like prints and McDonnell's watercolors muted by the rich ecru paper they are printed on puts this book on this year's potential Caldecott considerations.

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