by Patrick McDonnell

Reviewer Rating:


Me ... Jane by Patrick McDonnell tells the story of young Jane Goodall who dreamed of a life in Africa helping animals and changing the world. The story starts off with Jane receiving a toy chimpanzee which she would name Jubilee. The story follows Jane's and Jubilee's adventures as she explores the great outdoors, discovers where eggs come from, and spends many afternoons in her favorite tree reading and rereading Tarzan of the Apes about another girl named Jane who lived in the magical land of Africa.

I am a huge fan of Patrick McDonnell's storytelling through his comic strip MUTTS and feel in instant love with Me ... Jane. McDonnell's ability to use the right amount of information with the right amount of storytelling. The artwork even includes a few pieces from Jane's childhood which I found to be a great personal touch. This is such a heartwarming story that shows that if you work hard enough your dreams will come true. Jane Goodall went against the odds, coming from a family with little money and a time when girls were not encouraged to pursue adventurous careers. But with the encouragement of her mother, finishing school where she studied all she could about Africa, and working hard to save the money she finally found herself in Africa in 1957. Together with the famed anthropologist Louis Leaking, they began studying the chimpanzees at the now know Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania. During her observations she discovered that chimpanzees were able to make and use tools, something believed to have only been done by humans.     

About the author:

Patrick McDonnell is the creator of the beloved internationally syndicated comic strip MUTTS, which features the characters that star in five of his children's picture books: Wag!, The Gift of Nothing, Just Like Heaven, South, and Hug Time. He is also the creator of Me . . . Jane, a Caldecott Honor Book and New York Times bestselling picture book biography of Dr. Jane Goodall, and has written and illustrated the award-winning picture book Art.

Patrick sits on the board of directors of the Humane Society of the United States. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, Karen; their two formerly feral cats, MeeMow and Not Ootie; and their adopted terrier, Amelie. Patrick's website is

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