Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Picture Book Review: I Am Jane Goodall by Brad Meltzer

Title: I Am Jane Goodall
Author: Brad Meltzer
Illustrator: Christopher Eliopoulos
Series: Ordinary People Change the World #10
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 6, 2016
Length: 40 pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed

We can all be heroes. That's the inspiring message of this New York Times bestselling picture book biography series from historian and author Brad Meltzer. Learn all about Jane Goodall, the chimpanzee scientist. 

Each picture book in this series is a biography of a significant historical figure, told in a simple, conversational, vivacious way, and always focusing on a character trait that makes the person present tense, which keeps the books playful and accessible to young children. And each book ends with a line of encouragement, a direct quote, photos, a timeline, and a source list. This tenth book in the series features Jane Goodall, the scientist and conservationalist who is famous for her work with chimpanzees. 

My Thoughts:

This was our first time reading a 'Ordinary People Change the World' book but I am glad that we took the chance. These adorably illustrated biographies are all told in first person and it helps make it more personal, as if Jane Goodall were talking directly to us about her childhood and her grand adventures. There's also a mixture of Jane telling us all and dialogue between her and her friends, family, and animals. 

This book had a great message: That you can be anything you want to be as long as you work hard to make it happen. 
We follow Jane as she follows her dreams and it really does give the reader the sense that they too can easily follow their own dreams. 

At the same time, we are learning about Jane Goodall herself, her profession, animals, and the world. 

This is a gorgeously constructed book with entertaining illustrations. The only issue I seem to have with it is that Jane stays the same small character throughout the book even though she should be growing. Even as an adult, she looks like a child next to the other adults in the book. I can see how this allows children to always recognize and identify with her throughout the book though. 

If you are looking to teach your child about real life people who have made a difference in this world, or just read them an entertaining story, this is the perfect series to do so!

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