Little People, Big Dreams: Jane Goodall; Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara, illustrated by Beatrice Cerocchi
Some people just belong with animals and Jane Goodall certainly found her home amongst the chimpanzees.
When Jane was little her father gave her a stuffed chimpanzee called Jubilee that would spark a lifelong love of animals. One in particular captured her heart. She loved hearing animal stories and dreamed about seeing chimpanzees in the wild. On a trip to Kenya, her wish would come true. Her observations, work and learnings would forever change our understanding of chimpanzees. With their unique skill set, traits and behaviours, it turns out that we and they are very much alike…
Women have made many key contributions through the course of history and Jane Goodall’s outstanding work on primates and her understanding of our closest animal relatives ranks up there with the most important. A fabulous person, both inside and out, she is widely regarded as the world’s leading expert on chimpanzees and her deserved addition to the Little People, Big Dreams series takes readers on a fascinating journey that is just perfect for introducing children to her life and work.
Childhood dreams at her home in London to observing chimpanzees in Africa to doctorates at Cambridge University to becoming a global ambassador and world wildlife defender, all is lovingly retold in this charming biography. Strong-willed, smart, passionate and independent, Jane Goodall is a role model that kids need and any child with aspirations of becoming a conservationist needs to familiarise their self with her story.
Jane’s dreams could have easily been wrecked by the costs of education, unable to afford to go to university to study she had to come up with her own plan. What she would learn in the wild would be more valuable than any professor, course or text book would have been able to teach her. I love the lesson here, quite simply where there’s a will there’s a way. With the ever-rising cost of education and university courses, inspirational Jane exemplifies what is possible if we are flexible and our desires to achieve our dreams remain strong.
The wonders of nature and the need for animal study will mesmerise young readers but there is more to Jane’s work than her studies of chimpanzees and I loved the important messages on conservation and the need to protect wildlife and their habitats. Even though she may no longer be observing the animals in the wild, Jane dedicates her life to education and conservation and implores the younger generations to care for the planet and the animals that we share it with. She is an all round wonderful human being!
Sandwiched between leafy endpapers is a highly engaging and accessible story told in short and simple sentences accompanied by bright and bold artwork that places readers at the heart of Jane’s chimpanzee work. Her passion for her favourite animal leaps from every page with Beatrice Cerocchi’s gorgeous illustrations capturing animals and a conservationist that are easily at one with each other. At the back of the book there is a short overview of her life so far which includes key facts and dates and a historical timeline featuring photographs.
Recommended for 5+.