If you’ve ever hoped to do something that seems impossible, know that as long you nurture your dream you can make almost anything happen. If you feel like as one person you won’t make much difference even if you do follow your dream, know that as long as you are passionate you can change the world. It may sound cliché, but ‘Me…Jane’ will drive home this message to children across the globe in a way that will stick with them as they see the truth behind those words in this wonderful story.
All About Jane
Jane is a little girl filled with a zest for life and a curiosity that drives her to explore the world around her. Accompanying her on her explorations of the outdoors is her stuffed animal chimpanzee, Jubilee. She studies all the plants and animals in her backyard, taking notes and drawing diagrams…one time her and Jubilee even sneak into Grandma Nutt’s chicken coop to find out where eggs come from.
One of Jane’s favorite places to go is a tree she names Beech. She’ll crawl up amongst its branches and lay her head against the trunk, feeling the connection between her and the living things all around her. It is nestled up in Beech’s branches that she reads and re-reads the story of Tarzan…which nurtures the dream she has about one day living in Africa and helping all kinds of animals. Someday, Jane will learn just how far her compassion and empathy can take her. She dreams of helping animals, but she has no idea just how much those dreams will flourish and the impact she will make when she grows up to be Dr. Jane Goodall, environmentalist, humanitarian, primatologist, and United Nations Messenger of Peace.
Depicting The Dream
When Jane was growing up, people told her that she wouldn’t be able to go to Africa and help animals. For one, she was a girl, and in those times girls were not encouraged pursue adventurous careers, and her family also had very little money. But her mother encouraged her to follow her dream, and as she did it took her farther than she probably ever imagined it could. It goes to show that when you have the passion and the drive to do something you believe in you can accomplish it, even if the odds are against you.
Patrick McDonnell did not have an easy task on his hands when he wrote this story. To portray Jane, filled with life, and the natural world she loves is daunting to say the least. But his wonderful way of drawing and illustrating with water color/ink shines and he does an amazing job telling the tale of such an incredible person, not only through his own words drawings, but by using Jane Goodall’s childhood drawings and a sketch by her throughout the story, and photographs of her at the beginning and end of the book. Complete with a short biography about Jane Goodall and a message from her at the end as well, the whole story is not only convincing but extremely compelling.
Me…Jane – Should You Get It?
Yes. Anyone and everyone can take something away from this book. It has so many messages on so many layers that can be imparted onto its readers; it is truly a book to be treasured. I would say more, but after reading this book and writing this review I am inspired to go and do something life changing.