I am Jane Goodall by Brad Meltzer
I chanced upon this book at the library recently and was fascinated at the level of detail it contained, and how simply and beautifully it was written.
I have always thought that it is much harder to write a good children’s book than a tome for an adult, since every word in its construction must be chosen with care. Author Brad Meltzer does a wonderful job of bringing across important values and the story of Dr Goodall’s life in a concise and engaging way.
I subsequently realised that Brad Meltzer wrote an entire SERIES of such books on inspiring personalities, and I can’t wait to borrow as many as I can find, for the kids to read!
“I am Jane Goodall” especially easy for children to relate to, since it talks about her as a 1 year old toddler, and how her dreams slowly turned into reality. It was especially inspiring to me, as she persevered to become a scientist, in the era of the 1960s when women were expected only to take on professions such as nursing and teaching. As a mother, I was also touched by her supportive mother, who even travelled by ship to Africa to be her ‘companion’, when Jane was told that it was not proper for a female to be alone in the jungles with just a local aide.
Dr Goodall’s famous quote: “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” Indeed!
“Me…… Jane” by Patrick McDonnell
A week later, I chanced upon this book tucked away in the library’s Chinese picture book shelves. It was a Chinese translation of Patrick McDonnell’s book, “Me… Jane”.
This is a Caldecott Honor book, and the illustrations were simply lovely, and the text lyrical, but I felt that it had a too-abrupt ending.
The book dealt well with her early years and is very whimsical, but I felt it could have been so much more! Nonetheless, it was good to read both books back to back, and have the kids hear a familiar story in Chinese.
Dr Jane Goodall in Singapore
Guess what? The lady herself is coming to Singapore soon! She will be here giving two talks on 6 August to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Jane Goodall Institute in Singapore.
Here’s some background on the Institute for a start:
JGI Singapore (JGIS) was founded in 2007 to help to educate and support Singaporeans, particularly young people, in addressing local issues in three main areas, which Dr. Goodall consistently found are inextricably linked: human community, animal welfare and the natural environment.
Their goal is to nurture the next generation of ‘Jane Goodalls’ by empowering & inspiring young people to take action, via three key programmes:
- Roots & Shoots service learning programme & Eco-literacy classes
- Monkey Walks
- Public talks & initiatives on environment-animals-community issues
If you’d like to learn more or get involved with the institute you can sign up to receive their newsletters, join the institute’s community service projects, or drop them an email: firstname.lastname@example.org for a more in-depth chat.
*One Nature, Together – Connecting People, Wildlife and the Environment*
Dr Jane will share stories of hope and conservation. Together with a panel of notable speakers, join us in conversation and be inspired to take action to connect with nature.
Sun, 6 Aug 2017, 2pm – 4pm @MES Theatre at Mediacorp,
Get your tickets (at a very affordable $24 or $28) at Sistic now!
*Living with Harmony – A night of inspiration with Dr Jane Goodall. Featuring Inch Chua and Tim Decotta*
Enjoy a rare opportunity to interact with Dr Jane at an exclusive dinner, and be inspired by her passion and hope for people to live in harmony with nature and wildlife. Come and support our efforts in continuing to make a difference in Singapore.
Sun Aug 6, 2017, 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM @ Hort Park
Get your tickets here.