“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

When researching about a book that I am about to review, I am often amazed at the story behind the story, the life some of these authors and illustrators have led.  Almost like a double life.  One thing always stands out for me and is very true, we often write from our own experience or from strong views and or feelings that we have.

Jane Goodall is no exception. Her life has been one amazing adventure from the get-go.  From her early beginnings in England and the lifelike chimpanzee toy she adored (I too had a lifelike chimpanzee which was taken off me and kept in a closet, because my parents thought it was what was giving me nightmares) , which introduced her to the love of animals, and chimpanzees especially.  After obtaining a degree in Anthology and becoming a British primatologist, ethologist, and anthropologist, she eventually worked most of her life in Tanzania and became the world expert on chimpanzees with 45 years study on behaviours and family interactions.

This is probably one of her not so well-known books…..


Author:  Jane Goodall

Illustrator:  Julie Litty

First Published:  1999 by North-South Books Inc/ Nightsky Books – 2003

Age:  3 – 8 years

Theme:   Animal contact, pet-assisted therapy, hospitals, health, healing power of love, true story

Opening Sentence:   It was a cold, wet morning.  Dr. White dashed to the hospital.  He was late.  He slipped through the back door of the kitchen.

Synopsis:  (From the back of the book) A sweet and heartwarming true story about a little white dog who curled up on the beds of very sick children in a children’s hospital in London and healed them with his warmth and love….  Litty’s weatercolors beautifully illustrate this tale about the healing power of love.

Why I love this:   Well there is no secret that I love any story that has animals in it and the cover is just adorable.  By chance discovery in the library I picked it up and glanced at the back page and immediately thought this would be a lovely read, so signed it out of the library, little realising the name of the well-known author Jane Goodall.  Not till after I had read it and then scoured the internet coming across website after website detailing the works of this incredible author.

In 1977 she established the Jane Goodall Institute which supports the Gombe research, and is a global leader in protecting chimpanzee’s habitat.  With nineteen offices around the world the Institute Center for Primate Studies and all her archives is housed at the University of Minnesota.   Jane is also a former president of Advocates for Animals in Scotland.  She also holds many honours for her work, was made a Dame Commander in 2004, a United Nations Messenger of Peace in 2002, the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement among many other prestigious honours and is a member of the advisory board of BBC Wildlife magazine and also honored by The Walt Disney Company.  In 2010 a benefit concert was held in Washington DC, to celebrate Jane’s pioneering chimpanzee research and inspiring vision for our future.

Jane Goodall is also a compelling author of many books both adult and children.  While they mainly deal with her discoveries, her life or the lives of the animals she so loves and admires, there are a few such as Dr. White that touch on the cute, the sensitive, and the wonder.  Dr. White is based on a true story she came across.  Always interested in animal behaviours and the effects on humans, Jane found some made great stories for children and a way to get the even younger generation interested in animal welfare.

Julie Litty, born in 1971 became first an illustrator for some years before turning her hand to writing stories as well.  Her soft water colours and pencil illustrations are delightful and give much expression and character to her human and animals, especially in close up and much can be told about a story with very little text.  Dr. White is a slightly larger than normal size book in soft paper back.

Resources:   There are many, many websites of Jane’s works….  Here are just a few..

List of Jane’s touring conference if you wish to hear her….. http://www.janegoodall.org/see-jane

Jane’s interesting website…..    http://www.janegoodall.org/

Here is a program for the younger generation from the Jane Goodall Institute….


This is a New Zealand based program of child  growth ….   http://magickingdom.co.nz/pro/texts/view/learning-roots-and-shoots

Another website of Jane’s more popular books in detail…..   http://literati.net/Goodall/GoodallBooks.htm

This is the Australian website of the Jane Goodall Institute, Roots and Shoots group, with resources for teachers and students in animal and environmental issues…        http://www.janegoodall.org.au/roots-and-shoots/teachers-resources

A great website on pet-assisted therapy….     http://www.phoenixchildrens.com/patients-visitors/during-your-stay/animal-assisted-therapy.html

Many of these resources would evoke discussion in classrooms (or anywhere) on animal welfare and the environment.    Get children interested in planting their own vege garden or flower garden, learning names, different varieties of plants etc.   There are also projects such as adopt an animal, fostering etc…..  I am sure in many areas of the world children join in projects regarding environmental issues such as keeping the beaches clean, recycling waste etc….   These all help in the future of our planet and the animals who live with us.

For more books with resources please visit the lovely author Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books.    Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with the books reviewed by many authors.

About Diane Tulloch

Known also as the Patientdreamer I am a writer who loves to dream, and is passionate about writing stories for the young so that they may join me in the wonders of adventure in countries and cultures afar, and in special moments to remember.
This entry was posted in Literature, Picture Book Review and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to “Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

  1. This book looks wonderful, Diane. As you know, I also love any books about animals 🙂 I had no idea Jane Goodall had written a picture book that wasn’t about primates. Lovely list of resources. Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. LOL… Wow! you are fast. You must have been sitting here waiting…LOL. I just finished sending an email to you with the link and you appeared in my emails…lol.
    Thankyou very much Susanna, I was blown away reading all that Jane Goodall does, such a dedicated animal welfare and enviromentalist. There are a couple more childrens books that are not about primates, I just happened upon this one. It is very cute isn’t it. Thanks again Susanna.

  3. Catherine Johnson says:

    Awh, that is so lovely and the cover is beautiful. How wonderful that the story is inspired by real life. Great choice, Diane!

  4. Lovely. Something children would relate to and be both comforted and delighted by. Like Susanna, I had no idea that Jane Goodall wrote anything other than books related to her work with primates. This is an excellent discovery, Diane!

    • Thankyou, yes I am sure children would get much comfort from reading something like this. There is another sweet story (with a chimp in it) called Ricki and Henri which also sounds sweet and different from what she normally writes about.

  5. Julie says:

    Wow, I had no idea Jane Goodall had written books for children, much less ones that weren’t about gorillas. What a find!

  6. Joanna says:

    I didn’t know either that Jane Goodall had written outside of her primate passion, so this is a great discovery for us, Diane. This would be the perfect fiction companion to the NF book I reviewed a couple of weeks back on animals as carers! Those illustrations look gorgeous!

    • Darn, I knew there was something I was going to do and that was to add the link back to your post you did a few weeks ago. I thought of it at the time when I picked up the book, but totally forgot when posting this. I was so into reading the yards of info on Jane Goodall. when I find the link I will add it to my resources. Thanks for reminding me Joanna.

  7. Me X 5! I had no idea Jane wrote Children’s books. What a beautiful book. Love the choice. You see stories on TV about cats and dogs that sit on the bed of people who are ill. Such great pick.

    • You X5 are welcome Pat….lol. When I read the review at the back of the book in the library I knew I had to take it home for closer read. Glad you liked it.

  8. Darlene says:

    I didn’t know about this wonderful book by Jane Goodall I have had the pleasure of meeting this dear woman. She signed her book “Through a Window”: for Darlene, “Follow your heart” . I will never forget that. She is a warm and wonderful person who I admire greatly. There was not a dry eye in the house at the end of her presentation at the luncheon I attended. Thanks for bringing this book to my attention.

  9. Oh WOW! You met her! How wonderful. I can only imagine what it would be like to sit in on one of her presentations. Should I ever be so lucky I will remember to take plenty of tissues….lol. Thankyou for sharing such special news Darlene.

  10. What a great accidental find at the library! Thanks for the recommendation and resources.

  11. I thik it’s good that “Dr. White” is about a dog that helps sick kids. My Mom was appalled that I doon’t know all the work Jane Goodall did.We’re going to go to the library to get a book or two and I am going to check out your links! 🙂

    • Oh my! I have to admit even I didn’t know all of what Jane’s work involved. It is good to be reminded and refresh our memories about such great people and their works. Enjoy the links and also your visit to the library, I think you will enjoy Jane’s books very much. Have a great weekend Erik.

  12. Stacy S. Jensen says:

    Another great recommendation. Thanks.

  13. Diane…thanks for a wonderful (and largely unknown) book by the famous Dr. Jane. 🙂
    I’ve been to the Roots and Shoots website before…great place for kids to find out about endangered species and environmental issues and what they can do to help.

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