Jane Goodall: Women's History Month

Jane Goodall: Women’s History Month

In July 1960, at the age of 26, Jane Goodall traveled from England to what is today Tanzania and bravely entered the little-known world of wild chimpanzees.

Today, Jane’s work revolves around inspiring action on behalf of endangered species, particularly chimpanzees, and encouraging people to do their part to make the world a better place for people, animals, and the environment we all share. National Geographic

Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall was the first to discover that wild chimpanzees were capable of making and using tools, a revelation that turned the scientific world upside down. What’s amazing to me is that she didn’t have a background in science. Fifty years later, Jane Goodall’s work is more important than ever.

Gombe Forest in Tanzania

 Map from Betchart Expeditions.

60 Minutes goes with Jane Goodall back to the Gombe Forest in Tanzania for an intimate look at her chimpanzees. Join them for this inside look.

Jane Goodall

Me … Jane by Patrick McDonnell

This Caldecott medal winning picture book captures Jane at a young age, still carrying around her stuffed toy chimpanzee named Jubilee, and patiently observing wild life around her. The illustrations include drawings and puzzles that Jane herself made as a child as well as ornamental engravings of wildlife from the 18th and 19th century. I think this picture book is the perfect introduction to Jane Goodall for young readers.  [picture book, ages 2 and up]

The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with the Chimps by Jeanette Winter

For slightly older readers, ages 5 and up, who want to learn more about Jane Goodall and the work that she did, use this picture book. It has more detail on exactly how she conducted her work in Gombe and what she accomplished. This picture book pairs perfectly with Me … Jane. [picture book, ages 5 and up]

Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall by Anita Silvey

Anita Silvey has the gift of making nonfiction captivating for a wide range of ages. Her book, The Plant Hunters, appealed to my 90-year-old mother as much as it did my 9-year-old son! Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall is no different. This is a great book for kids who want to delve deeper into Jane Goodall’s life.This book is beautifully designed with interesting side bar notes and text blocks broken up by photographs which makes it appealing for kids. [chapter book biography, ages 8 and up]

The Chimpanzee Children of Gombe by Jane Goodall, photographs by Michael Neugebauer

Meet the chimpanzee children of Gombe through your tour guide, Jane Goodall. A day in the life of these chimpanzee children will remind readers of a day in the life of any busy [human] parent who takes the kids to the park. Jane also shows us the other creatures in Gombe in this day that won’t be forgotten and may even draw readers on their own adventure in the jungle one day. [advanced picture book, age 5 and up]

A Prayer for World Peace by Jane Goodall, illustrated by Feeroozeh Golmohammadi

We pray for

the multitude of refugees,

forced from their homes

to alien places through war

or through the utter destruction

of their environment.

This beautiful prayer for world peace is by Jane Goodall and encompasses the compassion and understanding that she has for all living creatures. She asks us all to rise above dogma to pray for justice and for those who are suffering. [picture book, ages 7 and up]

To examine any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.

Jane Goodall: Women's History Month

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Me, Jane is one of my all-time favorite picture books–it’s a gem of a book, and hits all the right notes!

    I also really enjoyed Untamed. She’s an amazing woman!

    Thanks for sharing, Mia!

  2. Such a role model for girls. Her work continues to inspire today!

    My niece has been building a school for 1,500 girls in Kitenga, Tanzania. It will open next January. They have a school, STEM science building, library, dorms, medical etc.
    Patricia Tilton recently posted…The Question of MiraclesMy Profile

    • Hi Pat,
      What an amazing project your niece is working on! Kudos to her!! Jane Goodall is such an interesting role model. I didn’t realize that she had no scientific when she first went to observe the chimpanzees and was considered a “pin up” girl in the scientific community! We think of her in her older years I guess. I love how she said that she was a terrible flirt and used that as part of how she approached sexism in her field. It’s not easy to enter a male dominated field!
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Win Nintendo Yo-kai Watch Game #YOKAIWATCHMy Profile

  3. I loved UNTAMED. Thought it was really well done. I have to check out some of the other books you mention!
    Erik-TKRB recently posted…Review! Case Closed? Nine Mysteries Unlocked by Modern Science by Susan HughesMy Profile

  4. One of my children attended the Jane Goodall Environmental Middle School (JGEMS) here in my town. Jane visited several times. A remarkable woman!
    S. Smith recently posted…Spotlight on KeeperMy Profile

  5. My middle son is quite taken with the idea of Jane Goodall; we read the Watcher. This list is great. I had no idea where to go after that…
    Mother of 3 recently posted…Nature Journals & Beach DaysMy Profile

    • Hi Mother of 3,
      Thanks so much! I really love Anita Silvey’s book on Jane Goodall too. If it’s too advanced for your middle son, you might consider it as a read aloud. My son liked another one of her books that way. She’s a great writer and her books are exciting!
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Earth Day: No Trash Town in JapanMy Profile

  6. Hi Mia
    Just came here (my no. 1 go-to looking for non fiction chapter books for 4th graders…mmmm, so specific. Anyway, your posts have given me some ideas, so thank you, as always.
    PS. Noticed that this yellow poster above has Pragamatic mom, (an extra ‘a’ for awesome?)
    Barefoot Librarian

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