Gone to the Apes

As you may (or may not) know, I have a particular fondness for Apes. Gorillas in particular. My sleeping buddy when i was a wee pup was a cuddly gorilla who kept me safe at night.

IMG_3871I have talked about apes and ape books on several occasions. HERE. and HERE. and HERE. and HERE. One of my most favorite author/illustrators is Mr. Anthony Browne who is quite famous for his depictions of apes. Do you know the difference between apes and monkeys? Apes don’t have tails!

IMG_6017Today for Perfect Picture Book Friday, I have two, yes TWO, Perfect Picture Books about Apes. One is non-fiction and one is considered fiction but is actually a biography. I get so confused about these things sometimes!

IMG_6020APE
by Martin Jenkins
illustrated by Vicky White
published by Candlewick Press in 2007
a non-fiction book about the five great apes
suitable for pre-school and up

It begins —
There are five kinds of great apes in the world.
Each of them is different from the others …
but not so very different.
They’re all part of the same family.

Mr Jenkins goes on to tell us about the great apes of the world. The Orangutan of Borneo and Sumatra, the Chimpanzee of central and west Africa, the Bonobo of central Africa, the Gorilla of central Africa, and ….. Humans who are found all over the world.

Mr Jenkins tells us about each ape family’s habitat and habits, what they eat, and what their personalities are like. This is all accompanied by the most unbelievably beautiful artwork by Ms White. Publisher’s Weekly says about these illustrations – “White makes an intense emotional connection between subject and reader. …. The great apes have found their John Singer Sargent.”

IMG_6019At the back of the book is a world map showing where the Great Apes are found, and links to some conservation organizations who are working to save the great apes.

This is a most incredible book! You can read Publishers Weekly’s review HERE.

IMG_6021Me … Jane
by Patrick McDonnell
published by Little Brown and Company in 2011
a fictional biography of Jane Goodall – champion of chimpanzees
suitable for pre-school and up

It begins —
Jane had a stuffed toy chimpanzee named Jubilee.
She cherished Jubilee and took him everywhere she went.
And Jane loved to be outside.

This is an exquisitely joyful look at Jane Goodall as a wee young girl. She spends her time immersed in the world around her. She is a watcher of nature – the plants and animals that fill her habitat. She studies and keeps detailed notes in her journals. Jane reads about Tarzan of the Apes and dreams of being in Africa herself living a life “with, and helping, all animals.” And Jubilee is with her always.

IMG_6018The illustrations in this book are the cute, sweet pictures that Mr McDonnell is famous for. But there are also some of Jane’s own artwork from her journals. And pages of subtle realistic nature pictures.
At the back of the book is a brief biography about Ms Goodall and links to her websites. You can get to those HERE. and HERE. There is also a message from Ms Goodall herself.

Besides learning about chimpanzees at Ms Goodall’s website, you can find more about gorillas at the Gorilla Organization. More about orangutans at the Orangutan Foundation. More about Bonobos at the Bonobo Conservation Initiative.

Here is a link to some activity sheets and a cool gorilla mask.
A great lesson plan about apes with crafts and activities can be found HERE.

And now you might want to visit Susanna Hill’s blog where you’ll find a great list of Perfect Picture Books and helpful resources to go with.

Ms Jane Goodall recently celebrated her 80th birthday. Here is a video tribute to her —

Now go out and do something good for your neighborhood!

Your ape watching friend
Rhythm
Copy of img311

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17 thoughts on “Gone to the Apes

  1. I love “Me Jane” – what a fun book about a woman who changed – and continues to change – the world for the better. Haven’t seen “Apes” yet, so will look for it.

  2. This ape is SO cute 😀 Reminded me of Norman (http://www.betsydevany.com/norman.htm)! Love him, too 😀 And Rhythm, you absolutely HAVE HAVE HAVE to read THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN. You will absolutely LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE it! Also, I recently found out that, in Kate Messner’s “Marty McGuire” books, Jane Goodall is Marty’s (a girl, btw) idol 😀

    • Ivan has been on my list for ever so long, but I haven’t found anyone to read it to me yet. It seems to be always checked out of the library! I visited Norman’s blog and I think that I like him too! Thanks for introducing him to me! And I guess I’d best read some Marty McGuire books! I’m not familiar with those. Thanks!

      • Rhythm, it will ALways be checked out—just get on a waiting list so one of those times it’ll be checked out by YOU! 😀 Also, though it’s a novel, it’s a fast read ’cause many of the pages have very short text. It’s wonderful! 😀 There’s a reason it won the Newbery, believe me 😀

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