Thursday, October 14, 2004

Lewis and Clark and Me

Lewis and Clark and Me: a dog's tale by Laurie Myers, illustrated by Michael Dooling, 2002
The first thing that caught my attention was the beautiful design of this book. The size, the cover design, and the gorgeous illustrations make this book a delight to hold in your hand. The story is told by Seaman, the Newfoundland dog who accompanied the Corps of Discovery on their journey across the continent. Seaman's story is echoed in entries from Meriwether Lewis's journals.

The book is not long; at 64 pages it would make a great read aloud. I loved the story where Seaman is dubbed a "bear-dog" by the Indians. His nearly fatal encounter with a wounded beaver is very exciting and invests the reader emotionally in the story.

This book is not a history of the expedition but would be a wonderful introduction to the Lewis and Clark journey. Sacagawea and York are part of the dog's story but Lewis is the center of Seaman's world.

The book would not be the same with out the rich paintings by Michael Dooling. Dooling is one of the best "realistic" illustrators working today. His painting of Seaman and Lewis looking out over the Pacific captures the sense of the entire expedition. We see them from behind looking toward the future of a new land, open and wild, with more to discover.

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