A PICTURE BOOK OF SACAGAWEA by David A. Adler

A PICTURE BOOK OF SACAGAWEA

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 9
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Adler is the author of the wide-ranging and market-savvy Picture Book Biography series that now tops 25 titles. Here he focuses on his first Native American figure, the Shoshone woman Sacagawea, the only woman in the Lewis and Clark Louisiana Purchase “Corps of Discovery.” Adler’s reliable no-nonsense approach is inclusive enough to satisfy most second- through third-grade biography readers’ needs, but those seeking inspiration or validation will need to look elsewhere. Most of the familiar elements of Sacagawea’s life are here: the approximate place and date of birth; death of her mother in a raid by a rival tribe; her marriage to a French trapper Charbonneau; joining the expedition with her husband; the birth of her son Jean Baptiste; her ability to communicate with other native peoples; her wide ranging knowledge of edible plants; etc. Unfortunately, Adler’s prose style is flat-footed. Even when recounting some of the more interesting bits (the fact that she carried her son on a cradleboard throughout most of the expedition; an unexpected reunion with her brother; how she saved the expedition’s medicines in a canoeing accident), the text communicates neither excitement nor pride of purpose. Brown’s awkward watercolor art can’t rescue this from mundane. The cover and interior depictions of a sweet-faced, pig-tailed adult Sacagawea are greeting-card bland, and most figure groups are awkwardly composed. A barely additional purchase. (Picture book biography. 7-9)

Pub Date: April 15th, 2000
ISBN: 0-8234-1485-X
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2000




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