Riding in a cradle board on his mother’s back, Sacagawea’s baby son Jean Baptiste provides a fresh perspective on Lewis and Clark’s monumental westward journey from Fort Mandan, N.D., across the northwestern United States to the Pacific and back between 1805 and 1806.
When Shoshoni guide Sacagawea embarks with the Lewis and Clark expedition, little Jean Baptiste tells readers, “Rolled in a rabbit hide, I am tucked snug in a cradle pack in the whipping cold of a new spring.” Along with Jean Baptiste, readers will sail the Missouri River, portage waterfalls, traverse snow-covered mountain passes on horseback, glide in canoes through canyons embellished with rock paintings, gather roots in rain forests, build winter camp and explore whale bones on Pacific shore. As seasons pass and landscapes change, Jean Baptiste describes tall grizzlies, sparkling salmon, prowling cougars, romping elk, racing ermine, clambering goats, jumping deer and buzzing bees with childlike wonder. Richly hued, realistic, digitally rendered illustrations capture the pristine grandeur of the American west and its first inhabitants. The wee narrator, Jean Baptiste, appears on his mother’s back or in her arms in every double-page spread with high plains, waterfalls, mountains, forests and ocean as backdrop until he runs free in the final scene.
Experience the wonder of Lewis and Clark’s journey with the youngest expedition member. (Picture book. 4-8)