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ANIMALS ON THE TRAIL WITH LEWIS AND CLARK by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent

ANIMALS ON THE TRAIL WITH LEWIS AND CLARK

By Dorothy Hinshaw Patent (Author) , William Muñoz (Illustrator)

Age Range: 10 - 12

Pub Date: March 18th, 2002
ISBN: 0-395-91415-9
Publisher: Clarion

In their historic journey across the Western US in 1804–06, explorers Lewis and Clark encountered and described 121 new species and subspecies of vertebrate animals, including birds, bears, deer, snakes, prairie dogs, coyotes, fish, and wolves. Patent reconstructs the expedition from its beginning in St. Louis, Missouri, to Camp Disappointment, Washington, and back again, using quotes from the journals and from the pair themselves to describe animals encountered along the way. Unfortunately, neither Lewis nor Clark was a trained naturalist and the observations lack a certain spark. For example: “I saw a black woodpecker (or crow) today, about the size of the lark woodpecker as black as a crow. I endeavored to get a shot at it but could not. It is a distinct species of woodpecker; it has a long tail and flies a good deal like the jay bird.” Fortunately, Patent’s (Saving the Prairie Bandit, not reviewed, etc.) own easy approach to the subject helps to draw the reader in providing a running commentary on the mistakes and successes of the team. Muñoz (Horses, not reviewed, etc.) adds photographs of the prairie, mountains, rivers, and some of the animals still to be found along the trail. The photographs are clear and colorful, helping to add accessibility. Patent provides two maps, further reading, and a chronology of all the animals discovered. This title is one of three about the Lewis & Clark expedition planned by the Patent and Muñoz team. Others are tentatively titled The Lewis and Clark Trail: Then and Now and Plants on the Trail with Lewis and Clark. Pair with Rhoda Blumberg’s The Incredible Journey of Lewis and Clark for a fuller picture of the journey. (Nonfiction. 10-12)