Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

A Picture Book of Lewis and Clark

A Picture Book of Lewis and Clark

David A. Adler
Illustrator:  Ronald Himler 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 4 to 8
Holiday House, 2003   ISBN: 978-0823417353

How often do we say to ourselves “Imagine if he hadn’t met so and so..?” or “Imagine if such and such hadn’t happened?” We can say this about the young Meriwether Lewis having the great luck of being taken into the employ of his neighbor, a certain gentleman called Thomas Jefferson. If this event had not taken place, one of the greatest expeditions in American history probably would never have happened. Jefferson was itching to find out what lay beyond what was then the western border of the United States. He also wanted to find a water route across the country to the Pacific Ocean. By the time the trip was organized and ready to go, Jefferson had concluded what was to be called the Louisiana Purchase, and the lands that the expedition were to travel through belonged to the United States. Meriwether Lewis and an officer whom he met in the army called Captain William Clark set off to fulfill Thomas Jefferson’s dream and they had one of the greatest adventures of all time.

David Adler has told this extraordinary adventure story beautifully, simplifying the tale for a younger reader and yet not losing any of the drama or vital information. This is an excellent first biography for a younger reader, filled with beautiful paintings and appended with authors notes, important dates, further reading, a selected biography, and recommended web sites. Readers may want to look at further titles in the “Picture Book Biographies” series of which there are many interesting titles.