Title: Lewis and Clark: A Prairie Dog for the President
Author: Shirley Raye Redmond
Series: Step Into Reading, step 3
Major Themes: Lewis and Clark, Exploration, Louisiana Purchase, Thomas Jefferson, Easy Readers, Picture Books, US History 1783-1860
Synopsis: When Lewis and Clark set off on their expedition to learn about the West, President Jefferson wanted them to send back presents for him.
Some of the Step Into Reading books tell very interesting stories. I like these books for my beginning readers to practice with, and I also like to read them aloud to help my younger ones understand the topic we are learning about. Lately, we’ve been reading a few books about the early 1800s, and one of them was Lewis and Clark: A Prairie Dog for the President. Isn’t that a catchy title?
President Jefferson wanted to find out more about the great country of which he was the leader. He asked his friends, Lewis and Clark, to explore it and find out everything they could—and send him presents! They followed his orders, and mapped the rivers and the mountains—and they tried their best to catch animals for him. There were problems, though; for example, the grizzly bear was too dangerous! What could they send?
One day, the expedition found a colony of little animals they had never seen before. These would make a perfect present for the President! But, how could they catch them? The little creatures barked and disappeared underground. When one was finally caught, what should they call it? A rat? A squirrel? And then it had to be taken all the way to Washington. It took many forms of transportation…a barge, a sailing ship, a wagon… But the President was pleased with this example of the Western wildlife!
I don’t like the pictures quite as well in Lewis and Clark: A Prairie Dog for the President as in some we read. They are cartoon-style; I prefer realistic illustrations. I did like the way the story was told, though. It was a unique slant on the famous expedition!
Read Aloud—Ages 3 – 4, 5 – 8
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9