Seaman’s Journal — A Newfoundland’s Tale

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday at Susanna Hill’s and I have an adventure story for you!

Seaman’s Journal written and illustrated by Patricia Reeder Eubank.
Published by Ideals Children’s Books in 2002.

A fiction book based on a true story. Suitable for elementary age kids.

This is the story of Seaman, a Newfoundland belonging to Merriwether Lewis of Lewis and Clark fame who explored the Pacific Northwest. It is based on “true entries in Lewis’s own journal describing his dog Seaman.”  And from the 1st page — ” Here is my story of the greatest adventure a dog ever had when I followed Lewis and Clark all the way to the Pacific Ocean and back again.”

I love this book. The illustrations by Ms Eubank are beautiful. Each page is full of bits of wildlife and plantlife that the explorers encountered on their adventure. They traveled in boats down rivers meeting Native Americans and chasing off bears and bison. Seaman was right in the middle of it all, looking after Mr. Lewis. What a story!  When I go down to my river to play, I sometimes dream of adventures like this one.

This book even comes with an attached bookmark that is Seaman himself!  How cool is that?! And at the end of the book is a recipe for Pemmican, which is something that they snacked on while travelling. And does it ever sound yummy!!  Newfoundlands are BIG, courageous dogs. I’ve known a few in my day. Kids love these dogs!  And they love kids!  They also love water and are often used for water rescue work.

I have seen several books about Seaman. I guess he’s a pretty inspirational guy. One is Lewis and Clark and Me: A Dog’s Tale by Laurie Myers. And another is The Captain’s Dog: My Journey with the Lewis and Clark Tribe by Roland Smith. These books are also told by Seaman himself, but they are for older kids and don’t have as many pretty pictures. But you might want to check them out as well if you’re interested in dog adventurers.

This would be an excellent book to use in the classroom to learn about Lewis and Clark, Native Americans, life on the western frontier in the 1800’s, Newfoundland dogs and all that they can do. You might could do a natural history lesson about wildlife and where animals live and what they need to survive. And talk about the impact that man has had on animal habitats and populations.

Ms Eubank has a very nice website that you might like to visit. You can find more of her books there.

I highly recommend this book on many levels. It’s a lovely, lovely book. I give it 4 paws and hope that you will check it out!

Star Wars 3D!!!

We visited 4th graders today. Those kids sure work hard!!  We talked about adjectives. Do you know what an adjective is? It’s a big word for one thing!  Adjective. It’s even hard to say! But the kids figured it out pretty quick. They had all kinds of adjectives for me. Funny, hairy, colorful, beautiful, cute, smart, sleepy.

We also learned about Native Americans in Texas. That was pretty interesting. Did you know that the Caddos made houses that looked like beehives? And the Karankawas were wiped out by the Europeans?!  Sad, sad.

But after all the hard work and sad stories, the kids got to read just to me! And guess what they chose?  Star Wars Episode 1, the Phantom Menace in 3D by Pablo Hidalgo! This is one weird book! You have to wear special glasses to read it.

I couldn’t see a thing!  All I could hear was “OOOOOH! Cool! Awesome! Wow! Weird!” Lots of adjectives. I couldn’t really tell you what this book is about, but I think the kids really liked it. They didn’t really read it, just ooohed and aaahed about the pictures. They said it made you feel like you were really in outer space. I don’t think the words in the book mattered, and I don’t think that that fact mattered. The kids just had a great time with the glasses and feeling like they were on a space ship flying around the universe.

So, I guess overall it must be a pretty good book. Like I said — I couldn’t see anything.

But you might want to check it out and SEE for yourself!