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!