I have to preface this review by stating that our family loves all things pertaining to Lewis and Clark: books, movies, CDs, etc. In fact, we traveled to Fort Mandan in North Dakota last summer to see where the expedition first wintered. That said, I was very excited to receive the Lewis and Clark Songs of the Journey and Lewis and Clark Songs of the Journey Companion to review.
I didn't know what to expect, and I felt that my background knowledge of the subject matter was fairly substantial, thus I was hoping for the best, but bracing for the worst.
I have to say, from the moment that I opened the book, referred to as the companion, I could not put it down. It's incredible! I began reading and plotting how to best incorporate all the teachings in our homeschool. From reading to journaling to navigation to art to math to science to biology to history, etc., all subjects are covered. If you don't want to cover something in-depth, you don't have to. If you just want to read and enjoy the information presented, this book is perfect for that.
Of all the books we have in our personal library concerning the Lewis and Clark expedition, the Lewis and Clark Songs of the Journey Companion is the most readable, informative in an enjoyable manner (i.e. not heavy, difficult reading, nor a typical fact book) and the most beautiful in terms of drawings, detail, and layout.
In fact, as I read Kindra Ankney's book and marveled at her incredible drawings and the background research she conducted, I was reminded of a book I recently purchased and read, The Country Diary of An Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden. I found Holden's book to be beautiful and a treasure for our children. Kindra Ankney's book, similarly, is such a treasure.
Bobby Horton's, Lewis and Clark Songs of the Journey CD, a comprehensive musical overview of the expedition, is a beautiful, engaging, and fun CD. It is a great addition to any music library. As our family reviewed the book, we had the music playing in the background. The music was enjoyed so much, the CD has made its way to our sons' rooms, the car, and back, being played regularly over the past week.
I highly recommend purchasing the Lewis and Clark Songs of the Journey Companion and Lewis and Clark Songs of the Journey, for any home library, whether it is to be used directly for school or just to be enjoyed by all. This would also be a great gift set for birthdays, holidays, or just to give someone else such a beautiful wealth of information concerning Lewis and Clark and the times in which they lived. Our girls and boys range in age from six to 11 and all have enjoyed these materials.