Sacajawea© Durga Yael Bernhard

On a completely different note from last week, here is an illustration that I did about ten years ago for an educational publisher, specifically for a middle school history textbook.

The Lewis and Clark expedition was an important part of America’s westward expansion. Sacajawea, a Shoshone Indian woman who was married to a French Canadian, was engaged as a guide and translator as the explorers charted the Louisiana Territory.  Beginning in 1802, Sacajawea traveled thousands of miles with the expedition, from North Dakota to the Pacific Ocean – carrying her baby with her for half the journey.

Legend holds that a Newfoundland dog accompanied the expedition, too.

This was not an unpleasant image to paint.  I like the clothing of the 1800s.  The blank space at the center of the page is for text.  I had no say over the design of this piece.  It is not creativity but accuracy of detail and clarity of execution that matters in educational illustration.  Fanciful images are rarely allowed in textbooks.

A good week to all!

D Yael Bernhard
Author / Illustrator of
LOVE ISNew! – a unique crossover book for all ages
THE LIFE OF AN OLIVENew!! Explore the life of a 2000-year-old olive tree
JUST LIKE ME, CLIMBING A TREE: Exploring Trees Around the World
NEVER SAY A MEAN WORD AGAIN – A Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review;
winner of the Sydney Taylor Award and National Jewish Book Council Award
THE DREIDEL THAT WOULDN’T SPIN – A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah
WHILE YOU ARE SLEEPING – A Children’s Book Council Notable Book
A RIDE ON MOTHER’S BACK – An American Bookseller Assoc. Pick of the List
– and more!
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