The journey of Lewis and Clark comes alive through the eyes of her baby son wrapped in a hide and strapped to a cradleboard on her back as she leads the expedition to explore the new territory. The adults are dealing with the grizzlies, the rush of rivers, prowling cougars, stolen horses, deep snows and lack of food. For the baby, Jean Baptiste, the journey becomes one of images of the natural world he watches from his safe perch. Everywhere in these “fierce lands” there are wonders to behold from the prowling cougars, to the diving owls, and the bugling elk. We follow his lead across the dry lands into the forests filled with tree frogs. We sit around the campfire in the darkness and hear the axes sing the chopping song. This is a poetic and truly beautiful book that will light imaginations as it offers a record of these vivid moments in our American past.