________________ CM . . . . Volume XV Number 11 . . . . January 23, 2009

cover Don Cherry. (Remarkable Canadians).

Tina Schwartzenberger.
Calgary, AB: Weigl (Distributed by Saunders Book Company), 2009.
24 pp., pbk. & hc., $9.95 (pbk.), $22.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55388-459-0 (pbk.),
ISBN 978-1-55388-458-3 (hc.).

Subject Headings:
Cherry, Don, 1934--Juvenile literature.
Hockey-Canada-Biography-Juvenile literature.
Sportscasters-Canada-Biography-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Clancy Pryde.

*** /4


At age 14, Don left school to play hockey full time. In 1954, he signed a contract to play with the American Hockey League Hershey Bears in Hershey, Pennsylvania. That year, Don met Rosemarie Martini and asked her on a date. On their first date, he took her to a hockey game he was playing in. Two years later, they were married.

Entry into the biography genre will be easy for young or reluctant readers who enjoy Hockey Night in Canada's flamboyant Don Cherry. From his birth in Kingston, Ontario in 1934 and on through to his career as a sports commentator, they will learn about key events in his life, his influences, obstacles and achievements. What emerges is a portrait of man who has been consumed by a love of hockey from the very beginning. He's played it and coached it professionally in the past, and presently he uses that experience to host of one of Canada's top-rated television shows, Coach's Corner. Occasionally controversial but always colourful, he was voted one of the top ten greatest Canadians in 2004, and he will no doubt always remain one of hockey's biggest boosters in Canada.

     This is an easy book to read. The sentences are clear and short, and there are great colour photos of Don in his signature suits as well as black and white photos from his early years. Information is presented in a variety of ways, including standard passages, text boxes and photo tags. There is a page of quotes from Don cleverly made to look like sticky notes on a bulletin board. And a two-page spread explains the role of a sportscaster, with four mini-bios of other commentators who readers might also recognize from Hockey Night in Canada. All of these features combine to offer readers an easily-accessible introduction to Don Cherry.

     Don Cherry would be a good addition to a school or class library. For students learning how to write biographies, this book not only models the genre but also includes tips on how to write a biography. In addition to a timeline, glossary and index, there is an excellent concept web that will help students organize their research. A couple of websites are also listed for those wanting to know more. The only criticism of this book would be that it shows a slight inattention to editing. For example, the page that lists sources for further research is headed by the question, "How can I find out more about Sidney Crosby?" It's minor error, but it could cause a bit of confusion.


Clancy Pryde is a Bachelor of Education candidate at York University in Toronto, ON. She has slightly better fashion sense than Don Cherry.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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