________________ CM . . . . Volume XV Number 12 . . . . February 6, 2009

cover Lost in the Snow. (Canadian Flyer Adventures; 10).

Frieda Wishinsky. Illustrated by Leanne Franson.
Toronto, ON: Maple Leaf Press, 2008.
83 pp., pbk. & hc., $7.95 (pbk.), $17.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-897349-41-0 (pbk.),
ISBN 978-1-897349-40-3(hc.).

Subject Headings:
Filles du roi-Juvenile fiction.
Canada-History-1663-1713 (New France)-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 1-4 / Ages 6-9.

Review by Tanya Boudreau.

*** ½ /4


Emily and Matt looked around the small farmhouse. It had two rooms with a few simple pieces of wooden furniture. A table, four chairs, and two stools furnished the larger front room. Clothes hung on pegs on the wall. A big fireplace warmed the room. One large bed stood in the smaller room, with pegs on the wall for clothes. There were also stairs leading to an upstairs space. “I sleep up there,” Marie explained. “Your father will join us soon, Marie,” said Claire. “He said we should go ahead and eat before he comes. Then we will get ready to go to the celebration.”

“Mmm. The bread smells delicious,” said Matt. “I made three loaves. I will take one to the Seigneur’s manor,” said Claire. Claire turned to bring the bread and butter to the table. Just as Claire bent over the table, Marie reached into her pocket. She pulled something wiggly out. Before the children could warn Claire, Marie dropped it on her stepmother’s head.

Thanks to Emily’s Great-Aunt Miranda’s present, Emily Bing and her friend, Matt Martinez, have a way to travel back in time. All it takes is a rub of its maple leaf, and the magical sleigh can travel back through Canada’s past. Lost in the Snow is the story of Emily and Matt’s tenth time traveling adventure. In this story, they are traveling to the year 1665, and the stop is Quebec, New France. While they are there, they will be collecting and recording facts, experiencing history first-hand, and making new friends.

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     Part of the sleigh’s magic is that it can transform Emily and Matt in a variety of ways to make them blend in with the time. Their clothes always change to suit the time period, and, in this story, they learn they can speak and understand French. These abilities will come in handy because the sleigh takes Emily and Matt to the Dubois farm where the whole family speaks French. Unfortunately, Emily and Matt haven’t arrived at a happy time. Claire came from France to Quebec to marry Pierre Dubois, but she isn’t happy. Claire’s new step-daughter Marie doesn’t want a new mom, and she proves it every chance she can get! Besides experiencing the tension between Claire and Marie, Emily and Matt learn that life as a habitant family can be difficult at times because of narrow-minded thinking. When Emily and Matt attend the end of harvest celebration at the Seigneur’s manor, they see Marie being mocked and teased because of her clothing, her house and her father’s job.

     The “Canadian Flyer Adventures” books include a lot of well-researched facts, but they also contain stories of drama and suspense. In this tenth book, there is more than one person who gets lost in the snow and needs to be rescued. And while the rescue goes well, one character’s health remains in question until the very end of the book. Told in 12 short chapters, Lost in the Snow is a fast paced story, illustrated with several black and white drawings. And just as in all the books in the series, after each story ends, readers can learn more about the time period and the characters by reading Emily and Matt’s top 10 facts and the author’s question and answer section.

     The books in this series provide a fun way for children to visit Canada’s past. Frieda Wishinsky is the author of the “Canadian Flyer Adventures” series and the children’s books What’s the Matter with Albert?, A Quest in Time, and Manya’s Dream. She lives in Toronto, ON.

     Illustrator Leanne Franson has been reading about time traveling children since she was very young. She has illustrated over 80 books and lives with her family (which includes two cats and a dog) in Montreal, PQ.

Highly Recommended.

Tanya Boudreau is a librarian at the Cold Lake Public Library in Cold Lake, AB.

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

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Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.