________________ CM . . . . Volume XVI Number 8. . . .October 23, 2009


Alberta. (Canada Close Up).

Katie Bailey.
Toronto, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2009.
44 pp., pbk., $6.99.
ISBN 978-0-545-98901-5.

Subject Heading:
Alberta-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Wendy Williams.

**** /4



Ten-gallon hats and cowboy boots can be seen everywhere during the Calgary Stampede.

Black gold The fortunes of Alberta changed when oil was discovered in Leduc, Alberta, in 1947.

So grab your hat, pardner, its time to explore Alberta!

Alberta is a bright, very attractive slim volume which provides an excellent introduction to Alberta for our lower grades or to newcomers to Alberta for that matter. As a long-time resident of Alberta, I have scrutinized this volume for errors but have not found any so far! The photos are excellent, and the whole slim book is full of the kind of eye-appeal that attracts young readers. As a lover of the Rocky Mountains, I would have wished for a larger section on this glorious feature of our landscape and perhaps more mention of the wonderful lakes and rivers. But perhaps the most puzzling absence is any mention of art or culture. The Calgary Stampede is definitely what Alberta is known for internationally, but we do have opera, ballet, theatre, painting, sculpture etc., including the respected Banff Art Centre and the annual Folk Festival in Calgary. The many active theatres in Edmonton and Calgary, and the equally active theatres in smaller centers (The Rosebud Theatre comes to mind) deserved a mention.

     As a librarian, I take particular pride in the fact that my local library, The Fish Creek Public Library, has the highest circulation of any branch in Canada. The international nature of our population could also have rated a mention, with the many and varied international cuisines and cultures on offer. The jewels of our province, the Provincial and National Parks, also deserve some space. Both Edmonton and Calgary have wonderful river valleys winding through the hearts of the urban centers. However, Alberta is a very attractive volume, and it provides a great deal of useful information in handy and appealing format. Of course, some hard decisions had to be made regarding which Alberta features to include, and which to omit.

Highly Recommended.

Wendy Williams is a teacher-librarian, who has already been back to school for several weeks because of the World Skills Conference held in Calgary before Labour Day.

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

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