CM . . . . Volume XVI Number 9. . . .October 30, 2009.
Crazy Canadian Trivia.
Pat Hancock. Illustrated by Dimitri Kostic.
Toronto. ON: Scholastic Canada, 2009.
124 pp., pbk., $6.99.
Grades 4-8 / Ages 9-13.
Review by Claire Perrin.
This book is the second edition of the Pat Hancock’s Crazy Canadian Trivia, originally published in 2000. There are now four books in the Canadian Trivia series, and there seems to be no end to the weird and wonderful things that have happened in Canada. Pat Hancock is a prolific author of books on Canadian topics, including the “Haunted Canada” series, the Scholastic Canada Book of Lists and The Kids Book of Canadian Prime Ministers.
Hancock has done an excellent job of mixing humorous trivia with historical and biographical trivia. The facts presented in this book are not organized in any particular order. Each anecdote has a large catchy heading and is presented in a variety of fonts and styles. Many of the trivia tidbits are accompanied by cartoon drawings or photographs, adding to the visual appeal of the book. Part of the success of this book is the ease with which it can be read. Shorter anecdotes, called “Did you know?” and “What’s That, eh?” are interspersed with the longer sections which are up to three paragraphs in length. Topics include: the building of the CN Tower, Sudbury’s Big Nickel, New Brunswick’s Magnetic Hill and B.C.’s huge Pacific Octopus. Among the lesser known facts are world records that have been set, remarkable individuals and Canadian inventions (such as frozen french fries, mashed potatoes and the Robertson screwdriver).
Did you know? … that there are no skunks in Newfoundland? And Alberta does an excellent job of keeping out rats. Although a few have been known to slip in uninvited, officially there are no rats in the province.
… you’ll lose it. At one time, that was the warning given to residents of New France. The eighth time you were caught using profanity could be your last. The punishment for an eighth violation of the no-dirty-language order was very effective – cut out the offending tongue.
Readers across the country will enjoy the humour in this collection of trivia while learning some little known facts about each region of Canada.
Claire Perrin is a full-time teacher-librarian with the Toronto District School Board.
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