________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 19. . . .January 27, 2017


Canada Alphabet Book.

Nicky Bird & Peter Duncan.
Edmonton, AB: iThink Books, 2016.
64 pp., paperback & pdf, $6.99 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-897206-03-4 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-897206-10-2 (pdf).

Subject Headings:
English language-Alphabet-Juvenile literature.
Canada-Juvenile literature.
Alphabet books.

Preschool-grade 1 / Ages 4-6.

Review by Dave Jenkinson.

**1/2 /4



Canada has long winters with a lot of Snow. It can snow in any month of the year.

Parts of the Arctic and the highest mountains in the Rockies have snow year-round.



Snow is made of crystals. No two snow-flakes are alike.


Canada Alphabet Book is yet another title in an alphabet series by Nicky Bird and Peter Duncan. From Aa Arctic to Zz Zed, Canada Alphabet Book presents young readers with 26 things, places or events connected to Canada. As was the case with Canadian Animals Alphabet Book, and Hockey Alphabet Book each thing, place or event occupies a pair of facing pages. These two-page spreads feature the alphabet in a vertical column on the edge of the left-hand page with the page’s specific letter being highlighted. The two pages feature one or two full-colour photos of whatever was chosen to represent the letter as well as two or three bits of information about the Canada-related thing, place or event. The principal exception to the number of photographs is “Ee Emblem” which provides illustrations of the flags of Canada’s ten provinces and three territories. Unfortunately, the accompanying text reads “Their flags are each province’s emblem.”, thereby leaving the false impression that the three named territories are also provinces. Sometimes the information portion is presented via speech bubbles, with the speakers being one of four cartoon-like characters: Bucky Beaver, Bertie Bear, Scotty Squirrel or Robbie Rabbit, The authors’ choice of Canadian “stuff” to represent the letters of the alphabet ranges from the likely familiar, such as Hh’s Hockey and Ss’s Snow, to the more regional, like Ii’s Inukshuk and Uu’s Umiak. Geographical names frequently appear as examples of the target letter, among them Canada, Great Lakes, Ottawa, Quebec, Rocky Mountains and Yukon. Other things that are frequently associated with Canada find their way into the book, including bannock, fiddleheads, kayaks, lacrosse, Northern Lights, tuques, voyageurs and wheat. The two illustrations accompanying “Dd Dam” are of a beaver and hydroelectric dam. And what could be more Canadian than explaining that Zedis how Canadians say the last letter of the alphabet. In the United States, people say “zee.”

     In comparison with the other two iThink alphabet books previously reviewed in CM, the content of Canada Alphabet Book is more demanding of the younger end of the book’s target audience. Additionally, in some cases, such as Bb’s Bannock and Mm’s Maple Leaf, the placement of the upper and lower case letters, plus the word(s) used as the letter example, significantly obscure the principal illustration.

     The closing 10 pages of Canada Alphabet Book consist of “Games and Puzzles” that include a variety of activities, including a maze, connect-the-dots, spot-the-differences, counting, sequencing, colouring, and connecting the letter with the correct picture. the picture. Unfortunately, only the spot-the-differences activity has an answer key.

     Overall, Canada Alphabet Book is a useful addition to home or institutional collections of alphabet books.


Dave Jenkinson, CM’s editor, lives in Winnipeg, MB.

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

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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