________________ CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 32. . . .April 22, 2011


Canadian Money. (Canada Close Up).

Elizabeth MacLeod.
Toronto, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2011.
58 pp., pbk., $6.99.
ISBN 978-1-4431-0437-1.

Subject Heading:
Money-Canada-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-8 / Ages 8-13.

Review by Dave Jenkinson.

**** /4



Did you know that Canada once had $4, $6 and $7 bills? More than 100 years ago, Canadians found some strange bills in their pockets.

Until the year 2000, Canada also had a $1000 bill. Now the bank note with the highest denomination or that is worth the most, is the $100 bill, The most common Canadian bill is the $20 bank note. That's because it's the bill that's given out most often at automatic bank machines in Canada.


Canadian Money is an excellent introduction to this country's paper and metal currency, and the book's six short chapters, ranging in length from six to 12 pages, will both inform readers and whet their appetites to acquire more detailed information about the money that daily passes through our hands. And some readers might become so interested in Canada's money that they will become numismatists.

     MacLeod approaches her topic in a very logical fashion and begins with "The Story of Money" which traces how coinage replaced the actual objects of bartering and other means of payment for goods and services. The latter part of this chapter focuses on the history of coins and other forms of currency that were once utilized in Canada. "Bills and Bank Notes" principally deals with how Canada's "paper" money is actually manufactured while "Canada's Coins" does the same for the nation's coins. Chapter 4, "Collecting Coins," offers a brief introduction to the hobby of coin collecting and stresses circulating coins as opposed to the special collector coins that are created just for collectors and which are not expected to be "pocket change." Chapter 5 "Using Money" somewhat strays off topic as its five text pages deal with some of the alternatives to actually carrying around bills and coins - bank machines, credit and debit cards, cheques - and introduces the concept of interest. The book's final chapter, "What's Ahead for Canada's Money?", considers how Canadian coins might change - the disappearance of the penny and the possible introduction of a $5.00 coin. Using a $20.00 bill as an example, this chapter also provides an excellent explanation of the special features Canada has incorporated into its bills in an attempt to foil counterfeiters

internal art      The colour photographs of money are more than decorative and often add information that is not found in the main text. For example, the above excerpt states that Canada once had a thousand dollar bill, but that same page bears a photo of a $50,000 bill that was in existence during the reign of King George V.

      Canadian Money contains numerous fact boxes with the content complementing the main text. For instance, in the "Bills and Bank Notes" chapter, a fact box speaks to the nation's bilingual currency.

One Bill, One Language

Today, all of our bills have both English and French on them they're bilingual. But the Bank of Canada's first bank notes, created in 1935, were unilingual. That means each one was printed with either English or French on it, but not both. The two types of bills looked exactly the same, except for the language printed on them.

By 1937, it became too expensive to create separate English and French bills. So Canada's bank notes became bilingual

     Words that have been bolded in the text are defined in the two-page closing "Glossary" that is followed by a one-page "Index."

Highly Recommended.

Dave Jenkinson, CM's editor, lives in Winnipeg, MB, the home of the Canadian Mint that produces Canada's coins.

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

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