CM . . . . Volume XVIII Number 16 . . . . December 16, 2011
Santa is ready to deliver his presents, but first, he’s taking a cross-country tour of Canada with his sleigh and pack of flying beavers, seeing the sights and experiencing the unique cultures of each province.
The concept of Canadian Jingle Bells is cute. By Townsin’s taking the familiar holiday song “Jingle Bells” and turning it into a Canadian-specific tale, readers can learn something new about the country of Canada while enjoying a festive and fun story. The sights that Santa sees do not, for the most part, have anything to do with the holiday season. Instead, they are fairly stereotypical representations of each province, including an inuksuk and a seal-skin canoe in Nunavut and dinner with Anne of Green Gables in PEI. Some of the lines of the story do not fit perfectly with the jingle bells tune, and before reading (or singing) this book aloud, some practice will likely be necessary. The background illustrations of the story are interesting, as they are digitized photos of Canadian landscapes. However, the image of Santa flying his sleigh with his beavers is the same (or very similar) for most of the story, and the sights seen in each province are fairly simple illustrations that are not overtly exciting to look at.
All in all, Canadian Jingle Bells is a cute twist on the traditional “Jingle Bells” song. The scenes represented in the story are not wholly unique, and the lines of the song do not fit perfectly into the “Jingle Bells” tune, but the Canadian content is amusing, and this tale could be an interesting way to introduce the basics of Canadian culture, or to just have some holiday fun.
Meredith Cleversey is a librarian who lives in Cambridge, ON. She loves to read, write, and live in a world of pure imagination.
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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.