CM . . .
. Volume XVIII Number 8. . . .October 21, 2011
My Home, Nova Scotia is a colourful board book written by Jeff Cox for his daughters. Cox begins with describing the people of Nova Scotia as “black people and white people, Acadians and Metis. There are Germans, Mi’kmaq, Scots and Chinese all living here with me.” This is, of course, by no means an exhaustive list of the ethnic groups represented in Nova Scotia, and the reference to Métis came as a surprise to me, a resident of Nova Scotia for 36 years. (I associate Métis and Louis Riel; however, there are at least two Métis associations in Nova Scotia – L’Association des Acadiens-Métis Souriquois and Eastern Woodland Métis Nation Nova Scotia.) The four lines over two facing pages do fit with the format and work with the unnecessary rhyme scheme.
Cox continues by referring to two major historical industries, fishing and farming; Canada’s Ocean Playground; a winter wonderland (in 36 years and a school career, I’ve never seen an igloo in Nova Scotia, but it does complete the rhyme scheme); nature and beauty; the capital city, Halifax; field trips to the Glace Bay coal mines and Grand Pré; festivals such as The Highland Games, Pow Wows, harvest festivals, the festival Acadian de Clare; Lunenburg as a Unesco World Heritage Site, Mahone Bay and Oak Island.
My three-year-old grandson was visiting for two weeks from Ottawa when this book arrived. In a cottage with at least 30 other book choices, he asked for My Home, Nova Scotia to be read to him once or twice each day.
The illustrations by Anne Rosen are colourful and pleasant, filled with lots of activity. They include a good mix of girls and boys and different ethnicities. The children’s figures representing the different ethnic groups from the first pages recur at the end of the book once again in their ethnic costumes with other characters from the book (for instance the tin-man scarecrows from the harvest festival), providing a “do you see the …?” opportunity.
The publisher of this book, MacIntyre Purcell, has been a publisher of travel books. My Home, Nova Scotia is not a huge departure from their usual fare. Cox has managed to provide many views of Nova Scotia in a board book. Forming the text as verse is all too common and frequently forces the writer into awkward rhymes and phrases. Why not just use prose? It is to be hoped that future publications will be more carefully edited.
Despite its flaws, My Home, Nova Scotia would be a reasonable purchase for tourists wanting to present a young friend or relative with a souvenir of their travels.
Rebecca King, a grandparent, is also a Library Support Specialist (Elementary and Junior High) with the Halifax Regional School Board in Halifax, NS.
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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.