CM . . .
. Volume XIX Number 1. . . .September 7, 2012
Goodnight, Canada is a soothing story that will both delight and calm children at bedtime. The book begins with a young boy getting ready to go to bed while looking out his window wondering if other children across Canada are looking to see if he is off to bed as they are. The story unfolds with Andrea Beck's whimsical illustrations that will fascinate readers as they come to see children wishing one another goodnight across Canada. The images of the story bring to life some of the cultural signifiers from each province while also teaching children the names of every province. On each page, Beck's illustrations depict cultural and geographical markers of each location in an imaginative way, from the patchwork quilt farmland bedding of the Prince Edward Island scene where a teddy bear is dressed as Anne of Green Gables, to Toronto's CN Tower pictured outside an urban bedroom window in Ontario, to the Northern Lights and polar bear buddies surrounding a child in his cozy bed underneath the beautifully lit Manitoba sky.
From coast to coast, each child from every province is pictured safe and snug in their beds with a backdrop bringing to life plentiful warm and fascinating details from their given provinces in a dream-like way. The images of each diverse Canadian child in their given home province is a two-page layout that will engage children further into the story while allowing them to experience beautiful and peaceful images of each province. The words on the first three pages follow the poetic wonder of the young boy who begins the story while the rest of the words accompanying the images are a simple goodnight to each province. The ending on the final page brings the story to a close with "Goodnight, Nunavut. And goodnight world." where many children are pictured waving happily outside of a snowy igloo scene. What is most soothing when viewing the story is the backdrop of every illustration which is a calm twilit blue sky with glowing stars and moon, and it is also the background of the title pages and end pages that frame the book. Goodnight, Canada is a wonderful story to share with young children at bedtime and will likely become a favourite of children and parents alike.
Vasso Tassiopoulos is a graduate of the Master of Arts program in Children's Literature at the University of British Columbia and currently works in an assortment of childcare settings in Toronto, ON.
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