CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 30. . . .April 4, 2014
Newfoundland and Labrador and British Columbia, part of the “My Canada” series, are intended for kindergarten to grade 2 students, but they could be suitable for slightly older children or English language learners as well. This series does an excellent job of presenting each province and territory in a simple but eye-catching way.
The highlight of the “My Canada” series is the beautiful photography. Many of the photos cover a full page or, in some cases, two pages. The photos capture various landforms, plants and animals as well as famous landmarks and major cities. Close-ups of different animals and plants are another wonderful feature. Other graphics (maps, coats of arms, etc.) are added to many of the pages and are explained in colourful captions.
The text is very clear and easy to read in large font and simple language. Bold primary colours make an excellent background for each page. Details such as the page numbers being in little red maple leaves at the bottom of each page add to the appeal of these books.
The range of topics covered is comprehensive, from location to resources and history. Each topic is explained in two or three short sentences and accompanied by a photo that will help children understand the facts. Topics are listed in the table of contents (which is the same for each book) and key words are explained in the glossary. The final two pages of the book recap the information presented on each page of the book. There is a small picture of each page with a more detailed paragraph beside the photo. The paragraph covers the same information but in more detail. Using the example of the spirit bear from the excerpt above, the detailed paragraph adds the following facts: "About 1500 spirit bears live in British Columbia. They are found mostly on the central and north coast. The spirit bear is born with white fur. Approximately 1 in 40 black bears are spirit bears." Several websites are recommended on the last page of the book for those who want to explore further.
There are other series of books about the provinces and territories, but none as beautifully presented as the “My Canada” series. Most of the other series are aimed at older readers. Simple but full of facts, these books are an excellent source of information for Canadian students. The entire series would make a wonderful resource for schools and libraries across the country.
Claire Perrin is an elementary teacher-librarian in the Toronto District School Board.
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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.