To the great relief of overworked managing editor Peter Tittenberger and all of the volunteers who have been faithfully putting CM together for the last two months, CM has now hired a new editor.
And that's me. Hi, I'm Charmagne de Veer, Administrative Director of the Association of Manitoba Book Publishers, former editor of Blizzard Publishing's International Readers' Theatre script service, and a former arts journalist in both Winnipeg and Toronto.
I'm extremely pleased to be joining CM, a magazine that is both popular and highly respected in Canadian publishing circles. CM is unique in that it is a combination of both a long-standing, well-established periodical and an exciting new electronic publication.
I'm looking forward to working with all of the great volunteer reviewers who make this magazine the success it is and hope that readers and reviewers alike will feel free to email me with suggestions on how we can work together to make CM the best it can be.
Charmagne de Veer
Retold by Aubrey Davis. Illustrated by Alan and Lea Daniel.
Toronto: Kids Can Press Ltd., 1996. 32 pp., hardcover, $14.95.
Grades preschool - 2 / Ages 3 - 7.
Review by Leslie Millar.
Now, under the bridge there lived a hairy, smelly bear.Sody Salleratus is a book written by a storyteller - it is simple enough for its listeners to "read aloud" and dramatic enough to always make the telling exciting. Aubrey Davis (who also wrote Bone Button Borscht) has been telling stories to children for many years. He is an active member of the Storytellers School of Toronto and the College of Storytellers in London, England. He has also been a teacher for the past twenty years, a role that has led him to develop an oral language program for students with special needs. "It's a marvellous experience," Davis says, "to watch a student who can't read or speak begin to pick up on the rhythm of the story and the sounds - and begin to tell the story with me!"
"GRRR!" growled the bear. "Who's that walking on my bridge?"
"It's me - Boy. Me and my Sody Salleratus."
"RAWR!" roared the bear. "I'm going to eat you and your Sody Salleratus!"
And he did.
Sody Salleratus is an old folk tale rendered in marvellous fashion here. The story begins with "Boy" who is sent by "Old Woman" to purchase some Sody Salleratus (Saleratus is a 19th-century American word for baking soda) for baking biscuits. Boy never returns, so Old Woman sends "Girl" to fetch him. "Old Man" is then sent to get the girl, and finally Old Woman goes herself to find all of them. When everyone has disappeared, the house squirrel sets out to learn what has happened. Without giving the ending away, it involves a huge hungry bear, and wit prevails over weight in the ensuing battle.
Davis has a delightful levity in his style. For example, when Girl sets out down the road, she goes "a skippity-skip, skippity skip;" when Old Man does the same, he goes "a crickity-crack, crickity-crack." The repetitive narrative, with its sing-song quality and start-and-stop rhythm, will encourage listeners, even non-readers, to "read along." Sody Salleratus is perfect for at-home or in-class, group or individual readings. The repetition and limited vocabulary make it ideal for beginning readers but it can be enjoyed by all ages. The many voices (Bear, Old Woman, Squirrel, etc.) make for dramatic storytelling. Combined with the even balance and pacing of the story, this book is fun and easy to read aloud effectively.
The illustration is by Alan and Lea Daniel whose efforts can be seen in many other children's books, including Good Families Don't (Doubleday, 1990), Big David, Little David (Doubleday, 1995), and the Bunnicula books. These acrylic and pencil images in warm and cheerful colours possess a caricature-like style that is homespun and folksy in effect. The characters are knobby-kneed, big-toed and lovable in their exaggeration; the pages are filled with humorous detail that will entertain readers of any age.
In Sody Salleratus, illustration and narrative complement each other perfectly, and in such a way that non-readers who are familiar with the story will be able to "read" the book.
Leslie Millar is a mother and substitute teacher.
Deborah Froese. Illustrated by Wang Kui.
Winnipeg: Hyperion Press, 1996. 32 pp., hardcover, $19.95.
Grades K - 5 / Ages 5 - 9.
Review by Harriet Zaidman.
Long ago in Burma, Washerman Aung Kyaing (Ahoong Ky-ang) bent over his steaming laundry tub, rubbing and scrubbing the clothes that were brought to him. Everyone believed that he worked magic in his washtub, for he made white clothes gleam like the snowcapped mountains and colourful clothes sparkle like jeweled pagodas. Aung Kyaing was happy to have the admiration of the people but knew that hard work was responsible for his success.The Wise Washerman - A Folktale from Burma is a well-told, beautifully-illustrated picture book by Winnipeg author Deborah Froese. It uses folklore to explore the complexities of the human spirit, to teach a life lesson about using one's wits, and to overcome challenges and do what is just.
It is the story of how a hardworking, honest man (Aung Kyaing) deals with the machinations of a conniving, jealous neighbour (Narathu). Narathu, a clay pot maker, directs his own energy into figuring out how to get Aung Kyaing's riches, instead of learning the lesson that hard work brings rewards. Narathu pricks the greedy heart of the proud king (Pagan Min) by suggesting that he is less than regal because his ceremonial elephant is not white in colour, like those ridden by the kings in Burmese legends. Pagan Min orders Aung Kyaing to wash the ceremonial elephant until it becomes white. The threat of banishment looms if he fails.
Luckily, Aung Kyaing is as clever as he is a talented washerman. He convinces the king to order Narathu to construct a bowl large enough to hold an elephant for washing. The elephant's weight cracks the bowl, and it is Narathu who is banished for making an inferior bowl. Because there is no bowl large enough to wash the elephant, Aung Kyaing resumes his life over the washtubs, and good triumphs.
Deborah Froese writes lyrically. Her gentle, formal style, using elevated language evokes pictures of ancient, ordered times. The illustrations created by the talented Wang Kui are a perfect match. Using pastel tones from goauche and watercolour he depicts the rich colours of the king's palace, the tropical plants, the flowing silk clothes, and so on. The background colours on each page are soft and complementary. The image of the legendary white elephant is soft and dreamlike. The text on each page is bordered by appropriate decorations from Burmese art.
The author recognizes that Burmese folk tales will be unfamiliar to her audience, and includes the correct pronunciation of the characters' names within the text. The book concludes with a useful Author's Note which provides information about the geography and people of Burma. Anyone who is up on current events will understand Froese's comments about the Burmese government's secrecy and practice of limiting foreigners' access to the country. She also informs the reader about the important Water Festival celebrated in Burma.
This book would be a welcome addition to a library collection, either as a picture book or as a folk tale from a country about which little is written.
Harriet Zaidman is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg.
Jane Drake and Ann Love. Illustrated by Pat Cupples.
Toronto: Kids Can Press, 1996. 32 pp., hardcover, $14.99.
Grades K - 4 / Ages 5 - 9.
Review by Michele F. Kallio.
Kids Can Press has created an informative and delightfully illustrated new series entitled Canada at Work. The series features such titles as Farming and Forestry, both of which it has been my pleasure to review. (See the review of Farming in the November 1 issue of CM.)
Forestry introduces the reader to Cameron, whose Uncle Erik works as a forester. Uncle Erik invites Cameron for a day in the forest to show him what forestry work is like. Uncle Erik shows him that for every tree that is cut down two seedlings are planted.
This wonderful twenty-four by twenty-one cm book is a storehouse of information about responsible forest management. The authors teach both children and adults about the proper growing of seedlings in greenhouses, tree planting, the tools used for planting and harvesting, and forest fire control. The book describes various duties, such as tree marking, and equipment like eco-loggers, booms, log ladders and heading saws. Forestry also describes the transportation of felled trees, the processing of trees into various products, and poses a discussion of clear cutting verses selective cutting.
Forestry is highly recommended to both urban and rural schools and libraries. It's a read-aloud book to be shared with young children that older children will enjoy reading themselves.
Michele F. Kallio is a former teacher/librarian living in Blacks Harbour, New Brunswick.
William Bell. Illustrated by Ken Campbell.
Vancouver, B.C.: Orca Book Publishers, 1996. 32 pp., hardcover, $16.95.
Grades 1 - 5 / Ages 6 - 10.
Review by Elaine Seepish.
Gang-gang, the son of a poor fisherman, takes the first step toward maturity in River my friend, William Bell's second picture book. Set in an unidentified Asian location, this simply-told story is illustrated effectively, evoking the tropics by using warm, rich gold and yellow tones contrasted with cool blues and greens.
Bell takes the reader through Gang-gang's family's struggle to make ends meet and their brief encounter with modest "wealth" when a rich woman generously pays them for fresh fish. Gang-gang begins to understand his family's plight and is determined to help out, only to come close to suffering a tragic end to his life.
All turns out well, however. Gang-gang catches the "entrepreneurial spirit" which is necessary to his family's survival and moves toward young adulthood in the process.
The author skilfully uses lyrical language and appropriate imagery reminiscent of traditional folklore but, at the same time, he successfully carries out a theme relevant to contemporary families as well. Illustrator Ken Campbell complements this fine story with refreshing portraits of a loving family, capturing their emotions and daily activities in lovely full colour, and using a variety of points of view.
Fans of William Bell who enjoy his thoughtful works for middle years and young adults will be impressed with his new venture into writing for younger folks.
Elaine Seepish is an Information Specialist, Instructional Resources, Manitoba Education and Training.
Neill Dixon, Anne Davies, Colleen Politano.
Winnipeg, Manitoba: Peguis Publishers, 1996. 160 pp., paper, $19.00.
Grades 1 - 6 / Ages 6 - 11.
Review by Deborah Begoray.
All: Readers Theatre...Readers Theatre...Readers Theatre...So begins the first sample script in Learning with Readers Theatre, a highly recommended volume in the Building Connections series for teachers. The authors are well qualified. Dixon has been teaching readers theatre (RT) as a road to reading comprehension for many years and has been a member of the faculty of the Institute for Readers Theatre in San Diego. Davies and Politano are experienced classroom teachers and this book evolved from their workshops on Readers Theatre. The Canadian connection is also strong - many of the materials were developed and extensively used in schools in Courtenay, British Columbia.
Reader 1: Readers Theatre.
Reader 2: What is it?
Reader 1: It is reading.
Reader 3: Reading a script...
Reader 2: as a character...
Reader 1: as a storyteller.
Reader 3: It is theatre...
Reader 2: that isn't memorized...
Reader 1: and we can read more than one part...
Reader 2: by changing our voices.
This book focuses on using RT with elementary school-aged students and covers mainly language arts topics with a nod to reading across the curriculum. Its presentation is more like a manual than a book, with easy-to-read font, and black and white illustrations/diagrams which are helpful visual representations of the ideas being discussed. Teachers can pick and choose sections and will find reproducible scripts and complete directions that will allow them to start using readers theatre with a minimum of preparation. The book's organization facilitates this process with a detailed table of contents (chapters on writing scripts, staging and evaluating, for example); a brief but helpful glossary (eight terms); and a bibliography for those who find their appetites whetted for further information. Unfortunately, however, there is no index.
Learning with Readers Theatre is the best book on the topic I have seen. It will replace many bits and pieces in my own collection with a single book. If I were to criticize its treatment of oral language for learning, I would have to point to the rather weak coverage of RT in the content areas. I found the ideas here to be mainly adjuncts to rather than being woven into the teaching of various subjects. One example is a script made up by teachers to introduce continents, oceans and provinces in a Social Studies class. The danger I saw in this script was that it could encourage using RT as a performance activity rather than a learning one. This, I hasten to add, is not the message in the rest of the book and it was disappointing to see it here. By grades 5 and 6, students should certainly be doing rather sophisticated work in science and time to do RT must be carefully used to ensure that curriculum concepts are being met.
In conclusion, I highly recommend Learning with Readers Theatre for teachers who have never tried this approach or for those who would like to add an easy-to-use manual to their collection of RT scripts. Reading/writing, listening/speaking, viewing/representing were never easier to integrate than with the Readers Theatre approach!
Dr. Begoray is a faculty member of Education at The University of Winnipeg with teaching and research interests in English and Language Arts teacher education.
Pam Conrad. Illustrated by Eric Beddows.
Toronto: Groundwood Books, 1996. 40 pp., cloth, $15.95.
Grades 3 - 6 / Ages 8 - 11.
Review by Harriet Zaidman.
A quiet hush fell over the chickens, over the hill, over the sky. Young Rooster tightened his feet on the rim of the coop, closed his eyes, stretched his body far, far, high and high into the night and then -The Rooster's Gift is a retelling of the story about the rooster who crows to make the sun come up. In this version we meet Young Rooster as a young fluffy chick who discovers he has The Gift. The Gift is the urge to crow at sunrise, and of course Young Rooster and all the other barnyard fowl think that daylight would not occur without Young Rooster calling it up. When grown-up Rooster, who has become proud and aloof, misses a morning and the sun comes up anyway, he is deflated. With the help of an admiring Smallest Hen, whom he has previously scorned, Rooster realizes that The Gift is to announce the sun's rising in a beautiful cot cot cot cot ca-toodle toooooo for the barnyard. Rooster, who has now become Old (and wiser) Rooster tries again, and the sun bathes the peaceful valley in streaks of pink, yellow and blue as a new day begins.
"Cot Cot Cot Cot Ca-toodle tooooo!"
The chickens stared at him.
"Get down from there," scolded one.
"My, my," worried another.
Then again, louder and wilder -
"Cot Cot Cot Cot Ca-toodle TOOOOOOO!" Young Rooster was glorious. He felt lifted up, charged, holy.
In The Rooster's Gift, Pam Conrad has written a pleasant story, complete with the folksy old farmer and his wife and the flock of pecking hens who bok-bok and cackle up and down the barnyard. Children will learn that everyone counts ( it is the Smallest Hen that helps Rooster overcome his hubris) and that we all make contributions to the world by doing our best at whatever we do.
Eric Beddows has created a lovely setting: an idyllic valley, patchwork fields, a spry farmer in overalls and his wife in a white apron, chickens clucking and pecking over every seed, and the rooster in all his glorious colours. His illustrations remind the reader of simpler times not so long ago.
The reader will not feel the same sympathy for the rooster's plight, however. The plot lacks the pace of another famous rooster tale, Cock-A-Doodle Dudley, by Bill Peet, wherein Dudley experiences great danger and the whole world (including the sun) waits for him to return so the day can begin. Overall though, The Rooster's Gift is a good book that will serve well to teach the above-stated lessons, and will be a good book by a Canadian author to add to a library or classroom collection.
Harriet Zaidman is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg.
Paul Yee. Illustrated by Harvey Chan.
Toronto: Groundwood Books, 1996. Unpaged, cloth, $15.95.
Grades 3 - 7 / Ages 8 - 12.
Review by Dave Jenkinson.
Then one day a letter came enclosing a large sum of money.In Ghost Train, Yee returns to a theme he first treated in his collection, Tales from Gold Mountain, which describes the experiences of the Chinese, especially poor peasant farmers, who, in the nineteenth century, came to North America, a continent they perceived to be a land of riches. Like "Spirits of the Railway," Tales' opening story, Ghost Train deals with the "ghosts" of Chinese workers who died while building the railway. The ghosts cannot rest until their "bodies" are buried, even if that burial is only symbolic.
"Choon-yi, my daughter, come quick!" her father's words said. "Bring your ink brushes and your colors. Bring a roll of the finest paper you can find!"
Choon-yi tied her belongings into a carrying sash and sailed on the next ship to North America. In the bustling port city, she hurried to the company office to ask where her father worked.
The paymaster checked his ledger and looked up grimly.
"I am sorry, child, but your father was killed last week," he said. "The side of the mountain collapsed and carried his crew into the river far below. No bodies were found."
He handed her a final pay packet and turned away.
Choon-yi, born with one arm to poor peasants in South China, possessed a remarkable talent for realistic painting. When she was twelve, her beloved father emigrated to North America to become a railway worker, a lucrative but dangerous occupation. Now, two years later, he sends her money to emigrate and tells her to bring her art supplies. Upon Choon-yi's arrival, she learns that her father and his crew have recently been killed in a rock slide and "no bodies were found." The night before Choon-yi is to return home, her father appears in a dream, saying, "Paint me the train that runs on the road I built." With great difficulty and following two more visits from her father, Choon-yi finally captures the train in her painting and actually "rides" on it where, as she walks through the cars, she recognizes that the passengers are really the souls of workers whose "bones will never be recovered." When she next sees her painting, in each window she now observes faces. Taking the painting back to China, she will fulfil her father's final wish - to burn it on the highest hill so that the ashes will "sail on the four winds" and "our souls will finally find their way home."
Chan, who also illustrated Yee's Roses Sing on New Snow, demonstrates his versatility by switching from the bright watercolours he used in the lighter, more humorous Roses to sombre oils which better match the much darker mood of Ghost Train. Unlike the variety of sizes, shapes and placements of illustrations found in Roses, Ghost Train principally juxtaposes full-page paintings and text pages. Though Ghost Train utilizes a picture book format, its contents are for a mature audience.
Dave Jenkinson teaches children's and adolescent literature courses at the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba.
Sydell Waxman. Illustrated by Linda Potts.
Toronto: Napoleon Publishing, 1996. 60 pp., paper or bound, $13.95.
ISBN 0-929141-43-1 (bound.) ISBN 0-929141-39-3 (paper).
Grades 3 - 8 / Ages 8 - 13.
Review by Marsha Kaiserman.
When Emily Howard Jennings was born in 1831, girls' lives followed a set pattern. Some girls secretly dreamed of becoming doctors or lawyers. Others just wished for a good education. Their dreams remained empty wishes, unlikely to come true. In the Victorian age, every girl's future was limited to housework and child care.
Recently, I got into a discussion with my children about history, in general, and Canadian history, in particular, and I was disappointed to learn that it was their opinion that history was boring. In my opinion, history is exciting but it is the teaching of history that can be boring. Well, sad to say, Sydell Waxman proves me right.
Emily Howard Jennings is a true Canadian heroine. Fortunate to be born into a Quaker community that accepted women as equals, Emily received a good education and was trained to be a teacher, a profession at which she was very successful. But, despite her achievements, which were more than the nineteenth-century woman could reasonably hope for, Emily wanted to accomplish more.
Emily learned about homeopathic medicine from the Jennings' family friend, Dr. Joseph Lancaster, and, with the support of her husband John Stowe, she decided to try a new career. When she tried to enrol at the Toronto School of Medicine, however, she was told that women would never be accepted. Emily promised that one day women would have the same opportunities as men.
She went off to study homeopathic medicine at the New York Medical College for Women and, in 1867, she became Canada's first practising female physician. In 1871, in order to meet licensing requirements, Emily and Jenny Trout became the first women to attend lectures at the Toronto School of Medicine. This was a difficult period for both of them as both students and faculty went out of their way to embarrass and humiliate them. Emily failed and went back to practising without a licence. Jenny Trout tried again and became the first licensed female physician in Canada.
Emily Howard Jennings Stowe became one of Canada's leading feminists. She founded one of the earliest female suffrage groups and was instrumental in the mock parliament of 1896 where a parliament of women, using all of the arguments men had used against them, refused to give men the vote. She helped found the Women's Medical College in Toronto in 1883 and died in 1903, fourteen years before women got the vote in Canada.
Emily Howard Jennings Stowe deserves a better book than this. Despite the good use of quotes, photographs, side bars and Linda Potts' illustrations, author Sydell Waxman manages to turn the story of Emily Stowe into a boring recitation of incidents. Still, this book is technically well-written and well-researched and is recommended for those people, including children, interested in learning more about their history and, especially, the women's movement in Canada.
Recommended with reservations
Marsha Kaiserman is Head of Conferences Cataloguing at the Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (CISTI) in Ottawa.
Toronto: Crabtree Publishing Company, 1996. 32 pp., cloth, $21.95, paper, $9.95 each.
The Land ISBN 0-86505-223-9 cloth, 0-86505-303-0 paper.
The People ISBN 0-86505-224-7 cloth, 0-86505-304-9 paper.
The Culture ISBN 0-86505-225-5 cloth, 0-86505-305-7 paper.
Grades 4 - 6 / Ages 9 - 11.
Review by Alison Mews.
Vietnam is the latest country added to the highly successful Lands, Peoples and Cultures Series developed by Bobbie Kalman. Generally the series has one book each for the land, the people and the culture of each country, and previous countries featured include Canada, Mexico, China and Japan.
In the Vietnam books, the reading level is appropriate for elementary aged students (although the publisher recommends elementary and junior high) and the writing style is relaxed and informative. The emphasis is more on an introduction to the topics covered rather than an in-depth portrait.
The books are well-designed. The full-colour photographs are of exceptional quality and comprise more than fifty percent of each book, and they are well-chosen and well-placed. There is a table of contents with appropriate titles (not cute or puzzling), consistent pagination, a comprehensive glossary, and a subject index.
Vietnam is a long, narrow country stretching along the east coast of the Indochinese Peninsula in Southeast Asia. The Vietnamese say their country is shaped like a bent bamboo pole carrying a rice basket at each end. If you look at the map, you will see that Vietnam has an S shape ,wide at the top and bottom and very narrow at the center. The country is divided into three geographic regions: the north, center, and south.
Vietnam: The Land covers its geography, climate, agriculture, fishery, transportation, wildlife, cities and a little history. My only quibble with this book is the lack of maps. The first page gives a locational map of Vietnam's place in Southeast Asia, which is good, but the only other map is a rather small physical map with some place names.
With so many children to educate and so little money, schools often cannot afford supplies. Some classrooms have little else than old wooden benches, scratched tables, and fifty determined students. Children go to school six days a week. Many must walk a long distance. In crowded schools, the students work in shifts so that all the children in the community can get an education. One group of students goes to school early in the morning, perhaps from 7:30 to 11:30. Then a second group comes to school in the afternoon. Often there is a long break for lunch because the weather gets very hot. People usually take a nap after lunch. Schools located in farming areas schedule long vacations for harvest time. Students spend their holiday helping on the farm! Young people who work on the family farm or become laborers often cannot continue their education beyond primary school.
Vietnam: the People covers the different ethnic makeup of the Vietnamese, the importance of family, the difference between rural and urban living conditions, and the language, education, occupations and leisure of modern Vietnamese.
Care has been taken to include information of interest to elementary children, and that provides a basis for comparison with their own lives. For example, in the excerpt directly above, the school situation is very different from contemporary western schools. North American children will also be intrigued by the practice of shopping at markets rather than department stores with fixed prices, and by the domestic arrangements, leisure activities and career expectations of young Vietnamese.
In North America, many people think of puppets as toys for children but, in Vietnam, puppetry is enjoyed by young and old. This theatre art has been popular for centuries. Puppetmakers and puppeteers are skilled and respected artists who spend years perfecting their talents. One popular form of puppetry is called roi nuoc, or water puppetry. Water puppetry is unique because its "stage" is a small pond. It is said that this art was invented centuries ago when an ordinary puppet show was interrupted by one of Vietnam's many floods! From behind a backdrop, puppeteers move strings, wires, and bamboo poles to make the wooden puppets glide around on the water. The audience, sitting on the shore, often laughs at their funny tales and antics.
Vietnam: the Culture describes the arts, fashion, food, religion and festivals. The historical influences of Chinese, French, and even American people during the Vietnam war are noted in the introduction and referred to specifically throughout the text. Although the major influence appears to be Chinese, the erosion of traditional customs and the adoption of more western practices is evident.
Altogether, the three books comprise an excellent introduction to Vietnam that is highly appealing to elementary children. For a more extensive work about Vietnam at the elementary level, you might consider the Vietnam book (1994) in the Cultures of the World Series by Marshall Cavendish, which is more comprehensive in scope and combines land, peoples and cultures in one volume. The advantage, however, to the three-volume series is the flexibility it allows of more than one student using the information at a time.
Alison Mews is Coordinator, Centre for Instructional Services, Faculty of Education, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland.
Toronto: Groundwood Books, 1996. 96 pp., paperback, $6.95.
Grades 6 - 9 / Ages 11 - 14.
Review by Alice Reimer.
[The cove] belonged to them through Gran's family. Had done through hundreds of years, right since some girl had been abandoned there all by herself in the days when the ships just came and fished for the season, and hardly a soul stayed on the island through the winter anywhere. Gran had said the girl had almost died. She would have, if a whale hadn't fetched up on the shore when her food was almost gone...Steeped in Newfoundland fishing family tradition, Keri is the moving yet unsentimental story of a girl coming to terms with the loss of her life's foundation.
Keri's family has fished for hundreds of years but now her father has gone bankrupt and lost the family boat. Her grandmother, who told Keri the stories of the family's past, has died, and the family's cove has been mutilated by vandals. Terrified of losing it all, Keri tries to save the past by living in a daydream in which she is that girl from long ago, abandoned on the shore.
Reality confronts Keri in the form of her mother who tries to get her to accept change. But the harder her mother pushes her into the scary present, the further Keri retreats into the safe past. Present and past collide, however, when one day, just like a day hundreds of years earlier, a whale washes up on the shore of the family cove. Keri tries to save the whale but it is the animal that saves her.
Keri is Jan Andrews first young adult novel. Andrews is most famous for her picture books The Auction and Very Last First Time, books that deal with subjects like the loss of a family farm, or a child's first foray into taking responsiblity for her family. In Keri, Andrews covers the same ground but this time for young teens. She beautifully captures the anguish and anger of 13-year-old Keri's painful struggle between responsibility and childishess - wanting to do things on her own while a small voice inside her still calls out for her mother.
Still, when the light appeared under her doorway, she was filled with a sudden longing to call out. To have her mother come and sit on the end of the bed and talk to her ... Mum did stop, too. She waited outside, listening. Another chewing out was all Keri would let herself think ... she held herself motionless. At last her mother moved on.
This avoidance of sentimentality characterizes the entire novel right down to its sad but hopeful ending. The reality of life on the Newfoundland shore is tough; no matter how hard you try, you don't always win. Keri learns this, but she also learns that despite all, you still keep going.
The only fault to be found with the novel isn't really a fault at all, rather a wish: it would be nice if a Newfoundlander had written it. Although Andrews acknowledges that she didn't try to capture the language, only to give nuances of it, it would be gratifying to hear more fully this uniquely Canadian dialect.
Keri is highly recommended for young teenagers. While girls will identify more strongly with the protagonist, the story will also appeal to boys.
Alice Reimer is a substitute teacher at a rural Manitoba high school.
Heather Ingram. Illustrated by Graham Smith.
Burnston, Ontario: General Store Publishing, 1995. 159 pp., paper, $24.95.
Grades 8 - 12 / Age 14 and up.
Review by Ian Stewart.
Sault Ste. Marie - the Heart of the Great Lakes - is a picturesque city in Ontario's north. Originally a gathering place for native peoples from across North America, Sault Ste. Marie has grown from a remote fur trading post to a cosmopolitan centre of learning, business and industry. Views of the Sault takes both the visitor and the resident alike on a comprehensive tour of over ninety significant landmarks in Sault Ste. Marie and area, leaving out no aspect of the city's long and rich history.I'll admit that I wasn't looking forward to reviewing Views of the Sault. I didn't know anything about this Northern Ontario town; I'd never driven through it, didn't remember meeting anyone from it, nor did I really care about it. However, it didn't take long before I became engrossed in the quaint little histories that make up this book - and came to appreciate the tidbits of anecdotal information I was adding to my store of never-to-be-used knowledge, as well as the town and its people.
If I ever drive down Ontario's #17 highway (that's the Trans-Canada to everyone else) to the geographical centre of North America, I'll come to a twelve foot replica of a loonie, Sault Ste. Marie's roadside emblematic sculpture. The replica is there because Robert Carmichael, the designer of the dollar coin is from The Sault. Driving into town, using Views of the Sault as my guide, I will soon come to Roberta Bondar Park and Pavilion named in honour of Dr. Roberta Bondar, Canada's first woman astronaut, who is also from The Sault.
The book mentions many interesting, picturesque, historical, and modern sights - ninety-nine different places in all. There is the Romanesque style Gore Street Pumping Station; one of Ontario's first venereal disease laboratories; the last passenger vessel constructed for travel on the Great Lakes which is now the MS Norgoma Museum Ship; and the Canadian Bush Plane Heritage Centre, which has many unique displays dedicated to Canada's adventurous pioneer bush-pilots. The Sault also has modern shopping malls, schools, athletic facilities, and all the other things Canadians today believe they need for the good life.
Whether they're about Nanaimo, British Columbia; Yorkton, Saskatchewan; East St. Paul, Manitoba (my home town); or Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia; community histories like Ingram's are vitally important to Canadians. To the average reader a lot of these books' stories and details might seem trite and the people pedestrian, but, as the late Margaret Laurence wrote, "it is in the particular that we find the universal." In our community we find our roots, values and purposes, or, at least, we learn what these were in the past. Conversely, in reading these histories, we might also discover things about ourselves and our way of life that don't make us proud; things that make us want to right historical wrongs or even change our attitudes about the world.
Views of the Sault is a labour of joy and love. Heather Ingram is unabashedly sentimental about her hometown and asks for her reader's indulgence. She brags a bit, but that's all right with me, considering that her motives are pure and her cause is just. Heather Ingram wants the new generation of Sault Ste. Marie residents and all other Canadians to appreciate and share in her town's heritage. Good for you Heather! Your book is the kind that creates the ties that bind. We'll see you at the Bon Soo Winter Carnival in the near future.
Ian Stewart is a small town boy who lives in Winnipeg with his wife and two dogs.
Saskatoon, SK: Thistledown Press, 1995. 150 pp., paper, $12.95.
Grades 8 and up / Ages 13 and up.
Review by Gina Varty.
"It's not your looks that are keeping the guys away," she told me a few minutes before, after I complained about my wiry red hair and rusty eyes, and looked down at the back-catcher bruises and mosquito bites on my skinny legs. "It's your attitude. It's what you do. I know it's not really your fault, your parents being so strict, non-fun and non-everything, but you have to ease up and stop being so ... intellectual." She said the word like it was some sort of disease, but was proud of the fact she could pronounce it.Boys, looks, parents, nerdiness, and friendship are just a few of the social concerns explored in this finely-crafted collection of short stories.
Bernice Friesen, whose stories have appeared in Prairie Fire, Grain, NeWest Review, and Prairie Journal, presents captivating characters facing issues near and dear to the hearts of her female 13 to 18-year-old protagonists.
Overweight Naomi, Georgie with an attitude, jealous Rosalie, Angie who pretends to be something she is not, shy Susan, in-love Lucy, Selina who has an abusive, alcoholic father, and others live in the small fictional prairie town of Grassbank, "the land of sheer boredom ... [where] several hundred people live - and they are not dead, though sometimes you wonder."
The reader becomes a citizen of this community, and Grassbank high school becomes the reader's own school. Boundaries blur and identities mingle as characters become acquaintances or friends, and the reader becomes the protagonist. For who has not risked, loved, longed for acceptance and respect, or laughed on the outside?
Many of the subjects of the stories are evident in their titles: "Brother Dear," "Teasing Boys," and "Musical Friends," are self-explanatory. Friesen's protagonists also deal with alcoholism ("Kick Down"), and drugs and doing "it" ("Live Dangerously"). Her characters live in a world of parental expectations, jerky boyfriends, Alzheimers and single parent families: a world in harmony with all creation in which the sun pushes the wind and the "seasons are horses running away from you."
Gina Varty is an actor, and poet and librarian at the Audio Visual Educational Library, United Church of Canada, Edmonton.
Winnipeg, Manitoba: Going to Press, 1996. 110 pp., softcover, $12.95.
Grades 9 - 12 / Ages 14 and up.
Review by Duncan Thornton.
You may be able to visit two schools in one day. For example, the University of Manitoba in the morning and the University of Winnipeg in the afternoon, Université d' Ottawa in the morning and Carleton University in the afternoon, Simon Fraser University in the morning and the University of British Columbia in the afternoon, York University in the morning and the University of Toronto in the afternoon, Waterloo University in the morning and Wilfrid Laurier University in the afternoon. It's also possible to do an intensive two day trip and visit several schools. For instance the University of Victoria one day and the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser the next, the University of Western Ontario one day and the Universities of Guelph and Waterloo the next day, Queen's University one day and McGill University and Université de Montreal the next day, Dalhousie University one day and Mount Saint Vincent and Saint Mary's University the next day, the University of Regina one day and the University of Saskatchewan the next, the University of Alberta one day and the University of Calgary the next, and Mount Allison University one day and St. Thomas University and the University of New Brunswick the next day. Many other combinations can be arranged if you have one or more days.Beverly Cameron's Going to University begins by discussing the reasons Canadian students and parents are looking more carefully at their options for a university education. This guide, Cameron explains, is designed to help them look by:
Within those limits, this slim book does its job. Going to University doesn't rate or recommend universities, or help students decide what field of study is right for them, but it does provide some very basic information about going to university. Primarily, however, it contains lists - rather like those guides on how to plan for a wedding. Some are checklists for what a high school student should do to prepare in the years and months leading up to graduation; some are lists of questions students should ask themselves and representatives of prospective universities to ensure a good fit; some are lists of methods that can help students determine their aptitudes and abilities; and most importantly, some are lists of other resources with information about specific universities, kinds of financial support, and so on.
- providing some basic information about Canadian and American universities,
- suggesting questions that students will need to find answers to as they make decisions about universities, and
- making suggestions on how students, their parents, and high school guidance counsellors can find the information to answer these questions.
Cameron's writing is generally clear, and should be accessible to her target audience (although her unfortunate habit of using the Latin abbreviation "e.g." rather than the English "for example" might confuse some younger readers).
Much of the book, however, like the excerpt at the top of this review, reads like padding. Example follows example, as Cameron lists or discusses possibilities without providing advice. For instance, she includes many resources for information on American universities, without ever discussing why a Canadian student would want to attend one despite the vastly higher tuition costs.
Similarly, she includes a long list of things students might want to take with them to residence (including some as obvious as alarm clocks, and others, like push pins or juice boxes, so easy to come by anywhere they're not worth packing). But serious concerns about living in residence - like whether it's better to just get an apartment, how to find food that's both healthy and affordable, or the dealing with sex, room-mates, or cockroaches - are left alone.
In all the lists there are odd omissions. Cameron assumes her audience is familiar with the Internet, and often suggests web-sites or Internet searches to find different kinds of information, but she never mentions that libraries will contain many useful resources as well. In her criteria for choosing a university she doesn't mention considering how well it would prepare a student for further study at the graduate level. Nor does she suggest asking an academic in a student's chosen field of study for advice on the strengths of a given program at different universities.
The most fundamental problem with Going to University, however, is its limited ambition. Should a student even go to university right after high school? Many high school graduates would be better off working for a year or two until they know themselves, and the world, a little better, before they make such a crucial decision. Going to University doesn't really help with choices that important.
Still, for students who have already decided, Going to University provides some useful checklists and pointers to valuable resources.
Recommended with reservations
Duncan Thornton is an Instructor in the New Media program at Red River Community College in Winnipeg, and a former editor of CM. He has studied at four universities in three provinces.
London, ON: Brick Books, 1996. 85 pp., softcover, $12.95.
Grades 9 - 12 / Ages 14 and up.
Review by Willa Walsh.
"To the Spider on My Coffeemaker"
Hunkered in your cornerCalm jazz sea is a book of poetry that captures the essence of everyday life with all its varied experiences and contradictions. The events portrayed are universal to the human condition from loss of love, death, accidents, restrictions in our lives, and failures to the enjoyment of nature and the wonder of living things like butterflies, goldfish, and spider webs; and the simple pleasures of our daily routines. These are quiet, reflective poems which gently probe human nature.
yet every morning
I brush away your silk to make
my black water. Laying waste
your plans I begin
mine. For a time I thought you
stupid, or deluded:
I am far too determined,
far too large for your
hollow tooth. Now I know
you suffer from another kind
of innocence, placidly
going about your building while
I dream, never guessing
you have strayed into another,
far stickier and stronger, web.
Night after night
we forget in tandem.
Unfortunately, I read this book right after I had finished two outstanding poetry volumes: Tim Bowling's Low water slack, and Gregory Scofield's Native Canadiana: songs from the urban rez. Both of those titles so overwhelmed me that, perhaps, I could not give this book my full attention. And, since both Low water slack and Calm jazz sea use the imagery of fishing, I was constantly comparing them. Calm jazz sea suffered with the comparison. I simply was not powerfully engaged by it and, therefore, feel that this title may not fully engage student readers either. My feelings are reflected by the pallid, sepia-toned cover of the book.
The curriculum connections for this title are English literature at the senior level and Creative Writing courses in the upper secondary grades.
Recommended with reservations
Willa Walsh is a Richmond, BC teacher-librarian and senior editor of the provincial professional journal The Bookmark.
Oakville, Ontario: Rubicon Publishing Inc., 1996. 122 pp., paperback, $7.95.
Grades 9 and up / Ages 14 and up.
Review by Esmé Keith.
Bottom Drawer, a novel by David Boyd, is an ambitious and fairly successful teen problem novel. The teen in question, Mac Kuper, or "MacKid" as he calls himself on the Internet, must grapple with the memory of his father's suicide ten years earlier, and with a difficult relationship with his step-father, Malcolm. Then his life is further complicated by a close friendship which demands his decency and bravery. Tested by this experience, Mac feels that he has failed and betrayed his friend and himself.
The novel is prefaced by an impressionistic description of the suicide of Mac's father, or more properly, the immediate effects of this act on Mac. But the story proper begins with Mac's own suicide attempt ten years later. The rest of the novel proceeds to describe the causes of his attempt and the slow process of regaining peace of mind.
The novel is written in a number of different styles. Straight narrative is used sparingly. Instead, the author elects to tell much of the story through newspaper clippings, faxed memos, interview transcriptions, and internet chat room printouts. I found these techniques both engaging in their variety and effective in recreating the individual voices of the speakers. The novel is also widely allusive, gaining particular effect from references to The Catcher in the Rye and the paintings of Alex Colville. These aspects of the novel will appeal to a literate teen reader.
The main character is drawn with insight and sensitivity. Here, Mac is tormented by the taunts of a neighbourhood bully shortly after his father's death:
Mac sat down and brushed away the hot tears. If his daddy was here, he'd get Chase Robertson and bash his bike into smithereens, and he'd punch Chase's mom right on her big fat freckled nose! Chase was a liar, liar, liar!
Mac sniffed and rubbed again where the collar had chafed his neck.
For the life of him, he didn't have a clue what a sue-side was.
However, the supporting characters, particularly the parents, aren't allowed to expand much beyond stereotypes. These predictable characters are one flaw in the novel. Another difficulty, one that afflicts many problem novels, lies in the plot. Events move from the all-too-likely to the all-too-unlikely swiftly, and as the plot heats up, the story slows down. Even the author seems to feel this; he supplies a surprisingly brisk denouement, as if the problems he has created for Mac are too big, or too improbable to bear a more considered solution.
Nonetheless, this aggressive plotting may well appeal to those readers who are not intrigued by the shifting voices and subtle insights offered earlier in the novel. Although the book cannot sustain the light touch or depth of feeling evident in the opening sections, it has a number of qualities that make it an enjoyable read.
Esmé Keith is an English teacher at a Winnipeg high school.
Volume 18 Number 1
One of Canada's best-selling authors discusses his formula for success in popularizing Canadian history: romanticism, myth building and leaving out the dull parts.
Enrolment in high school history courses is down. Past high school history is just a memory for most people. But history sells -- maybe not as well as crime or romance or espionage -- but it sells.
Peter C. Newman is a writer whose history is read. People who could only just bear to hang on through the final exam in high school have cheerfully forked over twenty or thirty dollars to read Newman's Hudson's Bay Company histories, Company of Adventurers and Caesars of the Wilderness. Newman chatted with me while he was promoting an illustrated companion to these volumes, Empire of the Bay, which undoubtedly turned up under its share of Christmas trees. Teachers everywhere should ask themselves why.
Newman is one of Canada's best known journalists. Formerly editor-in-chief of Canada's "national" magazine, Maclean's, and the country's largest newspaper, the Toronto Star, Newman looks back to a time when he was an eleven-year-old Jewish refugee from Czechoslovakia fleeing Hitler's nazism. In a career that includes thirteen best selling books on history and politics and numerous awards for journalism, the affection he feels for this country seems to be his guiding principle: 'I never took Canada for granted. I always thought this was an incredible, wonderful country. It saved my life when I was running away from the Nazis...and has given me not only a home but an incredible career."
Not taking Canada for granted seems largely responsible for Newman's interest in Canadian history. To him it was never a bloodless version of American history. "We have nothing," he says, "to be ashamed of. Our heroes, our explorers, our pioneers are just as interesting as the Americans'."
Newman feels that this appreciation for the story in Canadian history was perhaps easier for him to come by since he avoided the usual route to knowledge of the subject. Because he had first to learn English he did not study Canadian history until he was an adult. A fortunate consequence of this delay was that he escaped indoctrination with the view that "if it's American it must be more exciting, more colourful."
While the popularity of Canadian history vis a vis American history seems to have improved in the book market, the fate of Canadian history in schools concerns Newman. The problem, he feels, may be the competition for students' time from such things as videos, television, sports and jobs. To overcome this problem he believes that history has to involve students at more than the intellectual level. It "can no longer appeal to just the brain, it has to appeal to the gut." Without apparent regret he suggests that this process may involve bypassing his own work. "I think that kids should be taught the kind of story I write but not necessarily through my books. Maybe books aren't the right format. Maybe that's what's wrong. We should be teaching them on their own terms. If video is what turns them on let's do videos -- and good ones."
What Newman does best in his own histories is tell stories. Describing himself as a journalist with a lot of curiosity and a great capacity for research, he sums up his approach to history, saying, "I tell an entertaining story bound by the facts. I write in an interesting way to involve people." Getting Canadians excited about their history is very important to Newman, who sees in this stimulation a way of returning something to a country he loves. He wants to "re-create history in such a way that Canadians get interested in it just as I got interested in it."
Though criticized by academics for being more story-teller than historian, the author argues that the element of story-telling is inherent in history and forms a necessary connection between a people and their past. As an example of someone else who appreciated this, he points to the late Barbara Tuchman (A Distant Mirror, Guns of August), whose authoritative and universally popular books were also at one time disdained by academics.
Says Newman of the academic reaction to his books, "They've accused me of three things -- romanticism, myth building and leaving out the dull parts. And I'm guilty of all three, but I don't think that makes it bad history. I think that makes it interesting. I don't see anything wrong with investing a little romanticism in Canadian history. Damn it, these were romantic figures." Cautiously, he allows that he may steer clear of "the dull parts," but adds, "I keep saying in my books, If you want the full story, go to these [other] books." I keep listing the academic books." His bibliographies bear this out.
In addition to Barbara Tuchman, a number of the "greats" in Canadian history are favourites of Newman's. Donald Creighton, Arthur Morton, Chester Martin and A.R.M. Lower are all writers who combine "faultless" academic credentials with talented composition. He particularly admires Creighton and says of his books about Sir John A. MacDonald, "You can't read those books and not get excited." The same cannot, he feels, be said for many current historians, whose work shows "almost a conscious avoidance of style." He wonders whether they think it is "a confession of inadequacy to tell a good story."
Making history interesting and accessible had a lot to do with undertaking the mammoth three-volume history of the Hudson's Bay Company Newman has been working on since 1980. Beginning with a desire to give something of Canada to Canadians, Newman elected to write a history of "The Bay" when this seemed to him the best way to focus his attention while retaining the sweep and colour he wanted to impart. "There is," he maintains, "no better history of English Canada than that of the Hudson's Bay Company. This is not just a company. This is a company that became a nation." As well, the history of the Hudson's Bay Company contains ingredients guaranteed to crystalize Newman's literary energies. "First of all, it stretched over a long period of time. Secondly, it had all the elements of a good story -- adventure, exploration, commerce, all kinds of politics, relations with the Indians -- and it's still around."
Regrettably, he notes, two things keep the history of "The Bay" from being, for him, the perfect project. "It was really only a history of English Canada and not French Canada and the story is told only from a white man's point of view." The French language traditions and records of the Bay's rival, the North West Company, represent a gap which he feels unable to bridge as an anglophone. A sadder and more complicated array of problems convinces him that perhaps only an Indian historian with the skill to tap oral tradition will be able to do justice to the native view of the fur trade. This year, following the publication of Volume III, Merchant Princes, Newman will return to more familiar ground and resume his chronicling of the Canadian establishment. While historians may not miss his engaging way of practising history the people he writes for almost surely will. And that ought to suit him just fine.
Books by Peter C. Newman
Bronfman Dynasty: The Rothschilds of the New World. McClelland & Stewart, 1978.
Caesars of the Wilderness. Viking,1987.
The Canadian Establishment. McClelland & Stewart, 1975.
Company of Adventurers. Viking, 1985.
The Distemper of Our Times: Canadian Politics in Transition 1963-1968. McClelland & Stewart, 1968, 1990.
Empire of the Bay. Viking, 1989.
The Establishment Man: A Portrait of Power. McClelland & Stewart, 1982.
Flame of Power: Intimate Profiles of Canada's Greatest Businessmen. Long mans, Green, 1959.
Home Country: People, Places, and Power Politics. McClelland & Stewart, 1973, 1988.
King of the Castle: The Making of a Dynasty -- Seagram's and the Bronfman Empire. Atheneum, 1978.
Renegade in Power: The Diefenbaker Years. McClelland & Stewart, 1963, 1989.
Sometimes a Great Nation-Will Canada Belong to the 21st Century? McClelland & Stewart, 1988.
True North, Not Strong and Free: Defend ing the Peaceable Kingdom in the Nuclear Age. McClelland & Stewart, 1983.
Chris Carton teaches high school History and English.
Paul Yee was the winner in the Children's Literature - Text category for Ghost Train while Eric Beddows received the Children's Literature - Illustration award for The Rooster's Gift. For French-language Children's Literature only a Text category was awarded this year and that winner was Gilles Tibo for Noémie - Le Secret de Madame Lumbago.
Winners were chosen by independent peer juries appointed by the Canada Council from among a selection of titles published in the last year. The English-language jury for Children's Literature - Text included William Bell, Peter Eyvindson and Tololwa Mollel while the Illustration jury consisted of Geoff Butler, Jan Sovak and C.J. Taylor.
The other nominees for English-language children's text included:
The other nominees for illustration were:
In the adult categories, other English-language winners included Guy Vanderhaeghe for fiction, John Ralston Saul for non-fiction; E.D. Blodgett for poetry and Colleen Wagner for drama. French-language winners were Marie-Claire Blais for fiction, Serge Patrice Thibodeau for poetry, Normand Charette for drama and Michel Freitag for non-fiction. Translation winners were Linda Gaboriau and Christiane Teasdale.
The awards were presented at a ceremony in Ottawa on Tuesday, November 12, by the Governor General, His Excellency the Right Honourable Romeo Le Blanc.
CM Chosen Scout Report Selection
CM magazine has been chosen as one of the Selections for the Scout Report, the premier weekly collection of useful Internet sites for discerning Internauts. Care is taken in the selection of items included in the Scout Report. Basic criteria include depth of content, author, information maintenance, and presentation.
Community Learning Network
The Community Learning Network is a network designed specifically for K-12
teachers and students. The fundamental purpose of this web site is to help
teachers integrate technology into the classroom. Staff from
the BC Ministry of Education, Training and Skills search the Internet daily
for exemplary educational sites which they then link to from the CLN. This
'filtering service' saves teachers from personally having to browse through the
thousands and thousands of available WWW sites. Moreover, they eliminate the
problem of the "vicious circle syndrome" in which you can spend hours going
from one site to another to another, only to find that all they have are links
to each other, but few links to actual content. Most linked sites in the
Community Learning Network contain actual, educational K-12 content.
This site is best viewed with Netscape 2.0 or higher.
Ed Shorer of El Sereno Middle School, in Los Angeles, writes that his school
wants to challenge other schools
to top our "Unuseless Inventions (Chindogu, in Japanese)." These are
inventions that are "almost" a good idea. This project, an adaptation of a
Japanese book by Kenji Kawakami, is a lot of fun for students. For more
information on what these things are, check out the websites:
http://www.new-kewl.com/chindogu/chindogu-primer.html or http://web.wwnorton.com/blurbs/fall95/031369.htm
Any interested persons are encouraged to contact him about sharing photos and text of inventions online. If all goes well, they will get some of their best Chindogu uploaded to a homepage within two weeks.
Cable in the Classroom
Cable in the Classroom is an educational initiative by a majority of cable operators and program providers that puts free cable service into publicly funded schools across Canada. Through this service, teachers can access specially selected educational programming in both French and English that is copyright cleared and commercial-free. The service is currently used by over 6000 schools across Canada and has been endorsed by the Canadian Teachers' Federation; teachers' associations in Ontario (OTF, OPSTF and OECTA), Alberta (ATA), and PEI (PEITF); and parent-school associations in Nova Scotia, BC and Newfoundland. For more information about Cable in the Classroom, see its website at: http://www.cableducation.ca
Exciting news for Book Lovers!
Virtual Media Publishing launched the Alexandria virtual library November 1, offering free public access to view the complete text of current books on computer and business topics. Consumers can now browse books on-line before buying them from on-line booksellers.
Alexandria: Home of the Virtual Library includes free access to complete text of quality books by reputable publishers. Also, a discussion group and links to on-line booksellers/newspapers/magazines.
Reprinted from the EdRes mailing list.
Much of CORAL FOREST's mission to preserve coral reef ecosystems is accomplished through education. As a part of our organizational strategy and in response to numerous requests from teachers around the world, CORAL FOREST has developed an interdisciplinary, hands-on Teacher's Guide for grades K-5, 6-8, and 9-12. With more than 160 pages, it is currently the most extensive and comprehensive coral reef teacher's guide available in the United States.
CORAL FOREST Executive Director Wendy Weir recruited master teachers experienced in curriculum development to help produce this spirally integrated guide. It was first written and tested in the classroom by our team of teachers, then edited and field-tested by other teachers, educators from major aquariums and scientific institutions, scientific advisors, and CORAL FOREST staff. The guide is contained in a three-ring binder making it easy to add information and lesson plan updates. A full-colour interpretive poster - Coral Forest: Diversity of Life on the Coral Reef, a scripted slide presentation, and several books are also available as supplementary references.
The objective of the Teacher's Guide is to present students and teachers with highly informative yet interesting educational material that will encourage them to think about the complexity of coral reefs and their surrounding environment, the threats reefs are facing, and the possible solutions to these threats. The guide also presents students with different ways to take action to save reefs, thereby instilling in them the understanding and confidence that they can improve the world in which they live.
Included in this site are detailed lesson plans, various maps, background information, and other associated resources. This site is developed in detail for Elementary, Middle, and High school lessons and can be incorporated into any subject area.
Copyright © 1996 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
The Manitoba Library Association
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