CM . . . .
Volume VII Number 14 . . . . March 16, 2001
The front of the gym was decorated with thirteen flags of different nations. Mr. Quigley, the citizenship officer, told us that thirty-six people from thirteen countries were becoming Canadians at our ceremony. He showed us to our seats. He told everyone what to do. He explained stuff. He was nice.You may recognize the author's name from A Prairie Alphabet and A Prairie Year. Jo Bannatyne-Cugnet has done a fine job, one of the best I've seen, with a topic which needs to be presented to young readers. A little girl decides to make a scrapbook to record the day that her family became Canadians. Xiao Ling Li's soon-to-be-born new sibling won't get to experience this memorable ceremony because she or he will be born Canadian. The story is told very effectively in the voice of the young girl, and Song Nan Zhang's illustrations for the book suit the scrapbook storyline.
From Far and Wide gives the reader a clear picture of what a citizenship ceremony might be like for new Canadians. The inclusion of the "Oath of Citizenship" and the words to "O Canada" both in French and English could prove to be a valuable resource. The discussion of Canada's coat of arms was a nice touch. The book goes beyond being just an interesting story to provide a lot of information. The section "To Be A Canadian" is particularly interesting for readers and will be helpful for classroom discussions. A nice read, From Far and Wide will be a good starting point for discussions of immigration, multiculturalism, Heritage and Canada Day.
Catherine Hoyt is the Curator of the Eileen Wallace Children's Literature Collection at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, NB.
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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.