________________ CM . . . . Volume VII Number 21 . . . . June 22, 2001

Eye on Canada.

Harry Beckett.
Calgary, AB: Weigl (Distributed by Saunders Book Company), 2001.
32 pp., cloth, $23.95.

Grades 3 - 5 / Ages 8 - 10.
Review by Joan Simpson.



Nova Scotia.

ISBN 1-896990-87-8.

Subject Heading:
Nova Scotia-Juvenile literature.

*** /4



ISBN 1-896990-79-7.

Subject Heading:
Manitoba-Juvenile literature.

*** /4


Newfoundland & Labrador.

ISBN 1-896990-83-5.

Subject Heading:
Newfoundland-Juvenile literature.

*** /4

With the establishment of Nunavut, many of our books about Canada have become dated. The "Eye on Canada" series portrays the unique character of each province optimistically and in a busy format. For example, the problems of unemployment and closure of the fisheries in Newfoundland are stated but tempered by the hope for prosperity from the Hibernia project. The problems facing Manitoba farmers are not mentioned. Information on boundaries and famous people is very current. (Newfoundland and Labrador included the resignation of Brian Tobin; Manitoba, singer Chantal Kreviazuk.) Two coloured columns of quick facts at the gutter of each double page highlight interesting although sometimes obscure facts. For example, from Manitoba, p.7: "The city of Flin Flon may have been named for Professor Josiah Flinabbatey Flonatin, a character in a science fiction novel titled 'The Sunless City' by E. Preston Muddock." Small illustrative uncaptioned photographs often burst through the boundaries of these columns. The main text surrounds larger captioned photographs that are often superimposed on one another. The content is similar to other series books on the provinces ("Let's Discover Canada," "Discover Canada," "Hello Canada" and "Journey Across Canada") - general overview, natural resources, industry, politics, history and cultural activities. The emblem of each province with the motto and shield is included on the title page, but few other symbols are illustrated except for Newfoundland and Labrador, although they are identified. Bold words in the texts are explained in brief glossaries. References include Web sites. The books are indexed. There is a page of trivia questions with answers in small inverted text at the bottom of the page. A double page map of Canada with statistics on each province is included in each book to facilitate comparisons. Because the reading level of this series is only slightly higher than that of "Journey Across Canada," it will be useful in the western provinces if the proposed Western Protocol for Social Studies is implemented. Unfortunately, sometimes the text does read like a student report. "There are many ways to get to the centre of Canada. Major airlines fly to Winnipeg International Airport, and other towns in the province have airstrips that smaller aircraft can use." (Manitoba, p.5) or "The main mineral resource in Nova Scotia is coal. There are also deposits of salt and construction minerals such as sand, gypsum, and gravel in the province." (Nova Scotia, p.9). No information on the authority of the author was provided, but I did not notice any errors.


Joan Simpson is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364