CM . . .
. Volume IX Number 1 . . . . September 6, 2002
Jo Bannatyne-Cugnet and Yvette Moore have once again collaborated on another beautiful tribute to the prairies in the tradition of their best-selling A Prairie Alphabet (Tundra, 1992) and A Prairie Year (Tundra, 1994). Heartland is divided into thematic sections featuring the area which stretches over three thousand miles from northern Alberta to central Texas. Topics such as the Native peoples and the first settlers, foods, topography, animals, recreation, industry and agriculture are included. The writing style is straightforward and very readable, and the author often draws on personal anecdotes. For example, in the weather section she explains what hail is and that the Canadian record hailstone weighed 2/3 of a pound (290 gm) and fell near her family's farm in Weyburn, Saskatchewan! (The text includes both imperial and metric measures.) Bannatyne-Cugnet also describes many unique aspects of prairie life not covered in other books like the history of the truck on the prairies and how the Cree create their art form of Birch-bark biting.
Award-winning artist Yvette Moore has created full-colour acrylic paintings in her very intricate and realistic style. The cover illustrations are set in a twelve-patch quilt design perfectly reflecting the book's theme that the prairies are like a sampler of repeated patterns and colours embroidered with details. Children, as well as adults and seniors, will enjoy the fidelity of the paintings as they so accurately and artistically portray the prairie world. Both the paintings and content combine to give us warm and intimate glimpses of life in this celebration of prairie people and places.
Lorraine Douglas is the Youth Services Coordinator for the Winnipeg Public Library in Winnipeg, MB.
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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.