CM . . .
. Volume IX Number 16. . . . April 11, 2003
Argentina has some of the largest cattle farms in the world. The cows are looked after by South American cowboys called gauchos.
Very basic, the Kids' Canadian Atlas is targeted toward young readers just beginning to use this type of resource. The book begins with great promise, introducing the concept of a map being a bird's eye view and the concept of legend. However, the remainder of the book falls a bit short of the mark. For example, a very brief explanation of scale and direction follows the introduction and barely skims the surface. (More information would be required if this book were to be used with slightly older children.) Continents or specific areas of the world (e.g. Southeast Asia) are featured on double-page spreads. The map of the continent appears in the middle, with only countries, major rivers, and capital and very large cities shown. Major land forms and natural vegetation are depicted by symbols presented in the legend at the beginning of the book. A coloured band, showing distance in kilometers, in 500 km increments, appears across the bottom of each page, but since it always starts at zero km on the left-hand side of the page rather than where the map begins, very young children will have a bit of difficulty figuring out how large the country is. Surrounding each map are coloured, cartoon-like illustrations with speech bubbles explaining facts pertaining to the area featured. Fact File boxes provide specific statistics such as largest city, highest mountain, population, etc. The section on Canada, consisting of eight pages, contains information on Canada's provinces and territories, tourist attractions, occupations and wildlife, as well as a timeline of historical events (the title of this heading, "The Story of Canada," is a bit of a misnomer as there are only a dozen dates on the timeline). A table of contents and an index are included. Youngsters will find the text large, simple and easy to comprehend, and the illustrations appealing. As a beginning atlas, this book is all right for small children, but, obviously, has limited use.
Gail Hamilton is a teacher-librarian at Bird's Hill School in East St. Paul, 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.