________________ CM . . . . Volume IX Number 18. . . . May 9, 2003

cover Across Canada: Puzzles, Games and Activities from Sea to Sea.

Jeff Sinclair.
Markham, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2003.
46 pp., pbk., $6.99.
ISBN 0-7791-1413-2.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

*** /4


Manitoba has the greatest difference between summer and winter temperatures. In the summer it has a high of 40° Celsius, and in the winter a low of 40° Celsius. That's a difference of 80°!

Filled with a variety of fun activities, this book will keep readers busy for quite awhile. The book begins with a brief overview of Canada. One page is devoted to each province or territory, complete with the province's flag and plenty of trivia. Following each province's featured page is a game, puzzle or quiz which pertains to that province. For example, a word scramble composed of important words from the Northwest Territories page reinforces the names of explorers, animals and places. However, not all of the activities are "educational." Some are purely for fun, such as mazes and a snakes and ladders type game. The activities also vary in their level of difficulty. "Spot the differences," mazes and word searches are a little easier than the rebus and hink pinks, which require more creative thinking. One interesting activity asks students to match the famous culinary delight with its province of origin. Nanaimo bars, Lunenburg lobster bisque and Summerside spuds are just a few. Answers to all activities are provided at the back of the book.

     The text is written in a kid-friendly style, the focus being on the activities rather than an in-depth study of Canada. Trivia is almost as varied as the types of puzzles- from fascinating facts about lakes, cities and famous people to lesser known facts, such as Waterdown, Ontario's claim to fame, the world's longest gum wrapper chain. One very minor flaw in the book is that the pages that describe a prospector's supplies during the Klondike gold rush use Imperial measurement. Cartoon illustrations are amusing, colourful and appealing.

     Unfortunately, the activities are not reproducible without a license. This has implications for classroom teachers. However, the book would be perfect for a car trip or a rainy day at the cottage.


Gail Hamilton is a teacher-librarian at Bird's Hill School in East St. Paul, 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