CM . . .
. Volume IX Number 2 . . . . September 20, 2002
Touted as a kind of gazetteer of Canada's provinces and territories, this book provides readers with a wealth of information. Each chapter consists of a map, a brief description of the province's geographical areas, a time line of major historical events and biographical notes on some of the province's most famous people, both past and present. There is also information about the culture, industry, cities and towns and government. Recipes, ranging from British Columbia's Nanaimo Bars to Nunavut's Caribou Chili and Newfoundland's Figgy Duff, are also included. The chapter concludes with a "facts at a glance" page, providing readers with the provincial emblem, motto, flower, area, population and other pertinent information. Sometimes, the lyrics to a famous song, written about the province and often sung by its inhabitants, are provided as well. Though the information presented between the book's covers can usually be found in other similar texts, what sets this book apart from the rest is the inclusion of little-known interesting facts. For example, the author whose book was the basis for the movie The King and I once lived in Nova Scotia. A dictionary of Newfoundland slang adds a light touch of humor to the text while a poem containing unique place names from New Brunswick offers readers a tongue twisting challenge. The only minuscule flaw in an otherwise excellent book is the questionable inclusion of some famous people and the exclusion of others who are, perhaps, more deserving of mention.
A table of contents, an index and a bibliography are provided. The text is written at an upper elementary/junior high level and contains just enough information to sustain the reader's interest and to be useful for general research. Abundant present day and archival photographs, as well as original illustrations, add visual interest while bands of colour, indicating subheadings for each chapter, unify the text. A valuable resource for any library or classroom.
Gail Hamilton is a teacher-librarian at Bird's Hill School in East St. Paul, MB.
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