An introduction to Canada

The book Hey Canada by Vivien Bowers runs into a common pitfall: a topic as broad as Canada is difficult to cover in any depth while maintaining interest and readability for youth.

Fictional characters Gran, Cal, and Alice take on a trip across Canada, visiting every province, territory, and capitol city. Each province or territory is introduced with it’s flower and bird along with an list of items to find there. Side notes include “Cal’s Tweets,” “Hamster Updates,” “Cal’s Historial U-turns (graphic vignettes),” and “It’s The Truth!” provide additional information.

While a trip seems like a good method of introducing a country, there is too much text spent tying the travel plot line together, and too little information about Canada itself. For example, the travelers visit the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa. “We walked through the Canada Hall, which goes through a thousand years of Canadian history. Cal zoomed through his historical tour at warp speed, then spent the rest of the time going up and down the escalators. Gran took two hours for her tour. She came out looking bug-eyed.” At the surface a “personal” tour of Canada seems appealing, however a longer book with more detail, designed to be browsed will be more enjoyable.

Book reviewed provided by Tundra Books.

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2 thoughts on “An introduction to Canada

  1. Coming East says:

    It sounds as if the author was trying too hard to come with a way to draw kids into a study of a country. I think kids would enjoy a non-fiction book on the subject better, with more details and pictures.

  2. Coming East says:

    Oh, one caveat to my comment: If the author would have included vampires, trolls, and danger in each chapter, I think it might have worked.

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