Friday, June 28, 2013

Shelf Life Kids

Monday July 1 is Canada Day.  To mark this holiday, which will commemorate our country’s 146th birthday, two recent books about Canada are highlighted.
Canada’s Immigrant Cultures by the editors of Weigl Publishing, 32 pages.
@ SPL: J 971.004 Can

Canada is a nation with a rich multicultural heritage.

Two main groups have played important roles in Canada’s development: Canada’s First Nations peoples and immigrants from many countries, beginning with France and Britain. As this book explains, many diverse cultures have helped to shape our country.  New immigrants continue to arrive each year: of Canada’s current population of about 34 million people, close to 20% were born outside of the country.

Why do immigrants come to Canada?  What circumstances would cause a family to move to a different country where new friends, housing, employment and schooling must be found – and a new culture and perhaps a new language learned?  

The answers can be found in this book, which explores the causes of immigration, how new immigrants to Canada are approved and what they face upon arriving here. A timeline which outlines Canada’s immigration history since 1605 (when Samuel de Champlain established the Port-Royal settlement) is included.  Often-asked questions and concerns about immigration (eg. “How should immigrant groups be assimilated into Canadian culture?” and “Do immigrants take jobs away from Canadian residents?”) are addressed.

This readable, concise and informative book explores the very relevant issue of immigration from both historical and contemporary perspectives.

** Recommended for ages 8 to 12 years.

The Canadian Shield Alphabet by Myrna Guymer, 32 pages.
@ SPL: JP Guy

The Canadian Shield covers over 50% of our country’s total land area. Myrna Guymer’s picture book takes readers on a colourful tour of this fascinating landscape, using the alphabet to organize various features and concepts which make this area such a distinct, diverse part of Canada.

Readers will be introduced to wildlife such as muskox, otters, jackrabbits and polar bears; to flora such as the bearberry shrub (also known as “kinnikinnik”), to special transportation methods used in this region such as tundra buggies, dog sleds; to kookums, qasgiqs and ulus and many more aspects of life on the Canadian Shield.

The area’s distinctive history is also addressed.  What was a York Boat; who were David Thomson, Alexander Mackenzie and “Jackrabbit Johannsen”; and what are pemmican, petroglyphs and pictographs? The Canadian Shield Alphabet delves into the people, events and culture which form the rich heritage of this region.

Myrna Guymer’s picture book provides an attractive, instructive introduction to a part of Canada which may be relatively unknown to children in southwestern Ontario.  A Saskatchewan resident, Guymer has travelled extensively by canoe and plane in the Canadian Shield.  Illustrator RoseMarie Condon lives on the edge of the Shield in Fenelon Falls, Ontario.  

** Recommended for ages 5 to 10 years.

“Happy Canada Day” to all!

This review appears in The Stratford Gazette on June 27, 2013. Written by Sally Hengeveld, Librarian.

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