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The Big Book of Canada (Updated Edition):…
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The Big Book of Canada (Updated Edition): Exploring the Provinces and…

by Christopher Moore

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Beginning with Newfoundland & Labrador, this colorful reference book profiles each of Canada's provinces and territories from East to West and back again, ending with its newest territory, Nunavut. Each article includes a stylized map of the province or territory, a description of its landscape, a chronology of significant events in its history, a description of the people groups that make up its population, a recipe for a popular local dish, a description of its significant cities and landmarks, a description of its important jobs and industries, a list of famous people associated with the province/territory, a description and history of its government, a list of facts such as the population, growth rate, area, and highest point, and a quirky story or fact about the province. The list of books for further reading suggests several books for each province/territory for a juvenile audience. Photographs and other illustrations are included in the index.

The text is informative, and the illustrations and layout are visually appealing. The maps are the only negative in an otherwise outstanding book. The “on the map” section of each profile that describes the major cities and landmarks is placed several pages after the map that appears on the first page of the profile. I had to flip back and forth from the description to the map. Occasionally one of the landmarks wasn't identifiable on the map.

This book would be a good addition to libraries serving upper elementary and middle school students. All Canadian libraries should have a copy of this book, and many US libraries will find it useful as well.

This review is based on a complimentary copy provided by the publisher through LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program. ( )
  cbl_tn | Jun 24, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I enjoyed the book, but I need to be honest: when I requested it, I thought it was a new novel by the other Christopher Moore. When it arrived in the mail, I was surprised to see it really was a large book, and actually about Canada. But I like Canada. This book seems like a great primer for any adult curious about Canada (or inadequately-informed American) or as a resource for school projects. The book is divided into chapters, each covering one of Canada's Provinces and Territories. The coverage seems good - there's a map of each area in the beginning with points of interest, then sections on politics, history, culture, people, geography, local highlights, and a regional timeline. The index was very useful too to skip around looking up things I already knew about Canada. The only complaint I have is one I commonly have with books like this: there is no complete map of Canada (other than on the front and back cover). Otherwise this is a nice book with lots of photos and illustrations. Not very many vampires or grim reapers though.
1 vote herzogbr | Jun 9, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I was born in Canada but moved away before starting school, so I didn't learn much Canadian history or geography in school. I picked up a bit here and there, but am always interested in finding good books to aid in this learning process. So I was thrilled to be given this book through the Early Reviewers program! For each province and territory it gives important historical information, interesting segments on famous people and places, facts about cities and business, and more. Interesting illustrations, photos and recipes add to the pleasant reading experience. A great addition to our home library! ( )
  dutchgirldtd | Jun 8, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I really enjoyed reading The Big Book of Canada. It was up to date information about all 10 provinces and the three territories. The illustrations by Bill Slavin were appropriate to the topics and made map reading easy. I learned quite a few things about Canada and was pleased that the author mentioned things that were controversial without taking sides. The only problem I had with the text was that there were a couple of times when the sentence structure was a bit awkward, but not enough to be a problem. In general the text is very easy to read and suitable for school children to use for projects. Enjoy! ( )
  jotoyo | May 30, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This gazetteer is delightful, not only because of the information it includes, but because of the addition of charming illustrations by Bill Slavin. For each province and territory, you will find a brief history, a report on the geography of the region, biographies of some famous residents, a timeline (called “Moments”), a sketch of the ethnic groups living there, a description of the work they do, a look at local government, a page of trivia, and a page with something extra, unique to the area. It may be a local recipe (examples include Figgy duff, nanaimo bars, blueberry grunt, and bannock - I read about bannock all the time, but never knew how to make it!), or amusing place names (Skoodawabskooksis in New Brunswick!), the regional official song or a characteristic poem, or as with Newfoundland, a fun selection of regional vocabulary - who knew “dumbledore” meant “bumblebee” or that blind man’s bluff is called “bonna winkie”?

Best of all, the facts included are not dry at all; the author did an outstanding job in reporting essentials in an engaging way, as well as including very fun additional information. I loved learning about Ogopogo - the creature in Lake Okanagan in British Columbia; where one might find the only place outside the Arctic you can spot the white beluga whale; a description of the various “daredevils of Niagara” who have performed stunts over Niagara Falls (such as going over in a barrel); background on the sport of curling; and the fact that Canola oil was actually invented by Canadians (or even the fact that canola is a “crop”). And how could I not know the names for the stone markers I see all the time? It turns out names for Inuit stone markers include “Inuksuk” “Aulaqut” “Niugvaliruluit), and “Pirujaqarvik” to name just some of them.

As if all that is in the book couldn’t keep you entertained for a very long time, an annotated list is given for more books about or set in each area. (Naturally, for Prince Edward Island the Anne of Green Gables books are listed prominently.)

Evaluation: This book will provide hours of entertainment and enlightenment, and is perfect for people like me who harbor shame over not knowing much about our neighbor to the north, even while professing the desire to move there. ( )
1 vote nbmars | May 30, 2017 |
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