CM Archive
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Bobbie Kalman.

Toronto, Crab tree Publishing, c1981.
64pp, paperbound boards, $11.15 (paperbound boards), $7.95 (paper).
ISBN 0-86505-002-3 (paperbound boards), 0-86505-004-X (paper).

Grades 4 and up.
Reviewed by Lorraine Douglas.

Volume 10 Number 4.
1982 November.

This title from the Early Settler Life series is intended to describe the way of life of Canadian pioneers through a thematic approach. This volume covers the development of stores including specialty stores such as apothecaries, market and barter systems, and types of merchandise. The author-photographer has used sepia-coloured photographs taken in historic villages with models simulating activities of the past, but there is no mention in the text of the site depicted nor that contemporary people are posing. The accompanying captions are often of little value, for example one picture is captioned "Debbie loves to work in the store... All her friends, including many good-looking young men, drop into the store regularly." Many pictures are superfluous especially those taken of very cute children engaged in even cuter activities. The only illustrative material of value are the archival items, which are un-credited and are sometimes given fictionalized captions like "Mrs. Gibson is choosing material for a new dress while her husband chats with some friends by the stove." The text of the book is often as patronizing and sexist as the illustrations as it is filled with anecdotes and fictions. An index and glossary accompany this easy-to-read item, but children needing illustrations of early Canadian life are better served by C.W. Jefferys's series of The Picture Gallery of Canadian History.

Lorraine Douglas, Winnipeg P. L., Winnipeg, MB.
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