CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

R. D. Symons

Saskatoon, Western Producer Prairie Books, c1981.
80pp, paper, $8.95.
ISBN 0-88833-082-0.

Grades 3-5.
Reviewed by Elaine Atwood.

Volume 11 Number 1.
1983 January.

Various daily pioneer and home-steading activities are discussed and illustrated as Grandfather Symons talks to his grandchildren about the neighbours and friends he used to know. Each topic is complete on two facing pages: one for text; one for full-colour painting. Where possible activities are related from an ethnic point of view; the pioneer in the wheat-growing section is from the Ukraine; that in the woodcutting part, from Norway. Details of the home countries are skilfully woven into each article, giving a great deal of information but never interrupting the flow of the pioneer story. Topics are grouped two or three per month, arranged like a calendar, and conclude with a page for the reader complete with questions to think about, often suggesting the reader draw a picture.

This organization presents numerous possibilities for the language arts or social studies classroom. The entire book could be used as a pioneer unit following the suggested activities at the end of each month or throughout the year at the beginning of each month; certain monthly happenings could be chosen to represent seasonal occurrences of the times (planting in the spring, Christmas). Students could use the book for individual research as it is complete with an index; it could be read for enjoyment or given to those students who are always searching for a book "with something to do."

As explained in the introduction, the author was a pioneer of Saskatchewan and wrote the short pieces for his grandchildren to understand his early life. Many of the pieces are written from a personal point of view; others are presented as stories; all are easy to read at a grade 3 or 4 level.

Elaine Atwood, St. Albert, AB.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works