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Sallows, Reuben and John de Visser.

Text by Jock Carroll. Toronto, Methuen, c1984. 120pp, cloth, $29.95, ISBN 0-458-97900-7. CIP

Grades 7 and up
Reviewed by Jack Brown

Volume 13 Number 2
1985 March

This book presents old and new images, which together provide a fascinating glimpse of Ontario agriculture through the years.

The seventy-five early photos were printed from glass negatives made by Sallows about ninety years ago. Most of them are action shots that show activities involving all members of the farm family. There are scenes of gathering sap, making syrup, mowing hay, watering horses, planting crops, ploughing the land, sharpening the scythe, killing a turkey, separating cream, drying apples, thawing the wooden pump, picking berries, harvesting crops, sprouting potatoes, cutting wood, hauling logs, washing sheep, butchering a pig, feeding poultry, operating a portable sawmill, raising a barn, keeping bees and filling a silo. These old images are well composed, sharp in detail and large enough to encourage careful study.

The sixty-five recent colour photos are a rich counterpoint to the archival images, and they show that De Visser is a master photographer both in artistry and in technique. However, a greater variety of human activities and less attention to pastoral scenery would have emphasized the theme of continuity with change. A nine-page text, about land, people, crops, animals and buildings, by Carroll does well what can be done to trace Ontario's agricultural history in such limited space. This book should have wide appeal and is recommended for school and public libraries.

Jack Brown, Kingston C.V.I., Kingston, Ont.
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