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Precious, Carole.

Markham (Ont.), Fitzhenry & Whiteside, c1984. 63pp, paper, $4.95, ISBN 0-88902-686-6. (The Canadians) CIP

Grades 5 and up
Reviewed by Jo Anna Burns Patton

Volume 13 Number 3
1985 May

As part of the continuing Canadians series, this title takes an in-depth look at one of Canada's inventors, the father of the skidoo. J. Armand Bombardier, a native of Valcourt, Quebec, was a mechanical wizard. At an early age, he was well known to townspeople because of his unusual inventions. At the age of fourteen, he had designed his first snowmobile, but it was not until he was twenty years old that he sold his first snow vehicle. This easy reading account of Bombardier goes on to trace his life and growth of his company, decribing and illustrating the various types of snow vehicles he created, culminating in the skidoo in the 1960s. From his early efforts, Bombardier created snow vehicles to transport everything from school children to logs to military troops.

Although this is an easy read, there are some minor flaws. Occasionally, an illustration is not related to the text on the same page. A young reader may become so involved in the illustration that the text may be forgotten. In at least one example, an illustration is not identified. In a few instances, the illustration of a vehicle is given, but it is identified by a name different than the one given in the text.

Irrespective of these few flaws, the text is researched well by the author, who has made a special study of Canadian inventors and inventions. The book is also generously illustrated with black-and-white photographs of Bombardier's inventions. In addition to an index, the book also includes a brief bibliography and a list of suggested projects. For public or school libraries interested in developing a Canadian history collection, this would be a recommended purchase.

Jo Anna Burns Patton, Cote St. Luc P.L, Cote St. Luc, Que.
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