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Malaher, Gerald.

Winnipeg. Hyperion Press, c1984. 176pp, paperbound boards, $24.95, ISBN 0-9205M-23-6. CIP

Grades 10 and up
Reviewed by Robin Lewis

Volume 13 Number 3
1985 May

These "charming vignettes" form one of the better such collections facilitated by recent Canada Council grants. Malaher, forest ranger, agricultural school instructor, map maker, ultimately became director of the Manitoba game and fisheries branch of the department of natural resources. His practical experience and his smooth writing style have combined to produce an enjoyable book.

Short chapters tell of Malaher's personal adventures, describe people, or explain work on various conservation projects. Various topics flow smoothly into each other in an account generally following the developing life, and life-work, of one man.

"The Summerberry Project" repopulated a wilderness area with muskrat. Malaher's concern for indigenous people and for the preservation and enhancement of wildlife resources was remarkable. His statistics and photographs make this particular essay one of the best short accounts of a Canadian conservation project.

The concise descriptions of pioneer use of aircraft, homing pigeons, and moose tagging are also excellent, as they provide factual details in the form of pleasantly-told tales.

A comprehensive index helps locate specific items. An unusual index map, keyed to show the locale of many stories, will help readers unfamiliar with the northern Manitoba wilderness. The many black-and-white photographs feature interesting people, as well as things, from a twentieth-century pioneer environment. One of the nine colour pictures is a spectacular view of land erosion caused by a hydro project that flooded an area of permafrost.

This book is for you if you are interested in ecology, geography, or Canadian history. It is also for anyone who would like good stories written by a man who loved the North, and loved life.

Robin Lewis, Riverdale H.S., Pierrefonds, Que.
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