THANKSGIVING DAY IN CANADA
Krys Val Lewicki
Krys Val Lewicki
Volume 21 Number 4
At last, a book to give to all those children, parents and teachers who come with questions about Canadian Thanksgiving traditions.
Krys Val Lewicki is a songwriter, musician and actor who has appeared on radio and television. He has made many recordings and was included in the book Canadian Music Fast Facts (Sparky Jefferson Productions, 1992). He has also published a book of poems. This is his first children's book.
Written in a picture-book format and colourfully illustrated, Thanksgiving Day in Canada presents the history, traditions and family values of our Canadian Thanksgiving celebrations. Aimed at seven- and eight-year-olds, it tells the story of Irene and Richard, who go with their parents to spend Thanksgiving at their grandparents.
Irene asks her grandparents why the holiday is called Thanksgiving. Grandfather then recounts the history of Thanksgiving in Canada and grandmother talks about traditional celebrations. At the end of the book are the words and music to "The Canadian Thanksgiving Song," composed by the author.
Generally, the book presents its information in an interesting way for children. But it needed more careful editing. It is a little confusing sorting out the "three" traditions behind Canada's Thanksgiving. As well, the historical background is presented in chronological order, so the history of French Canadian traditions should precede the information about the Pilgrims and how the American tradition was imported into Canada in the late 1700s by the Loyalists. For a book entitled Thanksgiving Day in Canada, the author spends too long explaining the American holiday.
A real plus for teachers who wish to use the French version in their French Immersion classes is the excellent translation by Marie-Andree Warnant-Cote, who is herself an author of children's books. It is a shame, though, that the information given on French Canadian traditions is so scanty and seems to be thrown in almost as an afterthought.
As the only book for children on Canadian Thanksgiving celebrations, this book will be helpful to teachers and to New Canadians who wish to learn about Canadian traditions. Teachers could combine it with the information in Caroline Parry's Let's Celebrate: Canada's Special Days.
Recommended for purchase by all school and public libraries.
Patricia Cooper is a children's librarian with the Brampton Public Library in Brampton, Ontario.
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