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Mastin, Colleayn O.
Illustrated by Jan Sovak Kamloops (B.C.), Grasshopper Books, 1994. 32pp, paper,
ISBN 1-895910-05-6 (paper) $9.95, ISBN 1-895910-02-1 (cloth) $17.95. (Nature Canada). CIP


Mastin, Colleayn O.
Illustrated by Jan Sovak Kamloops (B.C.), Grasshopper Books, 1994. 32pp, paper,
ISBN 1-895910-04-8 (paper) $9.95, ISBN 1-895910-01-3 (cloth) $17.95. (Nature Canada). CIP


Mastin, Colleayn O.
Illustrated by Jan Sovak Kamloops (B.C.), Grasshopper Books, 1994. 32pp, paper,
ISBN 1-895910-03-X (paper) $9.95, ISBN 1-895910-00-5 (cloth) $17.95. (Nature Canada). All distributed by Raincoast Books. CIP

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11

Reviewed by Hugh A. Cook

Volume 22 Number 6
1994 November / December

When I first perused these books I was delighted at what I saw. The two verses that accompany each topic are not literary masterpieces but they are fun to read, and they give the reader some insight into a few of the characteristics of the topic that follows. The colour illustrations are exceptionally well done. They occupy most of a page and sometimes spread over to the adjoining page. The stories and poems are generally interlaced with the pictures. I felt happy that I would easily be able to recommend all three titles.

Then I took a second and more thorough look, and the errors in form and presentation are numerous. I will endeavour to list a few so that hopefully more care will be taken with future publications. In Wild Animals, under Moose, the text does not state that only male, or bull, moose have the bell. However, a question at the end of the book asks, "Which of the male forest animals has a bell...."

In Canadian Trees under Fir, the last sentence of the second-last paragraph states that the caribou eat the branches rather than the lichen. Is that what was intended? Under Cedar, the first sentence discusses the use the West Coast Indians made of the great cedars. Why is there a reference to "birch bark canoes"?

In the poem under Tulip Tree, the word "poplar" is used, but in the paragraph section "pine" is used. According to Trees of the Eastern and Central United States and Canada, the tulip tree is also known as the yellow poplar, not the yellow pine. I could find no reference to a tree called yellow pine. In the tree quiz at the end of the book there are seven questions but only six answers. The answer to number 6 was omitted.

I truly regret that more attention has not been given to the editing of these books. The format is interesting and the visual presentation is most pleasing to the eye. Unfortunately, many sentences were poorly constructed, and several paragraphs included more than one major idea. Hopefully the next in the series will be more carefully prepared.

Recommended with reservations.

Hugh A. Cook (Maple, Ontario) is a retired North York elementary librarian

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