________________ CM . . . . Volume V Number 17 . . . . April 23, 1999

cover Life in Early Canada.

Montreal, PQ: National Film Board of Canada, 1997.
65 min., 55 sec., VHS, $19.95.
Order Number: C9189 211.

Subject Headings:
Pioneer children-Canada-Juvenile films.
Frontier and pioneer life-Canada-Juvenile films.

Grades 2-6 / Ages 7-11.
Review by Ian Stewart.

**** /4

The world of Upper and Lower Canada and the Prairie West are seen through the eyes of children in this collection of seven animated stories. The tales of 19th century life are seven to thirteen minutes in length and focus on particular themes. They are well suited to many early years social studies programs and will easily cross over into language arts.

      "Emily's Journey" tells the story of a young girl's adventures as she travels from her small village to Quebec City and uses many different kinds of transportation: canoe, horse and buggy, paddle-wheel steamer and train. Family life on an Upper Canada homestead, children's chores, food preparation and clothing are delightfully explained in "Jamie Really Liked to Eat" and "Wooly's Gift." The "New School House" shows how everyone joined together to build a school for the children and how the building was also a focal point for the community's social activities. In her first teaching job, plucky Ella, 17, has to prove herself to the school trustees and her pupils in "New School Teacher." After his father died on the hard sea voyage from England to Canada, 12-year-old Henry, of "Henry Settles in Upper Canada," looks for work and discovers the many crafts of the village artisans. After they leave their home in Peterborough to settle in the newly opened West, Tom and his family face many hardships in "Homesteading on the Prairies."

      This video was previewed by a class of ten and twelve year old boys. They are a tough audience who are usually more into Nintendo, WWF and movie mayhem. However, they enjoyed every episode, and a great deal of discussion was generated. What more can be said!

Highly Recommended.

Ian Stewart is a regular contributor to CM and to the book review page of the Winnipeg Free Press.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364