CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Deborah A. Gordanier.
Illustrated by Florent Busschaert.

Inverary (ON), R. B. Prints, c1982.
Distributed by R. B. Prints, R. R. #2, Inverary, ON, K0H1x0.
55pp, paper, $10.95.
ISBN 0-9691149-0-7.

Grades 7 and up.
Reviewed by Jack Brown.

Volume 11 Number 2.
1983 March.

This is another book to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the construction of the Rideau Canal, built to connect Kingston and Bytown. It is intended to provide a visual record of landscapes and activities representative of its early days. There are twenty-nine pages of text highlighting essential history without overwhelming the reader with detail. This can be an obvious advantage, but the information provided about any specific community is severely limited. The main strength of the book is its twenty full-page paintings, most of them in colour. They show detail of old mills, locks, and settlements as they used to be, the results of painstaking research with historical documents, old photographs, and shared memories. The landscapes reflect the constantly changing needs of society and lend greater appreciation of the area's rich heritage.

Florent C. Busschaert was born in Belgium in 1922 and has been in Canada since 1951, devoting full time to painting since 1971. For the past twenty-six years he has lived beside the Rideau a few kilometres north of Kingston. He has travelled the length of the canal, making sketches and visiting local residents to gather historical data. His illustrations make this book valuable as a reference source in libraries and schools even though it is not nearly as comprehensive as the subject deserves.

Jack Brown, Kingston C. V. I., Kingston, ON.
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