DISCOVER CANADA: ALBERTA
Reviewed by Brenda Reed
Reviewed by Brenda Reed
Volume 20 Number 3
Grolier's new series of books on Canada and its provinces and territories will be a worthwhile complement to The Canadian Encyclopedia (Hurtig, 1988) and its junior version. In addition to the four books published in 1991, there will be four more available in the spring and fall of this year. Two final volumes, Canada: The Land and Canada: The People, will be published in the spring of 1993.
The books are visually appealing, with attractive, shiny covers featuring a large colour photograph of some area of the tide province. Each volume is firmly bound and looks capable of withstanding heavy use. The texts are printed on glossy paper, and the layout of the pages is impressive. Almost every page includes one or more colour photographs, and each chapter is divided into sections introduced with a title in bold print. The photographs, excellent reproductions that have been thoughtfully integrated with appropriate text, will draw readers to the books. The photographs are clearly labelled, and they represent realistically the life and land of each province.
The organization of each book is similar, although the amount of detail given to the key topics varies. Topics common to each text include geography, history, government, arts, sports and the economy. In the chapters on the history and the economy, attention is given to the development of industry, with emphasis on why particular industries developed where they did.
Each book has an adequate subject index, but no bibliography. At the end of each book is a section called "Facts at a Glance," which provides notes and statistics under such headings as "provincial bird," "population," "geography," "nature" and "government." This section often repeats information found in the main text - wasteful in a short book with an index. The four other appendices are more appropriate: important dates, important people (including black-and-white photographs of many), premiers of the province, and maps of Canada and the province. The map section includes provincial maps that indicate average annual rainfall, growing season, economy, and agriculture.
The author of each book has lived in the province he or she writes about, and historian Desmond Morton is a consultant for the series. Each title also has a consultant linked to the education system in that province. The four books published thus far are written in a straightforward fashion, with the focus on presenting information. The illustrations will encourage browsing, and the ease of access to the written information will help students cope with their assignments.
Brenda Reed, Bishop's College School, Lennoxville, Que.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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