________________ CM . . . . Volume XI Number 19 . . . . May 27, 2005

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John Cabot. (Discovering Canada).

Galadriel Watson.
Calgary, AB: Weigl Educational Publishers (Distributed by Saunders Book Company), 2005.
32 pp., cloth, $26.95.
ISBN 1-55388-065-X.

Subject Headings:
Cabot, John, d. 1498?-Juvenile literature.
Canada-Discovery and exploration-British-Juvenile literature.
Explorers-Great Britain-Biography-Juvenile literature.
Explorers-Canada-Biography-Juvenile literature.

Grades 5-8 / Ages 10-13.

Review by Ian Stewart.

***½ /4

   
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Jacques Cartier. (Discovering Canada).

Heather C. Hudak.
Calgary, AB: Weigl Educational Publishers (Distributed by Saunders Book Company), 2005.
32 pp., cloth, $26.95.
ISBN 1-55388-110-9.

Subject Headings:
Cartier, Jacques, 1491-1557-Juvenile literature.
Canada-Discovery and exploration-French-Juvenile literature.
Explorers-France-Biography-Juvenile literature.
Explorers-Canada-Biography-Juvenile literature.

Grades 5-8 / Ages 10-13.

Review by Ian Stewart.

***½ /4

   
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Henry Hudson. (Discovering Canada).

Erinn Banting.
Calgary, AB: Weigl Educational Publishers (Distributed by Saunders Book Company), 2005.
32 pp., cloth, $26.95.
ISBN 1-55388-066-8.

Subject Headings:
Hudson, Henry, d. 1611?-Juvenile literature.
Canada-Discovery and exploration-British-Juvenile literature.
Explorers-Great Britain-Biography-Juvenile literature.
Explorers-Canada-Biography-Juvenile literature.

Grades 5-8 / Ages 10-13.

Review by Ian Stewart.

***½ /4

   
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Samuel de Champlain. (Discovering Canada).

Heather C. Hudak.
Calgary, AB: Weigl Educational Publishers (Distributed by Saunders Book Company), 2005.
32 pp., cloth, $26.95.
ISBN 1-55388-064-1.

Subject Headings:
Champlain, Samuel de, 1567-1635-Juvenile literature.
Canada-Discovery and exploration-French-Juvenile literature.
Explorers-France-Biography-Juvenile literature.
Explorers-Canada-Biography-Juvenile literature.

Grades 5-8 / Ages 10-13.

Review by Ian Stewart.

***½ /4

   

excerpt:

There were many difficulties living on ships. Sailors were often fearful of many things. The Atlantic Ocean was called the "Sea of Darkness." Sailors believed it was the home to monsters and other unknown creatures. Sailors did not know how to swim so falling overboard meant certain death. Often, sailors were unsure where they were traveling or who they would meet when they reached their destination... Storms battered the ships... In the leaking wet ships food quickly rotted.... Many sailors suffered-and died- from scurvy a disease caused by the lack of vitamin C... Crew members were brutally punished for wrongdoings... (From John Cabot.)

 

This four-volume set of biographies will be greatly appreciated by social studies teachers. They are all well crafted, and each contains a treasure chest of information which students will find interesting and challenging. In the 16th and 17th centuries, many explorer-adventurers came to North America, hoping to find riches and glory. The four explorers studied in this series are all premier figures in the early history of Canadian exploration and are representative of English, French and Italian endeavors in the New World. Each made important contributions: John Cabot was the first European to set foot in Canada since the Vikings; Cartier sailed down the St. Lawrence, Hudson explored Hudson Strait, Hudson's Bay and the coast of the United States, Champlain established the first permanent settlements in Canada, eventually became colonial governor and is generally known by the sobriquet, "Father of New France." We know a little about the early life of the Cabot who was a merchant, expert navigator and mapmaker. Very little is known about the early lives of Cartier, Hudson and Champlain. Students will learn that they were all born in small seaport towns and aspired to life at sea. They all became master navigators and captains and received commissions from their kings or the fledgling trading companies before setting sail for the New World with only the rudimentary navigational tools of the day. Life, students learn, was hard and extraordinarily dangerous on the small leaky ships the explorers used to ply the frigid waters of the North Atlantic and the Arctic. Students are given a great deal of information on the ships and the horrid conditions in which the sick, scared and often mutinous sailors worked and were forced to experience. The volumes contains a table of contents, a timeline of important dates and events related to the specific explorer profiled in the volume as well as the general exploration of the new world, a glossary of terms, an activity such as making hardtack, a compass, or a rutter, websites and a glossary of terms. The combination of excellent illustrations and massive amounts of supremely interesting information makes this set of books highly recommendable.

Highly Recommended

Ian Stewart teaches at David Livingstone School in Winnipeg, MB.

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

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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