CM . . .
. Volume XIII Number 4 . . . . October 13, 2006
Teachers and librarians are often looking for material for younger children about Canada whether it is to support English as an Additional Language studies, as a basis for primary grade discussions about our country or just to inspire a little nationalism.
Scholastic Canada has published this book of splendid colour photographs of children going about their daily lives. Each picture is captioned with a two or three-word phrase describing the activity or emotion depicted.
No one could deny the energy of the subjects or the celebratory nature of the book. The only problem is that there is very little here that is really about Canada, barring a few red and white flags and a handful of maple leaves in one fall shot. The book is more a free-form poem to childhood with a nod to the values of freedom and healthy living and a whisper of multiculturalism.
The photographs are mostly stock from photo archives, although some have been taken specifically for this project. The whole has the feeling of being a publication commissioned to fill a need rather than an artist's concept. Heather Patterson is also the author of Thanks for Thanksgiving (Scholastic, 1998) and A Poppy is to Remember (Scholastic, 2004).
I am Canada would be a great discussion starter with younger children and useful for language development and word play exercises. What I am not sure of is that it will be in great demand on Canada Day.
Ellen Heaney is the Head of Children's Services at the New Westminster Public Library, New Westminster, BC.
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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.