________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 9 . . . . December 22, 2006


Scholastic Children’s Atlas of Canada. 

Éditions Québec Amérique.
Toronto, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2006.
64 pp., cloth, $19.99.
ISBN 0-439-97434-8.
Subject Headings:
Canada-Maps for children.
Children’s atlases.
Atlases, Canadian.
Grades 2-4 / Ages 7-9.
Review by Gail Hamilton.
*** /4


Canada has three territories: Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. These are cold lands with harsh climates and short summers. The landscapes in the territories are varied. To the south, the land is covered in dense conifer forest, dotted with lakes and rivers. Heading north, the trees disappear and give way to snow and the frozen waters of the Arctic. In the east, there are mountains and rocky landscapes. The central part consists of vast plains, while spectacular mountains rise in the west, creating vistas of stunning beauty.

Designed as a beginner’s atlas and to complement primary social studies curricula, this book owes its appeal to an attractive layout, colourful illustrations and a simple, large text font. The atlas begins with the mapping skills of legend, scale and direction, briefly explained, as well as some examples of different types of maps. Other general topics include continents and oceans, major regions of Canada, the first inhabitants, and a time line dating from Jacques Cartier’s exploration of the Gulf of St. Lawrence in 1534 to the creation of Nunavut in 1999. (Though the time line has arrows pointing to each subsequent date, the zigzag pattern might be a bit confusing to young readers.) Two double-page spreads are devoted to each province while the territories are treated as a group. A large topographical map shows the main geographical features, plants and animals as well as the provincial flower, bird, mineral and tree; a political map features the population, major cities, cultures, economy, natural resources and industry along with the provincial coat-of-arms and motto. “Did you know?” boxes provide additional trivia. The book ends with a gazetteer listing facts about Canada’s area, population, major lakes and mountain ranges, and the 10 most populated urban regions. A table of contents and a glossary are included. 

     Illustrations, consisting of drawings and photographs, are colourful and abundant and highlight the main attractions shown on the maps.  

     Though this is a great beginner’s atlas, the lower end of the age level suggested by the publisher is too low due to the atlas’s reading level. 


Gail Hamilton is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.  

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

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