________________ CM . . . . Volume XV Number 2 . . . . September 12, 2008

cover Great Canadian Puzzles.

Illustrated by Dominique Pelletier.
Toronto, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2008.
71 pp., pbk., $5.99.
ISBN 978-0-545-99994-4.

Grades 3-7 / Ages 8-12.

Review by Dave Jenkinson.

*** /4

excerpt:

What's in a Name?

MOOSE JAW in Saskatchewan. So the legend goes, was named from the fact that a Red River cart was repaired by the jawbone of a moose found on the prairie.


Riddle, Riddle!

  1. Why do people swim in Lake Ontario?
  2. [Answer Key: because they can’t walk in it]


Jumbled Jobs
Unscramble the letters below to find jobs.

  1. TISTDNE
  2. RIETRW
  3. ...
  4. NLIARAIRB


Scrambled Names.

  1. A Canadian explorer: DNAAEEXRL EEMNKIACZ
  2. ...
  3. A Canadian author: RRBOET HMUCNS
  4.  

Word finds, mazes, secret codes, jumbled letters, hidden words, scrambled names, fill in the missing letters, riddles, logic games, making words and crossword puzzles, all having a Canadian content slant, are the stuff of Great Canadian Puzzles. The most frequently appearing “puzzle” is the crossword puzzle with Canada and each of the provinces, plus the three territories, having its own crossword that spans a pair of facing pages. Each of the crossword puzzle geographical areas has its own brief introduction. For example, the intro text for Manitoba’s crossword puzzle reads:


Rich with forests and lakes, Manitoba is known as the 'Land of 1000 Lakes.' It is bordered by Saskatchewan to the west, Nunavut to the north and Ontario to the east. Churchill, located in the north, is known as the “polar bear capital of the world,” and in the winter months you can watch polar bears as they come down from the Arctic. Louis Riel, a famous Métis leader, led the Red River Rebellion in 1870.

 

      Each crossword puzzle is illustrated with the appropriate flag, but only in black and white, plus a decorative illustration that in some way represents a significant aspect of the province or territory. For Manitoba, it is a grain elevator of the old style that once stood like sentinels on the flat prairie, but which is now being replaced by characterless concrete silos. Black and white cartoon-style illustrations are scattered amongst the other puzzle types.

      Though fun mental challenges of various types are the focus of Great Canadian Puzzles, it does have a trio of brief sections of straight information giving. One deals with place name origins [see “excerpt” above], the second with the naming of the Qu’Appelle Valley, and the last one provides trivia about some of Canada’s Prime Ministers. The book’s puzzles vary in their difficulty with mazes and secret codes being at the easier end and logic games and hidden words being at the tougher part of the scale. The book’s closing seven pages are an answer key.

      Though the consumable nature of Great Canadian Puzzles makes it more likely to be an individual recreational purchase, as opposed to an institutional buy, teachers could certainly use portions of the book as a fun, class time diversion.

Recommended.

Dave Jenkinson, CM’s editor, lives 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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