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Volume VIII Number 4 . . . . October 19, 2001
These books, the first two in an as yet to be completed series, offer students a general overview of their respective provinces, with topics ranging from land and climate to economy and people. At first glance, the books appear to be geared for the reluctant reader, but upon further inspection, they are found to be somewhat inconsistent in their writing style, which vacillates from simple to difficult vocabulary and from thoroughly explained terms and concepts to no explanation at all.
The covers are identical except for the sub-titles. Despite their bold red and white Canadian colours, they are quite unappealing. Ontario's volume consists of eight chapters and an index. It covers such topics as provincial emblems, land, climate, animals, government, people, economy and capital cities. There are two main flaws in this title: no colour photographs for visual interest (only black-and-white pencil sketches, labelled in childlike printing); and too much of an emphasis on Toronto. Perhaps the last chapter could have been devoted to Ontario's major cities rather than just the national and provincial capitals.
Nunavut is the better of the two books, perhaps because it explains an interesting way of life which is so different from that of most Canadians and because many of the book's illustrations are in colour. In all, there are 11 chapters (whose headings are printed in both English and Inuktituk), an index and a glossary (though the glossary is merely a translation guide, listing English words, their Inuktituk translation using the standard alphabet, the Inuktituk alphabet and the phonetic spelling). This volume is not without it faults: the printing on the map is extremely tiny; and there are a few typographical and "mechanical" errors.
Though they contain much useful and interesting information, these books pale in comparison to some of the other series on Canadian provinces.
Recommended with reservations.
Gail Hamilton is a teacher-librarian at Bird's Hill School in East St. Paul, MB.
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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.