This is a search and find book in 8 x 10 paperback format. Each double page spread is full of Canadian items and icons to find. Some are hard and some are easy.
Each double-page has a list of 20 items. For example, the first spread is titled The Wonderful West Coast. Some of the things to search for are a seagull with a clam, two University signs, a Chinese lantern, a Sasquatch footprint, the Gastown Steam Clock, beluga whales, and Ogopogo. You can see that the fantastical is mixed in with the historical, the natural, and the contemporary. They are drawn in a style similar to the Where’s Waldo books.
The page representing the West Edmonton Mall only mentions the province in the searching list as “the Alberta Flag.” I think it should be stated quite clearly on each page what province or territory is being represented.
The Yukon is called Gold Rush country. Ontario features Toronto but the province’s name appears nowhere on the two pages of “Summer in the City”. Manitoba features Lake Winnipeg. Alberta shows up again with the stampede. (The bucking bull has a big smile belying the fact that he has been tormented into a frenzy and now has a barbed cinch digging into his privates to make him kick and flail trying to dismount the cowboy who is causing his pain.) Newfoundland focuses on the ocean and does not include Labrador. Ontario returns with a celebration of Canada Day in Ottawa. The fortress of Louisburg represents Nova Scotia. For the third time, we go to Ontario to find animals on the shore of Georgian Bay. Nunavut is packed with northern animals. Winter carnival represents Québec. Saskatchewan features oil derricks and farming. Prince Edward Island has potatoes, the ocean shore, and our beloved Anne of Green Gables.
The Northwest Territories and New Brunswick are not included. This seems really odd considering there are three pages about Ontario and two about Alberta.
Readers search for common items like seagulls and more challenging things like a frozen fleur-de-lys, a pewter bowl and spoon, and an Avro Arrow jet. Hopefully, children will ask questions about these more unfamiliar items.
With 280 items to search for, I can see this would be a good diversion for traveling when kids need a break from technology but aren’t interested in reading. It requires focus and attention to detail. This would be a fun book for children who enjoy searching and finding but definitely not a complete overview of Canadian symbols and activities with one province and one territory missing.
Click on the covers for more information or to buy the book.