Oh, Canada! by Per-Henrik Gürth. Book Review.

Per-Henrik Gürth’s illustrations always remind me of Ted Harrison’s. They are both bright and boldly outlined. Gürth’s better suit the preschooler and kindergarten type of books that he produces while Harrison’s could go with any text. Gürth’s books often feature a bear, moose, and beaver in anthropomorphic situations. How Canadian is that?

This book is a perfect introduction for preschoolers to Canada. It explains our symbols, languages, and the origin of the name Canada.

Each province has a double page spread. On the left page of each provincial focus, there are four parts featuring the flag, tree, flower, and bird. On the right is a full-color page of characters enjoying something special about that province. It begins with Newfoundland and Labrador. The tree is black spruce, the flower is the pitcher plant, and the bird is the puffin. The large picture says, “Wave to whales at play in Trinity Bay.” A bear is driving a red and white boat while a fox, moose, and beaver watch the tail of a whale splash in the water.

Nova Scotia is represented by Peggy’s Cove. Prince Edward Island is represented by biking on the South Shore. In New Brunswick, our animal friends explore Hopewell Rocks. In Québec, they sailed down the river past the beautiful old buildings. In Ontario, they visit Niagara Falls.

In Manitoba, they fish in Lake Winnipeg. In Saskatchewan, they help with the harvest. In Alberta, they hunt for fossils in Dinosaur Provincial Park. In British Columbia, they snowboard down Whistler. In the Yukon, they hike a glacier. In the Northwest Territories, they fly over Great Slave Lake. In Nunavut, they paddle a kayak past an inukshuk. The book ends with a double page map of Canada with small illustrations featuring each of the things mentioned throughout.

Even though it is such a simple text, one leaves this book with a sense of wonder about the immensity and variety of Canada. This is the kind of book that parents might have to work with to engage a young child. It would, however, make an excellent classroom resource for a primary grade.


Click on the book covers for more information or to buy the book.



Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages


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