Ride the Big Machines Across Canada. Illustrated by Carmen Mok. Book Review.

Ride The Big Machines Across Canada

This is a thick, hefty board book. It begins “I’m going on a trip from sea to sea. How will I do it? Come ride with me!” We see a little boy lying on the lawn playing with a toy car over a map of Canada. His parents are loading an RV in the background.

On each double-page spread, the child participates in an activity. “I’ll run a gondola up the mountain high.” It’s British Colombia in the picture but it isn’t entirely clear until you realize that each page has a unobtrusive flag of the province and he is literally going to travel from sea to sea.

“I’ll drive a hauler as high as the sky!” Here we see the child driving an actual dump truck! On the next page he is steering the combine as he harvests the wheat. On the page after that he’s driving a train. Obviously, this is imaginary and should be explained to toddlers.

It isn’t until we get to “I’ll operate a crane in Montréal!” that the actual city is mentioned.

All the provinces are covered from west to east. You might need to have a resource handy in case you forget which provincial flag is which. It does go in order though, most of the flags are recognizable even though they are tiny, and the activity in which the child participates is a good clue too. So, I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

Although this is a board book, it would certainly fit in nicely with a primary classroom. This is a fun and imaginative introduction to the diversity of Canada’s provinces. Kids who like big machines will really enjoy this approach.

Follow-up activity:

Parents and teachers could have fun tracing the child’s trip across a map of Canada.

If you have access to a photocopier, I thought it would be cool to photocopy the pictures blocking out the child. Your child can then draw himself or herself in that spot. If you have a big map, you could then cut out the part of the picture featuring your child  on the big machine and tack it up on the map of Canada.


Painless Learning Canada Map Placemat

Canada Placemat

MasterPieces Puzzle Company Canada Map Jigsaw Puzzle (60-Piece)

Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages


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