Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Reviews: Colossal Canada: 100 Epic Facts and Feats

Publish June 15, 2015

Elizabeth MacLeod and Frieda Wishinsky, celebrated non-fiction writing partners of Everything But the Kitchen Sink: Weird Stuff You Didn’t Know About Food (2008), and A History of Just About Everything: 180 Events, People and Inventions That Changed the World (2013),have scoured our country’s four corners to bring us Colossal Canada: 100 Epic Facts and Feats. One hundred facts are displayed, each on their own page, in this slim, rectangular paperback, making it perfect for short reading sessions, or long summer road trips. Canadian records, inventions, celebrations, place name origins, and mysteries are included, and “Would you believe…?” text boxes provide further learning opportunities. Kids who like word play will enjoy the quirky headings. On the page about “Long-Distance Fliers,” for example, kids learn how the Arctic tern flies more than 70,000 kilometres each year, and the associated heading reads, “No Terning Back.” Speech bubbles also add humour to some full-colour photographs. For example, in “Giant Roadside Attractions,” the colossal Viking in Gimli, Manitoba asks, “Where’s that perogy? I’m starving,” referencing the giant Polish dumpling found in Glendon, Alberta. While there is no index, a table of contents will help kids locate topics of interest. In the classroom, this book will be a captivating starting point for a study of Canadian history leading up to the 150th birthday celebration. Its engaging depiction of landmarks, famous inventors, historical figures, and wildlife also allows for countless additional curriculum connections.

Colossal Canada: 100 Epic Facts and Feats

Elizabeth MacLeod and Frieda Wishinsky
Scholastic Canada Inc.
ISBN 13: 978-1-4431-2820-9

Jen Bailey
Jen Bailey Jen Bailey is an Ontario-certified teacher who holds an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She works for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. Jen’s other book reviews have appeared in Quill & Quire and Canadian Children’s Book News.

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