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Colossal Canada: 100 Epic Facts and Feats

by Elizabeth MacLeod; Frieda Wishinsky

Our home and native land has the world’s tallest teepee, grandest beaver dam, longest electric-vehicle-ready highway, biggest caribou herd, and largest dark-sky preserve (an area free of light pollution).

Colossal Canada (Elizabeth MacLeod and Frieda Wishinsky) coverAll of these facts and more can be found in Elizabeth MacLeod and Frieda Wishinsky’s fun new book, in which the veteran authors take a look at some of the things and people that make our expansive and diverse nation unique. The book covers our extreme weather and indigenous animals; accomplishments and monumental events; Canadians who have made the world a better place; flight inventions and space-related advancements; large-scale building projects; stories behind odd and intriguing place names; and homegrown spine-tingling tales.

MacLeod and Wishinsky employ a straightforward, engaging tone infused with humour in various forms, including clever wordplay and witty dialogue presented in speech bubbles. This compendium, chockablock with content, presents information in a digestible format. Photographs, sidebars, and a smattering of pull quotes make for detailed yet uncluttered pages.

This lively and fascinating book is guaranteed to instill a sense of pride in readers, but the lack of an index makes it better suited to recreational reading than reference. And while the authors have done well in featuring First Nations and Inuit contributions to Canadian society, as well as a profile of Nova Scotian civil-rights figure Viola Desmond, it would have been refreshing to see more pages dedicated to members of visible minority communities who have played significant roles in shaping the nation.