Quill and Quire


« Back to
Book Reviews

Eye on Canada: Newfoundland & Labrador

by Harry Beckett

Eye on Canada: Alberta

by Harry Beckett

Eye on Canada: Manitoba

by Harry Beckett

Eye on Canada: Nova Scotia

by Harry Beckett

Eye on Canada: Nunavut

by Harry Beckett

The first five titles in the Eye on Canada series are an effective reminder of just how much information a well-planned and carefully organized 32-page book can present. Harry Beckett, the series’ author, is a widely travelled educator who wrote the Journey Across Canada series.

Each book’s contents page directs readers to 19 categories of information. Along with standard topics such as climate and natural resources, readers will find information on First Nations, cultural groups, arts and entertainment, and sports. Each book includes a location map, a national map with provincial and territorial statistics, a glossary, reading and Web-searching suggestions, and an index. To pique and maintain young reader interest, every text page includes a Quick Facts column, and each book has a concluding Brain Teasers page with a selection of true/false, multiple choice, and make-a-guess challenges.

The books are attractive as well as interesting and informative. Each cover features a relevant scenic photo and each title page a relevant coat of arms. Colour coding at the top of each page links the content to broader themes such as geography, economy, the past, culture, and statistics. Each page has at least two photos.

While the content and design are generally impressive, the series has some minor oversights. For example, small type on the Nunavut map is difficult to read, and references to the Dorset and pre-Dorset people lack the helpful origin information given on the same page for the Thule people. Mount Pearl is identified as a city in Newfoundland & Labrador, but doesn’t appear on the map.

Critical observations aside, there’s a definite niche for this series, falling between Beckett’s simpler 24-page Journey Across Canada series and the lengthier Hello Canada and Let’s Discover Canada series titles. It’s a good source for students beginning to study Canada and for families planning to travel to these areas. The remaining eight books in the series are slated for publication by year end.

School and public libraries with a Canadiana collection and budgets for a series purchase will want to add these titles to their collections.