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Book Reviews

Wow Canada! Exploring This Land from Coast to Coast to Coast

by Vivien Bowers, Dan Hobbs and Dianne Eastman, illus.

Wow Canada! is a scrapbook cum journal of a car trip across Canada written from the perspective of a 12-year-old boy named Guy. As the narrator, Guy describes places, flora, fauna, and experiences with a terrific sense of humour and in a language that young readers can easily relate to. Sidebars with information about Canada’s nature and history are written in the same tone with such titles as “Exceedingly Weird” or “According to Mom.” The colourful illustrations, which include slides, postcards, memorabilia, photographs, and drawings, are wonderfully designed to make each spread exciting and inviting but not overwhelming. As with all trips, many places go unvisited. So author Vivien Bowers cleverly includes a section entitled “Things We’ll Do and Places We’ll Go Next Time” at the end of each chapter. These features, along with the writing and illustrations, make you want to hop in a car and start exploring Canada right away.

In addition to a clever visual at the end of the book, there is an extensive index and three pages of basic facts about the provinces and territories (including Nunavut). The factual information includes the origin of the name, symbols, land size, population, major cities and industries, topography, and climate. This section as well as the rest of the book is a great resource for school projects. Wow Canada! truly lives up to its name.