Thursday, July 24, 2008

On the Road with Wow Canada!

Okay, it's not too PC considering the price of gas and global warming and all, but we're going on a road trip in a few weeks. To our credit, we'll be driving our spanking new hybrid, which we can ill afford (Anyone want to by a great Toyota 4-Runner? I'll throw in a box of great books to sweeten the pot!) and we'll be hiking once we arrive at our destination. In the car I'll definitely be packing Vivien Bowers' Wow Canada! Exploring This Land from Coast to Coast to Coast.

In this fact-and-fun-packed book, we join 10-year-old Rachel, her older brother Guy, a stuffed beaver (Bucko), Mom and Dad as they cram in their van and head out to explore our vast country from coast to coast to coast. (As Guy tells us in the introduction, "Our whole family is going on a trip across Canada. When my parents told us, they said we had to do it now because in two years I'll be fourteen and 'cool,' and I won't want to go anywhere with my family.")

The scrapbook style of the book provides something for everyone: a map introducing each province or territory, fabulous photographs with short captions, longer chatty entries of the trip as seen through Guy's eyes, lots of great, and very funny sidebars such as Exceedingly Weird (according to Guy), Food I Was Introduced to for My Own Good (such as oysters), According to Mom (who loves to fill in the details), According to Dad (more details and historical bits), Guy's Family Car Trip Survival Tips (new and crazy ways to drive your parents crazy), Things We'll Do and Places We'll Go Next Time, and more.

This book is packed full of info. I can't imagine how long it took Bowers to research and write. It is a keeper for sure and was deservedly so an award winner when it was released. (It won the Red Cedar award one year when I had a book on the short-list, too. It also won the BC Book Prize (Sheila Egoff award), the Hackamatack, and the Information Book Award from the Children's Literature Roundtables. ) Here's a review from Canadian Materials. Happy road tripping, whether you're on a bike, on foot, or (gulp) in a car.

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