Friday, June 29, 2012

[Review] Hey Canada by Vivien Bowers

Title: Hey Canada! 
Author: Vivian Bowers
Illustrator: Milan Pavlovic
Genre: children, non-fiction, reference, picture book
Format: Hardcover, 72 pages
Publication Date: May 8, 2012
Published By: Tundra Books
Source: Received from publisher for review and book tour.

Synopsis from Goodreads

Gran has decided that she is taking nine-year-old Alice and eight-year-old Cal on a road trip across Canada “before she’s old and creaky.” With a sparkling combination of poems, silly songs, tweets and blogs, the trio records the trip for readers everywhere to share. Starting in St. John’s Newfoundland, where they have a “find-it” list that includes a moose and an iceberg and going all the way to the Pacific Ocean, the gang in Hey Canada! offers a delightful way to learn about vast, varied, and surprising Canada.

The book combines narrative, poems, photos, comics about historical events such as the battle at Fortress Louisburg, maps (including provincial flags, birds, and flowers), in a lively, easily accessible format. Not only great fun to read, this is a valuable resource for young Canadians and for visitors across the country.

My Thoughts

This was a cute and quirky book about a grandmother who decides it's time for her grandchildren to explore Canada. They start at one end of Canada, and travel through each province and territory until they make it completely through the whole country.

I quite enjoyed reading this short book. It was an entertaining look at the country I live in, balanced well with facts, photographs, cartoon pictures and humor.

Some of the things I really liked about this book were the Hamster Update and Find It! features.

I had my son also read the book and we both agreed that we would like to see more actual photographs compared to the amount of cartoon drawings. My son also felt they book tried too hard to be funny and it didn't come across all the time. Also, I'm not sure if I missed it or not (I might have to do a re-read) but I don't believe it was ever clear where the grandmother and grandchildren lived themselves and where they were coming from when they arrived in Canada. That might have been fun to integrate into the story.

Overall I think it's a great book that children will enjoy that will help them learn more about Canada in a fun and interesting way. I suggest you pick it up for the child(ren) in your family to help them celebrate Canada Day this long weekend.

Author - Vivien Bowers

Illustrator - Milan Pavlovic

My rating?


  1. What an adorable and educational book!!! I thought about joining the blog tour for this but didn't end up doing it... :( Would have learned so much about our great country!

    Love the little fun facts and hamster updates! lol

    Great review, Gwenyth!

  2. I love the sound of this book. I am definitely going to recommend my boss look at it at the Elementary School, and see if we can add it to our collection there. Maybe because I love the idea of road trips, dream of taking a train across the United States, doing something like this across Canada sounds like a lot of fun.