A Canadian Year; A Kiwi Year

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Tania McCartney (text), Tina Snerling (illus.),  A Canadian Year: Twelve Months in the Life of Canada’s Kids, Exisle Publishing,  June 2017,  32pp.,  $19.99 (hbk),  ISBN: 9781925335439

Tania McCartney (text), Tina Snerling (illus.),  A Kiwi Year: Twelve Months in the Life of New Zealand’s Kids Exisle Publishing,  June 2017,  32pp.,  $19.99 (hbk),  ISBN: 9781925335446

These books are additions to the award-winning series that now covers an Aussie, a New York, a Texas, an English and a Scottish year. In each book four children are chosen to represent and talk about their national life across twelve months. The seasons, of course, dominate each narrative, along with national holidays, festivals, unique words and phrases, and major geographic locations. Each book details the children’s favourite foods and, when it is appropriate, the indigenous peoples of each country are given mention and respect.  Tina Snerling’s attractive full colour illustrations are carefully detailed, woven around text, or sometimes text is woven around the illustrations.

These books would be an excellent introduction for children planning to go on a holiday or a journey to one of these countries. They could feel confident they know enough to begin talking to other children immediately. Reading these books as a series impresses upon me the globally multicultural nature of most modern countries. There are many festivals and celebrations we share with other nations, and each ethnic group within each nation seems to have a recognised cultural place. Such books, I feel, help to generate an attitude of tolerance and inclusiveness. These books would be important resources in any school or classroom library. Recommended for 5 to 9 year olds.

Teacher’s Notes for A Canadian Year and A Kiwi Year can be found on the Exisle Publishing website.

Reviewed by Kevin Brophy

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