A blog about books. Oh, and some other stuff too.

Blog Tour: Hey Canada! It’s Here!

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. ~ via goodreads.com

It’s here! It’s here!

All aboard for the current stop on the “Hey Canada!” Blog Tour! For this stop on the tour, I’d like to introduce you to Lady T, daughter of my friend, Mir, and my co-reviewer for today. Lady T is just finishing up Grade One, and loves to read so she is a perfect partner in crime for this project.

Lady T with our review book!

What We Discovered:

  • This book has a little bit of everything in it! There’s real pictures and cartoons, sketches and drawings and even maps. Lady T really liked that the start of each provincial description had the provincial flower and bird at the top, and she would compare the different plants and flowers (she’s a big fan of the owls).
  • The maps at the front and the back of the book were really helpful when we were reading the book. Lady T would often turn back the pages to follow the journey of Gran and the kids so she could figure out where they would end up next!
  • The “Find it” sections were … AWESOME. Once we had read a section, Lady T had a great time going back to find all the things listed in the small yellow boxes. The only thing better was asking ME to find the items instead 🙂
  • There is a tonne of information in this book! While most of the information is new to Lady T (she’s learned a lot in Grade One, but there is much out there), there’s also lots of information that was new to me and to Lady T’s mom. How did I not know that the Canadian Mint was in Manitoba? Or how the two bison statues in the Manitoba legislature were brought into the building (they were so heavy that the crew decided to wait until winter, flooded the floor and waited to let it freeze, then dragged them across the ice!)???? So cool!!
  • All the bite-size information is just enough to whet your interest. There were some great discussions between Lady T and I as we discovered that her Zaydie H grew up by the Big Nickel in Sudbury, and that a family friend came from Winnipeg. We shared stories about camping near Georgian Bay and about sunbathing on the beach in PEI.

The Best Parts (according to Lady T)

“I want to go to that place in Edmonton with the indoor water park. That looks like so much fun!” (note to mom: West Edmonton Mall is now on the list. Be prepared.)

“Pitcher Plants actually eat bugs? Would they eat the mosquitoes and wasps in the back yard?

“The Hamster Updates are so funny! I really liked reading about Houdini’s adventures. But I don’t know why they thought that a lobster trap was a good cage for him because it had great big holes in it!”

“The sea otters are so cute… I’ve seen raccoons in my backyard and loons at the cottage, but I think we need to go see some sea otters, Mom.”

There’s a water park in a shopping mall??? AWESOME!!

The Best Parts (according to Auntie Jenn)

  • This was a GREAT book to read with Lady T. There’s so many interesting facts in here about our own country, but the information was presented in a vivid format that grabbed our attention and left us wanting to read more. It was really fun to have the narrative about Gran, Alice and Cal (and his hamster!), as it allowed us to ask each other questions about what we might have thought if we were there too.
  • I also really liked that the information was a great mix of urban and rural facts, with some quirky bits thrown into the mix as well. Canada is a really interesting place, and the danger with travel books is that they look at ‘just the facts’ and ignore the personalities that shaped this country. Our history isn’t perfect, but it certainly shaped who and what we have become; as a middle school teacher, I really appreciated the references to the voyageurs and to Samuel de Champlain. There was enough info to be interesting, but not to be preachy. Great stuff!
  • The little factoids, Cal’s tweets and “find its” were absolute gems. It’s a great way to reinforce the information in a fun way, and without the kids realizing that they are learning at the same time. It definitely inspired a lot of discussion between us, and it would be a great book to be read by the grandparents (perhaps at the cottage??) as a way of sharing experiences and family stories.
I think this is a great book, and highly recommend it for everyone.

Now it’s your turn…. to win! Yes, you can WIN your very own copy of this amazing book. Because we think that the world needs more Canada, Lady T and I are opening this contest up internationally. To enter, all you need to do is three very simple things:

  1. Leave us a comment, telling us why you want to read this book.
  2. Include your email address in your comment. (example: ladytATgmailDOTcom – not a real address). We promise not to sell you out to the telemarketers. Really.
  3. Answer our super-hard skill-testing question: In what province did Gran and the kids start their journey (hint: the answer’s at the top of our review).
  4. That’s it! Now go ahead and do it! 🙂

I’ve tried to use Rafflecopter, but I’m having …. interesting results. So… let’s kick it old school. Put all your info in the comments. Be sure to include your email. I’ll use random.org to select the comment winner. Contest ends Friday at 11:59 pm, and is open internationally. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email with their mailing address before I select another winner. I will mail it out via regular mail to the winner the next business day.

Be sure to check out the other members of the blog tour today …

The nitty gritty stuff:

Written by Vivien BowersIllustrated by Milan Pavlovic

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction – People & Places –CanadaJuvenile Nonfiction – History – Canada;Juvenile Nonfiction – People & Places

Imprint: Tundra Books
Format: Hardcover
Pub Date: May 2012
Age: 7-10 years
Trim Size: 8 x 11
# of Pages: 72 pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-255-4 (1-77049-255-0)

CDN Price: $21.99 / US Price: $19.95

Tagged as: , , ,

Categorised in: Blog Tour, Guest Posts, Reviews

5 Responses »

  1. Great review! She had a blast! She now wants to go to NEWFOUNDLAND!!!! BTW, she also wants to go to the cottage now and read the book! miriamliptonAThotmailDOTcom


  2. The WEM waterpark is super fun! One of my hometown’s best attractions. Don’t forget to check out the world’s largest perogy while you’re there. 😉

    So nice to find you through the blog tour. Lady T did a great job, hope she helps out on more reviews!


  3. Greetings from Idaho! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to check
    out your website on my iphone during lunch break. I really like the info you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m shocked at how quick your blog loaded on my
    cell phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G ..
    Anyhow, fantastic blog!



  1. Hey Canada! Blog Tour: Day 3 « Talking with Tundra
  2. Hey Canada! Blog Tour « Talking with Tundra

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