Sunday, May 19, 2019

Review - Eh? to Zed

Eh? to Zed
by Kevin Major
illustrated by Alan Daniel
Date: 2003
Publisher: Red Deer Press
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book non-fiction
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: Open Library

Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice Citation, Starred Selection Mr. Christie's Book Award Nomination Ruth Schwartz Award Nomination Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children's Literature Nomination Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award Nomination Alberta Trade Book of the Year Nomination Alberta Children's Book of the Year Award From Arctic, Bonhomme and Imax to kayak, Ogopogo and zed, Eh? to Zed takes children on an alphabetic, fun-filled tour of Canada. Set in tightly linked rhyming verse, the words for this unique book resonate with classic and contemporary images from every province and territory in the country. Included are place names from Cavendish to Yarmouth and icons that will prompt discussion of Canada's many regions, and its culture, discoveries and heritage. Accompanying the inventive text is a visual feast via the colorful palette of well-known illustrator Alan Daniel. He provides a witty mixture of folk art paintings, toys and models that leap from the page with a whimsical energy that delights the imagination. A treasure for families, a desirable souvenir for visitors to Canada, and a perfect resource for schools and libraries, Eh? to Zed celebrates what makes us truly Canadian, eh.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is the second really Canadian alphabet book I've read, the first being M Is for Maple. I think I like Eh? to Zed better, even though it still erroneously claims the zipper as a Canadian invention.

Each two-page spread features two letters, eight objects, and rhyming text. Even as an adult who's lived most of her life in Canada, I had trouble recognizing some of the terms; luckily, there's a big section of notes at the end that covers all of the words in the book. Also at the end are some notes on the illustrations and why the artist chose to depict some of the things in the book the way he did.

Unlike most alphabet books, this one really isn't for young children. They might enjoy listening to the rhymes and looking at the pictures, but the real audience for this one is, I think, older school-age children and even adults. It's definitely a book that should be in every Canadian's collection, as it's chock-full of great starting places for more learning about Canadian culture and history.

Premise: 5/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 5/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 4.33 out of 5

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