Monday, May 20, 2019

Review - Victoria Day

Victoria Day (Celebrations in My World)
by Lynn Peppas
Date: 2012
Publisher: Crabtree Publishing Company
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book non-fiction
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

Victoria Day is celebrated across Canada on the third Monday of May. It is a federal statutory holiday in honor of the birthday of England's Queen Victoria. It is informally considered the beginning of the summer season in Canada. Readers will learn about the importance of the first sovereign of confederated Canada, as well as Empire Day, celebrated in Britain.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is a rather lousy offering about a Canadian holiday. Personally, I don't celebrate Victoria Day. According to this book, I'm supposed to be planting a garden, going camping, watching fireworks, and singing "God Save the Queen" today. Whatever.

One big problem with this book is that it's already out of date. It was only published in 2012, but nobody at that time thought, "Hmm... Queen Elizabeth's going strong. Maybe we should mention that she's on track to become the longest-reigning monarch." The book talks about how Queen Victoria holds records in this area (she doesn't anymore!) and it's too bad because this problem could've been remedied with a few simple words: "as of 2012". But, no. The book's now factually inaccurate.

It's also confusing. The author insists on repeatedly saying that Victoria Day is celebrated on the first Monday before May 25. Um... do you realize how many Mondays come before May 25? Even May has multiple Mondays before the 25th. It would be more accurate to say Victoria Day is celebrated on the last Monday before May 25th. For some reason, though, the book doesn't. It also flubs its punctuation in a few places. I hate seeing such errors in kids' non-fiction titles.

I'm also confused by the inclusion of the mention of a couple of other related holidays. Bread and Cheese Day... Okay, I get it. But National Patriots' Day? It's like the antithesis of Victoria Day, celebrating the French struggle against the British. The book goes on to explain that a patriot is someone who loves and fights for their country. Well, their country (like it or not) is Canada. Question one: Why isn't it called Traitors' Day? The holiday was only established in 2003, long after Quebec became part of Canada. Question two: Why is this in a book about Victoria Day? It shares the date, yes. But the book is called Victoria Day, not The Last Monday Before May 25th.

The book's not even that interesting to look at. It's just insipid beige-pink backgrounds, red and blue clipart, and stock photos.

I'm not impressed. All I really learned from this book is that I'm doing Victoria Day wrong. Excuse me while I go put on my gardening gloves and... Oh, wait. It's raining.

Never mind.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 2/5
Illustrations: 2/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 1/5

Overall: 1.83 out of 5

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