Cover Image

Hey Canada! by V. Bowers

Bowers, Vivien. Hey Canada!. Toronto: Tundra Books, 2012. Print.

Born in Vancouver, Canada, Vivien Bowers received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia (BC). She has taught at the elementary school level and currently works as a freelance writer in BC and has written for children and adult audiences alike. She has authored elementary and secondary school materials, non-fiction books and magazine articles.

Hey Canada! follows Alice, her grandmother, her cousin Cal, and his hamster, simply named ‘Hampster’, on a car trip across Canada. As the family travels through each province and territory, the reader is introduced to geographic, historical, and culturally significant locations, activities, and foods.

As a nod to current technology, the content is narrated from the perspective of seven-year-old Alice, in the form of blog posts with highlight boxes featuring her cousin’s tweets sprinkled throughout the book. A map of Canada shows readers the path travelled by Alice, Cal, Grandma and Hampster as they journey from east to west.

Hey Canada! presents colourful, cartoon-style illustrations interspersed with photos. The addition of comic strip styled interludes depicting historical events and fun facts make the content engaging and fun to read. Each province and territory is introduced with an illustration of the provincial flower, bird, and an outline of the province with the capital city highlighted. Unfortunately, the provincial flower for Alberta is incorrectly listed as White Trillium instead of Wild Rose, and the Museum of Civilization is described as being located in Ottawa instead of in Hull, Quebec. Hopefully, these errors will be corrected in the next edition.

Readers who enjoy Hey Canada! and who are not familiar with the author’s earlier books may want to check out Wow Canada! and That’s Very Canadian for equally entertaining and informative reading about this country.

Recommended: 3 out of 4 stars
Reviewer: Maria Tan

Maria is a Public Services Librarian at the University of Alberta’s H. T. Coutts Education Library. She enjoys travelling and visiting unique and far-flung libraries. An avid foodie, Maria’s motto is, “There’s really no good reason to stop the flow of snacks”.