Rebecca Shulba

Written by:

Rebecca Shulba


May 17, 2016

We are excited to introduce a new series of books to the TLA library which will be ready to be checked out for the 2016/17 school year: Early Canadian Life. This social studies book series could also be a great addition to reading novels about pioneers such as Little House on the Prarie or Sarah, Plain and Tall.

As described by Valerie Nielsen in CM Magazine:

“With pioneer life ensconced as a topic in the early years’ social studies curriculum, it is not surprising to find the Weigl Educational Publishing firm coming up with a series of information picture books on life in early Canada. Each of the glossy hardcover books in the series is 24 pages long and examines the differences between life today and life in pioneer days. The text is made up of short, easy to read paragraphs interspersed with photographs (most from the National Archives) captions and small nuggets of information encapsulated in a “Did you know?” frame in every chapter.

Each book begins with an introduction which is designed to give children a sense of how different (and indeed, how difficult) it was for the early settlers in Canada.

Following the introduction, each book is made up of nine chapters plus a glossary and index on the last page. Words defined in the glossary appear in bold text throughout the volume. Chapters are short (just a double page spread), and many contain a vivid first-hand account of life in earlier times.

Each book in the series concludes by presenting a “Then and Now” Venn diagram which helps readers compare and contrast past and present aspects of the topic being discussed. Students are invited to copy the diagram and see if they can come up with other similarities and differences between present day and pioneer times.

The “Early Canadian Life” series…are likely to catch and hold the interests of contemporary youngsters. These books should prove a useful resource for primary teachers and a valuable addition to [learning about] pioneer life for seven to ten year olds.”