CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

North Vancouver, Whitecap Books, c1983.
Distributed by Firefly.
80pp, cloth, $16.95.
ISBN 0-920620-40-X.

Grades 6 and up.
Reviewed by Dianne Clipsham.

Volume 12 Number 3
1984 May

A few pages of very terse prose, which reads as though written by a committee, act as a sort of preface to this picture book on the Ottawa area. Facts are given in an uncritical fashion with no commentary, explanation or evaluation; indeed, things are alluded to here that are not illustrated in the text. For instance, the following glowing statement is not backed up by a single picture: "Though the federal government was once the largest employer, more and more skilled workers are being attracted to the high technology industries for which Ottawa is becoming known around the world." Aside from being offensive to (unskilled?) civil servants, this is not followed up in the illustrative part, the largest by far, of this work. Neither is the Rideau Centre pictured here.

The text will hardly be glanced at by most, anyway, so the omissions will not be noticed. The book as a whole is designed (not written) by M. Burch, and the absence of an author or editor means the collection of photos lack any point of view, although they are loosely ordered by the seasons. Many of the photos are not specifically located, contributing to the overall impression of superficiality. The tourist attractions of the Ottawa Valley (including Government and official buildings) are well represented, although why the interior of the Senate is shown and not that of the House of Commons, the East Block, nor the Library of Parliament remains a mystery to this resident reviewer.

The book is a picturesque, but superficial treatment of the subject, which lacks a focus to give it meaning. In fact, it looks like nothing so much as a glowing package created by and for the National Capital Commission, a body funded by the taxpayer to publicize the area. If this is what your library needs, the book will supply it, as it is well bound and well designed, if limited in information. English and French text.

Dianne Clipsham, Confederation H. S., Nepean, ON.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works