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Robideau, Henri and Peter Day.

Toronto, Summerhill Press, 1988. 159pp, paper, $9.95. ISBN 0-920197-45-0. Distributed by University of Toronto Press. CIP

Grades 4 and up
Reviewed by William F. Benson

Volume 17 Number 1
1989 January

Henri Robideau has created a relatively inexpensive, classic Canadian book. His collection of unique photographs of giant things scattered across Canada presents a view, an interpretation, of Canada and the Canadian people rarely if ever presented to the general public. This is not the Canada of the well-known tourist attractions with their queues of Japanese or American tourists. Rather, this is the view of Canada as presented by the individualistic entrepreneurs, artists, historians, and the occasional eccentric that makes our country so great.

The book begins with a discussion of the artist's philosophy concerning gigantic things both here and in the U.S. He has tried to draw a philosophical difference between the reasons Canadians and Americans build their giant things, but his arguments arc not supported by his pictures. The one notable difference is that Canadians tend to build animals, while Americans create giant people. His opening address is also an expression of regret over some of the classic objects that he saw in past years but arc no longer standing.

This is a book highly recommended for any family considering a drive across Canada. With its map and index at the back, the book will entertain and keep them busy planning an itinerary that includes many of the different giant things.

This book is not about great Canadian art, but it is a celebration of the uniqueness and greatness of the people of our country.

William F. Benson, Vancouver, B.C.
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