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Harrison, Ted
Toronto, Kids Can Press, 1992. 32pp, cloth, $16.95
ISBN 1-55074087-3. CIP

Subject Headings:
National songs in art.
Canada in art.
National songs-Canada-Texts.

Grades 3 and up / Ages 8 and up

Reviewed by Doris Lemoine

Volume 20 Number 5
1992 October

"O Canada," officially declared our national anthem in 1980, has now taken the form of a bilingual illustrated book, thanks to Ted Harrison, a well-known Canadian artist. Published on the occasion of Canada's 125th birthday, O Canada is dedicated "to all Canadians who love this country and desire to see it remain united."

Originally written in French by Calixa Lavallée and Adolphe-Basile Routhier, "O Canada," then called "Chant national," was first sung publicly on St-Jean-Baptiste Day in 1880. It was translated into English by R. Stanley Weir in 1908. The English text was revised a few times but the French one has remained in its original form.

Never have the lyrics of our national anthem conjured up such vivid images of our country and its diversity. Ted Harrison shares his vision of Canada, his adopted country, by giving us a breath-taking view of each province and territory. Opposite each Tableau the bilingual lyrics are followed by a brief description of each region. The musical accompaniment, which some teachers may find useful, can be found at the end of the book.

The rich, vibrant colours and clear, simple outlines will appeal to young children, while the panoramic views and luminous Canadian skies will touch the older reader or art student. O Canada should rekindle Canadian pride in all of us.

Recommended for all school libraries.

Doris Lemoine is Library Coordinator at the Direction des ressources éducatives fraçaises, Burdau de L'Éducation française, in Winnipeg, Manitoba
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