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Bobbie Kalman and Tammy Everts
Niagara-on-the-Lake (Ont.), Crabtree Publishing, 1994,
32pp, library binding ISBN 0-86505-495-9 (library binding) $20.95
ISBN 0-86505-515-7 (paper) $9.95. (Historic Communities). CIP

Subject Heading:
Frontier and pioneer life-North America-Juvenile literature.


Bobbie Kalman and Tammy Everts
Illustrated by Antoinette DeBiasi
Niagara-on-the-Lake (Ont.), Crabtree Publishing, 1994,
32pp, library binding ISBN 0-86505-494-0 (library binding) $20.95
ISBN 0-86505-514-9 (paper) $9.95. (Historic Communities). CIP

Subject Headings:
Pioneer children-Canada-Juvenile literature.
Pioneer children-United States-Juvenile literature.


Bobbie Kalman
Niagara-on-the-Lake (Ont.), Crabtree Publishing, 1994,
32pp, library binding, ISBN 0-86505-497-5 (library binding) $20.95
ISBN 0-86505-517-3 (paper) $9.95. (Historic Communities). CIP

Subject Heading:
Rural schools-Juvenile literature.


Bobbie Kalman
Niagara-on-the-Lake (Ont.), Crabtree Publishing, 1994,
32pp, ISBN 0-86505-498-3 library binding $20.95
ISBN 0-86505-518-1 (paper) $9.95. (Historic Communities). CIP

Subject Headings:
English language-Terms and phrases-Juvenile literature.
Pioneers-Canada-Quotations-Juvenile literature.


Bobbie Kalman and David Schimpky
Niagara-on-the-Lake (Ont.), Crabtree Publishing, 1994,
32pp, library binding, ISBN 0-86505-496-7 (library binding) $20.95
ISBN 0-86505-516-5 (paper) $9.95. (Historic Communities). CIP

Subject Headings:
Fortification-Canada-Juvenile literature.
Fortification-United States-Juvenile literature.

Grades 2-4 / Ages 7-9

Reviewed by Edith Parsons

Volume 22 Number 4
1994 September

These additions to the "Historic Communities" series follow the same practical and predictable format: each title is written in clear, concise language and includes glossy photographs and colourful illustrations and a glossary, index and suggested group activity. Indeed, the formula is so consistent that each book is exactly thirty-two pages in length. The books are sturdily bound and attractively produced.

While some of the content does overlap (as in  A Child's Day and  A One-Room School) each book emphasizes a unique aspect of pioneer life.  Settler Sayings provides an interesting look at the origins of modern phases such as "black sheep" and "upper crust" within the context of pioneer life.  Customs and Traditions explores various holiday and eating traditions along with other aspects of pioneer family life such as courtship, marriage and childbirth.  A One-Room School portrays the basic curriculum, discipline and teaching methods used in early schools.  A Child's Day conveys both the hard work and simple pleasures that characterized the lives of pioneer children.  Fort Life looks at both the military and business aspects of life within the forts. Baking activities word scrambles, art activities, and suggestions for creative writing topics help to make pioneer life more real to modern students.

The "Historic Communities" series now includes fifteen titles and is a good introduction to pioneer life for students in the early grades. However, with the exception of  Fort Life (which uses some photos taken at the Halifax Citadel), all of the photographs are from Williamsburg or other U.S. locations. Crabtree has Canadian connections, but this series includes only token Canadian content. Although the series seems to focus on life during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the precise time period is unclear and there is little sense of change or evolution. In the same spirit of over simplification and homogeneity, there is no acknowledgment of the regional and cultural differences that reflect the diverse origins of the settlers.

Edith Parsons is Assistant Manager, Information Division, Edmonton Public Library, in Edmonton, Alberta

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