Who knew Canada was so mysterious? This illustrated work of non-fiction does a great job of piquing curiosity and providing quality information. Short listed for a number of awards (more information available at nataliehyde.com), Cryptic Canada is well researched, well laid out, and creatively illustrated. At six pages per topic, Hyde has kept her information short and interesting, the images and layout increase reader understanding, and each topic is a great starting point for deeper research into Canadian history (Oak Island, the Franklin Expedition, Vinland, Little Chicago, Canada’s Stonehenge, the Manitoba Legislative Building, and the Great Lakes Triangle).
Research projects, here we come! Teachers can focus on the content of the stories, extract a specific section, investigate the different writing techniques (including interview) and encourage students to find out more. As a read-aloud, teachers can focus on making predictions, asking questions and visualizing (though Hammill has taken some of the difficult guess-work out of comprehension through his artwork).
[Review by Amanda Forbes.]