The West Is Calling: Imagining British Columbia
by Sarah N. Harvey and Leslie Buffam
illustrated by Dianna Bonder
Orca Book Publishers, 2008
$19.95 (hc), 32 pp colour illustrations historical notes, ages 5 – 12
The West is Calling is a pictorial celebration of British Columbia’s history. Each two-page spread is a richly detailed illustration of a period of time beginning with an ancient Haida village, moving through the days of European exploration and settlement, the gold rush and coal mining eras, the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and the early industries of logging and fish canning. A page is devoted to artist Emily Carr, one to the Peace River (Bennett) Dam and one to Expo 86, each representing change in the development of the province. The book ends with a call for conservation using the Great Bear Rainforest as an example, and the rebuilding of a Tseshaht First Nation village. A Haiku on each page hints at the significance of the image, encouraging discussion and research. Brief historical notes at the end of the book provide further information. This is a beautiful picture book that could be used at many levels to deepen your students’ understanding of how Canada and British Columbia have changed over time.
This review is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s March 2009 issue.