Fri. Jun 2nd, 2023

Book cover

Beginning with a ski vacay in British Columbia, with the Vancouver skyline featured prominently in the background, a cast of silly monsters traverses popular Canadian destinations. As the monsters and their diverse crowd of humans travel, they showcase unique natural environments (belugas in Northern Manitoba; lobster trapping in New Brunswick) and recognizable urban landscapes (looking at you, CN Tower) and dip into regional flare and traditions (kissing the code in Newfoundland). Places are identified primarily by provincial crests, but they’re fairly small and easy to miss. In an authentic move that will either amuse or chagrin Canadian readers, Alberta and Saskatchewan woefully share a single-page spread while showy Ontario gets two. Told in lively rhyme, the travelogue is a little strained and groanworthy, but it scans well enough when read aloud. Illustrations are similarly madcap. Garishly bright colors and over-the-top facial expressions identify the bulbous monsters as the silly, nonthreatening variety. A beaver-tailed monster with a wagon full of Canadiana is particularly guffaw-inducing. While the full-bleed illustrations do tend toward loud and visually overwhelming, they well match the unrestrained rhyme and exuberant tone. At the back, a map usefully identifies the provinces and pinpoints the monsters’ stops. (This book was digitally reviewed.)

By cb2gp