Oh Canada!

Young Giant of the North

I was so excited to learn about our neighbor to the north. This was definitely written for an American audience.  Toward the end was a nice historical timeline comparing Canada and the US.  Too bad it didn’t get past the early 1960’s.  I also loved a whole chapter dedicated to these mysterious Canadians.   For those of you unfamiliar with our friends in Canada, here are some pictures of typical Canadians.  Did you know that Santa is actually from Canada?



Canadian boy

  1. This is SOOO awesome!!! I’m tickled by every bit of it. Do they mention Crown Royal? It’s so cool how Canada has beards and young girls with priests – in America it is young boys with priests.

    Speaking of boys, what’s in the hand of the boy thinking of the future? Is that a Canada goose egg? (I hate when people call Canada Geese “Canadian Geese”!)

    Also, I love the name Adelaide.

  2. Santa IS from Canada. You want to write to him?

    North Pole, Canada H0H 0H0

    And he ALWAYS answers back.

  3. In Canadian libraries, the reference to the Eskimo alone would get it weeded pronto.
    Still, it’s amazing what folks find in their libraries.

  4. The information in this book is so out of date (published before 1967, Canada’s centennial, hello?!) it is absurd. It is almost so offensive that it isn’t laughable.

    The basic facts, I am sure, in this book are inaccurate (a new territory called Nunavut was established in 1999 and Newfoundland was renamed to Newfoundland and Labrador in 2001) and for that reason alone it should be weeded.

  5. Does it mention the famous Greenland Campaign, when Canada’s army took Greenland from the Nazis, the first allied victory of WWII? The Canadians phoned ahead and told the Greenlanders the Americans would be there any minute. All that right under Hitler’s nose. A defining moment in Canadian history. Alexander Graham Bell also phoned long distance but that was another time and he phoned Paris, Ontario. Canadians are good on the phone.

  6. See, the funniest thing to me is the fact that the boy thinking about the future is reading a book that looks like it needs to be weeded! It’s like looking at yourself in a mirror when it’s reflecting a mirror. In that book is there another book that needs weeding? And in it is there another book that needs to be weeded?

    As for the other – they’re actually asking “Is an Eskimo a Canadian?” etc.

    I don’t know if priests come with young girls. But I do know some totally awesome vampires that could kick Edwards emo butt come from Canada. LaCroix rules, Edward drools!

      1. Nick’s okay, but LaCroix has that “bad boy whom needs to be redeemed” charm. I mean, there are times when LaCroix seemed on the verge of being very – human. Falling in love with Nick’s little sister and STILL loving her centuries later, so much so he wanted revenge on Nick. Preaching to Nick that blood money and material wealth aren’t all that. Plus the whole torment of being turned into a vampire by his own daughter whom then tried to seduce him. LaCroix is just way more interesting to me then Nick. He could practically be your stereotypical bad boy romance novel hero!

        Dang, now I want to find a RPG where I could play an annoying Californian whom moves to Canada and calls up Nightcrawler to ask him why he’s so depressed and advise him to “lighten up, dude.” LOL I wonder if this book would help in my role playing endevors. 😉

  7. @Tragic Sandwich and @marykelly48, as a Canadian expat in Mexico, thus with a foot in both countries, I am all agog. What a pair of books that would be for me and for my binational family!

  8. I think the boy is thinking “I wonder if this book should be called “My World And Me?” -because he looks like he might be pedantic that way. Unlike me. Of course.

  9. I remember this book! When I was in third grade, my family spent four months in Provo, Utah, and this was the only book in the elementary school library with pictures of my Canadian homeland. Ah, the days before the internet…

  10. I think it is interesting that all the photos used or shown are taken looking up making the subjects look bigger or taller or perhaps “Giants of the North”

    1. Canadians ARE Christian… there is the expression “Christ of a hockey stick”… poutine is the True North Eucharist…

      1. Heh. I was kidding for the record. I know that all Canadians are really Jedi Knights. ^^

  11. @Beautiful Kind – sadly, in Canada it is young boys with priests as well – http://www.theinquiry.ca/Pain_hope.hide.php – and this year’s Giller Prize winner, Linden MacIntyre wrote The Bishop’s Man, was about just that.

    But back to that lovely book – I actually remember that book from elementary school! Sadly, it is those images of Inuit in traditional parkas and the pictures of snow in northern Ontario or Quebec that led to some of the things that many Canadians have seen such as people driving north across the border in August with skis strapped on the roof of their car! How can you expect otherwise with books like this in their hands!?!?

  12. As an American, I am confused…I thought Canadians were those polite people in line at Tim Horton’s waiting to get their double double in a “Roll up the Rim to Win” cup?

  13. Nah, we’re lining up for the coffee. It’s really good and way cheaper than Starbuck’s. We are a thrifty people eh?

  14. As a Canadian schoolboy I distinctly remember pondering the future with a small meatloaf in my left hand.

  15. BWHAHAHAHAAH Oh my oh my, as a proud Canadian I find this book hilarious!! And I was actually in a Tim Hortons lineup this morning for my double-double…oh my… 🙂

    I like the photo caption of the French girl and “her” priest, it sounds like each French Canadian girl had their very own priest, like a pet or fashion accessory….!!

  16. Grammar Update:
    My World and Me would be correct if World and Me are the Objects of a verb, as in

    Americans learn about My World and Me in this lousy book.

    However, My World and I could be correct if they are the Subjects of a verb.
    My World and I are polite, love Tim Horton’s coffee and watch hockey.

  17. I am embarrassed to say that just recently we weeded out a 1948 book on Canada. As well as one or two from the early 60’s, may even have been this one.

    1. At a previous library, about 2004, I weeded out a book about Formosa. Don’t recall the copyright, but obviously it was when there WAS a Formosa.

  18. I love the fact that the little notes next to each image all end in a question mark. Adelaide has some real issues as she isn’t sure about where these photos have come from…

    Does that prospector have a beard? Adelaide’s not sure.

    Was that french girl with a priest? Adelaide hasn’t got a clue.

    Is that person in a furred parka an Eskimo? Not even Adelaide knows (and she wrote the book!)

    Does Canada really exist? Adelaide’s not been there…

  19. Apparently all Canadians are really tall – so the photographer has to take photos that look up their noses.

    Either that or the photographer was really short…

  20. Hahahahaha! Thank you for the mentions of Forever Knight. I watched that show all the time as kid. I think Catherine might have it. Has Adelaide ever been to Canada? Does it make it any better that I’m actually listening to a hockey game while replying to this post?

    1. Thank Chiller. They were doing a FK marathon while I was typing that post.

      But man, I forgot how much I “loved” LaCroix. Too bad they never did a Nightcrawler spin off.

  21. “This was definitely written for an American audience.”

    Mary: As a former Detroiter, I learned one does not cross over to Windsor, Ontario and say ‘I’m an AMERICAN’…. you get the ‘we’re from North America too’ schpeil (sp?). “I’m from the U.S.” or “I’m from the states” works well.

      1. Like that Journey song: ‘Born and raised in south Detroit’…. we always were like “he means Windsor” LOL

    1. PatrickB, ‘fess up. You crossed over from Detroit to attend performances of the Windsor Ballet*, right?

      * a local euphemism for shows at one of the many strip clubs on that side of the Detroit River

      Despite evidence to the contrary in the dated tome, we couldn’t ask for a better neighbor. Belated thanks for giving us The Kids In the Hall, among many other things.

  22. I do not want to echo all the comments made already — this is one of the best contributions to your page. Just plain charming and amusing.

    Wait….what in the world is that young boy holding in his hand as he looks agog into the Saskatchewan plains? I honestly have no idea….who holds round objects in their hand while reading a book?

    1. Some sort of Canadian equivalent to the Magic 8-Ball? It does say he is thinking of the future.

      1. LOL yeah that’s it.
        “Dear Canadian Magic 8-Ball, will I be stuck being a Saskatchewan wheat farmer like my father and my father’s father?”
        “It is decidedly so”

  23. I’ve ordered this book through Mel-can’t wait for it to come! It will be great vacation reading! Two libraries in Michigan actually had it. Names of the two libraries withheld to protect the innocent…

  24. On the one hand, it has no place in a library: Someone might one day refer to it and take it seriously.

    On the other hand, if all the libraries pull it, how will the future ever remember our bearded prospectors favoured machine-knit cardigans?

  25. it kind of makes me mad that Santa lives in Canada.
    This book is where cliches are born.eh?

  26. I don’t want to read a book that doesn’t mention MY favourite Canadian, Bruce Cockburn!

  27. I’m guessing a ‘double-double’ is a large coffee?

    Sorry – I AM Canadian, but I don’t drink coffee, and don’t make much of a habit of hanging out in Tim Horton’s, unless I’m meeting out-of-towners for whom they make convenient safe and easy-to-find meeting places.

    (checks – oh, double sugar and double cream – I begin to see why diabetes is so common here… 😉 )

  28. The scariest part about the book is that I have the same ‘do (actually shearing) the book-and-rock-holding lad has!

  29. I love that the ‘bearded prospector’ looks like a dude they pulled out of a curling club in a small town in Saskatchewan.
    The Inuit lady’s (?) head looks like it was photoshopped onto her body, pretty impressive considering the book’s publication date.
    I’d love to see the current version of this book, assuming they’ve reprinted and updated it every six months so that students have to buy the book new at the start of each semester like when I was in school.

  30. As one who idea of a Canadian is Gordie Howe, Lorne Greene, and Peter Jennings, this book is hilarious for even 1964. When we went to Canada, I remember my parents stocking up on US cigarettes, but consuming the much better Canadian beer, Labatt’s Blue anyone, eh.
    Prime Minister

  31. I want my gold star! Fight Club’s one of my favorite movies lol. You’re still frakking hilarious. Can’t wait till next episode’s recap.

  32. I think the young lad (who is probably now a grandfather) with the rock in his hand is an alien waiting to be taken back to the mother ship. I was led to believe that Santa was from Finland – maybe he immigrated there from Cananda (Ae).

  33. The schoolboy is staring at the picture of the old british lady in his classroom and wondering who she is… at least that’s what I did until they explained it was the queen…

  34. fezzigbell, I concur. The pixels on the Inuit lady’s head do look quite ‘shopped. I’ve seen many a ‘shop in my day, and the pixels on this one are terrible, just terrible.

    We should really put a stop to those time traveling authors/illustrators absconding with our technologies.

  35. What exactly is so outdated about this book? I live in Canada and there are plenty of eskimos in furry coats , and that bearded guy looks perfectly familiar. Im not in french Canada, but im pretty sure there are french girls with priests too. Also, that rock is going through the teachers head as soon as he turns his back

  36. I like how the one question implies that the girl is only Canadian if accompanied by her priest. Otherwise, she would just be French. I guess priests acted as passports back in the 60s. But then what nationality is he? I suppose it doesn’t matter what nationality your priest is, so long as you are a French girl.

    Men, of any background, could always become prospectors and grow beards, an option unavailable to French girls desiring Canadian citizenship at the time. Men also could take up the cloth and accompany French girls if they so desired. Canada is now a modern country, and we extend citizenship to beardless prospectors.

  37. I have this day committed to growing a beard like the one sported by the prospector and acquiring a natty cardigan, can I become a Canadian once I have achieved these goals?