151. Canada's Maple Leaf: The Story of Our Flag

Canada's Maple Leaf: The Story of Our Flag by Ann-Maureen Owens & Jane Yealland. Illustrated by Bill Slavin & Esperanca Melo OUT OF PRINT

Pages: 32
Ages: 8+
Finished: July 8, 2011
First Published:1999
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Genre: children, non-fiction, Canadian history
Rating: 5/5

First sentence:

What do you think of when you see the Canadian flag?

Acquired: Purchased new from a Homeschool supply store.

Reason for Reading: Read aloud to my son for our history curriculum.

First, I'm shocked just now looking the book up online to find out that they've let this title go out of print.  It has been a favourite in our house and I've read it to both my children (11 years apart).  This is a wonderful book that captures the excitement of a country trying to choose it's own flag for the first time.  Prior to the maple leaf Canada flew either the Union Jack or the Red Ensign, both British flags, depending on the circumstances.  As soon as you open the book on the inside front cover is a nice big outline of a maple leaf that can be traced or photocopied so children can make their own flags or artwork without having to struggle trying to draw their own leaf.  This was much appreciated with my first son!

The book starts off with why Canada's flag is unique and takes a look at some other unique country flags.  Then we get a history of flags going back to ancient times and "vexiloids" up to the Vikings and their triangular flags and the Native Americans and their feathers tied to poles.  Historically we see all the flags that were flown over Canada before she had her own flag from John Cabot's St. George Cross to the American Stars & Stripes on the illegal trading forts in Alberta.  Afterwards it discusses the whole historical story of how Canada came about her famous Maple Leaf and flag etiquette.  The book finishes off with a look and description of the symbols on all 13 of Canada's provincial and territorial flags (and yes, that does mean Nunavut is included).

An interesting book, well-written, with an entertaining voice, and colourful with great illustration.  A great book for Canadian households with children, if you can find a copy.  This one will be a keeper on my shelves!


  1. First off, I love when people read out-of-print books for the Canadian Book Challenge-- I sort of feel like it's keeping it alive. And who knows, with enough interest whose to say publishers won't notice and republish it. On that topic however, I think if a publisher lets a book go out of print, they should relinquish copyright automatically.

    Secondly, I'm partial to the old Pearson pennant, with the three leaves and blue stripes representing the Atlantic and Pacific. However, I'd probably add another blue stripe at the top for the Arctic Ocean. Still, the one we have is pretty good, too.

  2. I agree with you on the copyright issue, John!

    Yes, ds and I both liked Pearson's 3 leaves flag design and the blue stripes on the ends make more sense but then we'd be red, white & blue like the other 2 so it's nice to be different that way.

    And can you imagine, as a kid, having to draw a 3-leafed flag? Yikes! My elementary attempts at the one leaf were pretty sad looking affairs :-P

  3. Awesome blog! I really liked it. If you got time, check mine out too!



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