Canada's Maple Leaf: The Story of Our Flag by Ann-Maureen Owens & Jane Yealland. Illustrated by Bill Slavin & Esperanca Melo OUT OF PRINT
Finished: July 8, 2011
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Genre: children, non-fiction, Canadian history
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!