I found this article on South Shore’s website and I was so excited as I started reading it. Canadian books for kids! Awesome! I have a really hard time finding good children’s books that are about Canada, it seems so many books are American based- discussing American inventions, cities and people. This isn’t a bad thing, but since I’m Canadian and the kids I read to are Canadian I’d like to share a little info about our country and instill them with some pride and knowledge about their own country.
I became less excited as I read further into the article. The first book is about Nova Scotia, and one has been written about Saskatchewan but they’ve already moved on to American cities. Jeff Cox, MacIntyre Purcell Publishing’s general co-manager was quoted in the article as saying
“Our distributors are based in the USA and we wanted to … do it in our backyard (first). We know our backyard. We wanted to test drive the illustrator, test drive the concept. We’re going across the U.S. In Canada, we might come back and tinker in our backyard but we are numbers driven right now, we have to be, and because of sheer market value we’re going for the U.S”
So you tested it in Canada, and since it worked, you’re bringing it to the place where it will make the most amount of money. I understand wanting to make money, everyone has expenses. It just seems sad to trade your pride for your country for cold hard cash.
At least the books will still be made in Canada, though. Right? Wrong. These books will be made in China; the first time that MacIntyre Purcell has ever sent their books out of country to be printed. Said Cox “There is no printer in this country that can do these for [their] price, and every publisher in the country knows that.”
What started out as books about Canada made in Canada turned into books about America made in China. So much for buy local.
For anyone looking for Canadian books (Canadian setting, Canadian author and/or Canadian information) for children here’s some of my favourites:
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Code Red at the Super Mall by Eric Wilson (or any of Eric Wilson’s many Canadian mysteries)
Where is Gah-Ning? by Robert Munsch