Monthly Archives: May 2017

Book Review: A Collection of Nova Scotia Firsts – by Ruth A. MacDonald

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book: A Collection of Nova Scotia Firsts
Author: Ruth A. MacDonald
Publisher: Community Books
Date: 2000
Genre: history
Pages: 95
Price: $22 - Canadian or US funds ** (mailing included)
My rating: An informative, interesting collection of 
under-acknowledged historical events

 

A superbly constructed book, A Collection of Nova Scotia Firsts, compiled by Ruth A. MacDonald, is full of amazing recorded accomplishments. This is a work that spanned over thirty years of collecting and researching and organizing. Mrs. MacDonald did her utmost to accurately verify each item’s status as a ‘first’. She knows that, being unable to get verification for everything, she regretfully left off the list many things that probably should have been included. Even so, the total of firsts listed is between 600 and 700 different entries, and that’s from this one little province – one of the oldest provinces in Canada and riddled with history.

Firsts recorded in this book begin in the 1600’s and continue through to the year 2000 with the publication of A Collection of Nova Scotia Firsts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few examples:

1606: First Social Club in North America was “The Order of Good Cheer” organized by Champlain at Port Royal. Its purpose was to keep up the spirits of his men during the long winter months. The noblemen took turns preparing food and organizing each day’s entertainment. Special guest was the famous Mi’kmaq chief Membertou.

1734: First fireproof structure in North America was the concrete Louisbourg lighthouse erected by the French governor between 1731-34.

1836: First Canadian author to become nationally famous was Judge Thomas Chandler of Haliburton of Windsor, Nova Scotia. He wrote numerous serious works but gained his recognition as a humorist in 1836 with “The Clockmaker,” and “Sayings and Doings of Sam Slick of Slickville.”

1839: First trade bookstore in Canada was established in 1839. The Book Room, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, is believed to hold this distinction.

1866: First spring ice skates in the world were invented by John Forbes of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. The invention of these Acme metal skates made an improvement in the game of ice hockey and figure skating, and led to the construction of more covered rinks.

1869: First place in the world to have tides so high was Burntcoat Head, Nova Scotia. It was recorded that during the Saxby Tide in 1869 the waters rose 31.5 m (103 ft.)

1916: First and only battalion of black men in Canada was stationed at Pictou, Nova Scotia, during the First World War. It was formed in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in July 1916, and was commanded by Col. David Hugh Sutherland from River John, Nova Scotia.

1984: First tidal power generating station in North America was completed at Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, in August 1984. The four-year construction sequence involved diversion and replacement of an existing highway, excavation of the site, power house construction, backfilling, and erection of the world’s largest straight-flow turbine and the opening of intake and discharge canals. (My husband worked on this very dangerous construction project.)

1993: First skeletal remains of a juvenile mastodon in Canada, and only one of six found in the world, were uncovered at a site on the property of the National Gypsum Plant at Carroll’s Corner in Halifax County, Nova Scotia.

This book is fascinating! It was hard to choose only a few firsts to share with you. If you ever wondered where something originated, there’s a good chance it happened here in Nova Scotia. Mrs. MacDonald invested a lot of time and work into this collection and it is beautifully put together, completed with the help of her daughter who did the photography included in the book, and her son who edited it.

When I spoke with the author of A Collection of Nova Scotia Firsts she was delighted for me to make her book available to anyone who might like to purchase a copy. I have a few left – SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR! – and thought it would be nice to let you know about this wonderful book. ** (The price I’ve listed includes shipping to you.) If you want one please contact me and we’ll make arrangements. You can leave a message in the comments for me to email you about her book, or you can contact me through my About Me/Contact page which is private as it goes directly to my inbox.

You can find A Collection of Nova Scotia Firsts by Ruth A. MacDonald on my BUY THE BOOK page. Please note that although it is listed on Amazon it is no longer available through them. There are only a few copies left, so if you know someone who would appreciate this book … don’t wait!

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

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Quiz: what musical style are you?

Since I’m not feeling very creative today I’m giving you something fun to do. It’s a musical quiz for you to enjoy and to find out what style of music you are.

Click here to do the easy quiz.

 

 

Here is my result:

World Music: From traditional ethnic sounds to Celtic beats to pop tunes in another language, there’s a lot of variety in world music. Like this genre, you are difficult to define because your interests and tastes vary a great deal. You love to experiment with everything from food to clothing, and you’re not afraid to be yourself. You have a lot of great memories from all of the experiences you’ve stockpiled thus far.

Did you get the result you expected? With so many different musical styles out there, it’s possible that your true personality is a fusion of your result and what you actually listen to.

What musical style are you? Please share your results. 

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: Little Red Gliding Hood – by Tara Lazar

 

 

 

 

 

Book: Little Red Gliding Hood
Author: Tara Lazar
Illustrator: Troy Cummings
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Date: October 27, 2015
Genre: Children's picture book; 2 - 10 yrs;  Preschool - 4
Pages: 40; hardcover
Price: $16.99
My rating: a skating contest like no other; funny

Little Red Gliding Hood is a fractured fairy tale written by Tara Lazar. It begins with the introduction before the title page, and we’re taken immediately into the story by Troy Cummings‘ clever illustrations.

A fractured fairy tale is a mix-up of nursery rhymes and fairy tales, bringing in characters from different ones to fit in the new story. Tara has the sense of humour to pull this off easily.

Little Red Gliding Hood loved to skate and she was very good at it. She would skate to her grandmother’s every Sunday for a visit. The problem was that her old skates were in bad shape and getting to be too snug a fit. She soon wouldn’t be able to skate to Grandma’s.

Conveniently, a pairs skating competition was announced with the prize being a pair of new skates! Little Red Gliding Hood had to win! Inconveniently, she didn’t have a skating partner. Little Red’s grandmother suggested asking the Gingerbread Man. Little Red said he’s too fast and she can’t catch him. Grandma suggested Baby Bear would be a good partner, but Little Red said Goldilocks thought so first. When Little Red went to ask the Three Little Pigs, the Big Bad Wolf showed up. Little Red skated away, frightened, with Wolf skating after her.

The day of the competition Little Red showed up to skate. When the Big Bad Wolf showed up, too, he scared Little Miss Muffet away and Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. It was chaos. The illustrations by Troy Cummings are funny and enjoyable.

The end of the story of Little Red Gliding Hood is fun and very cleverly done, making it a book that’s delightful to read over and over.

You can find Little Red Gliding Hood by Tara Lazar on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and on Chapters.Indigo if available there.

Please encourage an author and illustrator by leaving a comment. Thank you.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: Sky Pig – by Jan L. Coates

 

 

 

 

 

Book: SkyPig
Author: Jan L. Coates
Illustrator: Suzanne Del Rizzo
Publisher: Pajama Press
Date: April 1, 2016 - Canada; September, 2016 - USA
Genre: children's picture book; 4 - 7 yrs; K - 2
Pages: 32
Price: $19.95
My rating: a sweet story of determination and friendship

 

If this book looks familiar to my regular readers, it is because I mentioned it in this blog post last year. 

Here is Jan reading her book at the launch in May of 2016.

 

 

 

SkyPig by Jan L. Coates is a sweet story about friendship and determination. 

Ollie, a little pig, wanted so very much to fly. He watched birds, and airplanes, and bugs, and things being blown in the wind, and he wanted to fly more than anything. His friend Jack, being an inventive boy, did all he could to try to help him attain his dream – even though everybody knows pigs can’t fly.

To launch Ollie airborne they collected leafy branches and fastened them onto his back. They climbed all the way to the top of a very high hill, and Ollie did his very best to fly. Just when he was thinking, “I’m flying! I’m flying, I’m …” Crash! he came down hard, and sadly limped home.

Since that unsuccessful attempt didn’t dampen Ollie’s determination, Jack helped him construct a kite (fail), then wings with feathers and things (fail), and more inventions to try to make Ollie fly. Nothing worked, and nothing made Ollie smile, until the day they discovered something wondrous. 

Illustrator Suzanne Del Rizzo created amazing illustrations for Sky Pig. To quote: “The illustrations were rendered with plasticine, polymer clay, paper collage, milkweed fluff, watch gears, and other doodads.”  Take a close look at the cover illustration to see many of those doodads.

Sky Pig was a selection for the 2016 Best Books for Kids & Teens, won the 2017 Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for excellence in illustration, and was a finalist for the 2017 Shining Willow Award.

Sky Pig by Jan L. Coates is an inspiring story written with repetition of some phrases and humour children will love. Her word choices are delightful. Suzanne Del Rizzo‘s illustrations are gorgeous and complement the story perfectly. When you get to read this book, watch for two little friends who appear in almost every picture with Ollie and Jack, adding a smile for the reader.

You can find Sky Pig by Jan L. Coates on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and Chapters.Indigo when the book is available there.

Please encourage an author and illustrator by leaving a comment. Thank you.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 

Quiz: Build a cliche plot and find out a deep truth about yourself

I’m late with a post this weekend. Sorry! Here is a quiz that you will – hopefully – enjoy. Here you have the opportunity to build a plot for a YA book and find out a deep truth about yourself. It’s just a fun thing.

Follow this link to find out something about yourself.

This is what was revealed about me:

You may be (or prefer to be) a wallflower, but there’s a small part of you that’s dying to be the life of the party. There’s much more to you than meets the eye, and the people who are close to you can attest to your adventurous, risk-it-all spirit.

What are your results?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: Water is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle – by Miranda Paul

 

 

 

 

 

 


Book: Water is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle
Author: Miranda Paul
Illustrator: Jason Chin
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press 
Date: May 26, 2015
Genre: children's picture book; 6 - 10 yrs; gr. 1 - 5
Pages: 40; hardcover
Price: $18.99
My rating: science taught in a most enjoyable way

 

For children who think they don’t like learning about science, introduce them to Water is Water: a Book About the Water Cycle. This beautiful hardcover book is a good introduction presented simply in few words so the young reader is not overloaded with information. Written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Jason Chin, this is an excellent tool to help young readers understand the wonders of the water cycle.

Jason Chin‘s illustrations are remarkable and tell their own story to complement the words. The focus is on two children, siblings, who are enjoying nature.  They play by the pond and the little boy captures a turtle. A few pages later we see them releasing the turtle back into the pond. It’s interesting to see what’s happening with the children and their friends during their outdoor play. The cycle of water is shown as rain, drinking water, steam, clouds, fog, puddles, and includes ice and snow as we follow the children through the change of seasons. 

Miranda Paul’s words are educational while being enjoyable for young readers. She created a very interesting and fascinating read in pleasant rhyme about the changes water goes through, and although in different forms it’s still water.

You can find Water is Water: a Book About the Water Cycle by Miranda Paul on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and Chapters.Indigo when the book is available there.

Please encourage an author and illustrator by leaving a comment. Thank you.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

Book Review: Gertrude at the Beach – by Starr Dobson

 

 

 

 

 

Book: Gertrude at the Beach
Author: Starr Dobson
Illustrator: Dayle Dodwell
Publisher: Nimbus Publishing Ltd
Date: February 1, 2015
Genre: children's picture book; age: 4-8
Pages: 32
Price: $19.95; hardcover
My rating: an entertaining, beautifully illustrated story 

 

Here is another book I purchased at the children’s book fair I enjoyed a year ago.  Gertrude at the Beach is the second picture book written by Starr Dobson. The illustrator is Dayle Dodwell who also illustrated the first book.

In the first book, My Goat Gertrude (read my review of it here) – told by Starr from her perspective when she was a child, we meet Gertrude the goat who was brought into the family by Starr’s dad. Gertrude is immediately loved by the three little girls and is soon found to be a handful of mischief. In this story, Gertrude at the Beach, nothing much has changed in that regard. Gertrude still gets into trouble.

It’s summer vacation and the family packs up to go to their cottage on the beach. As it’s Gertrude’s first time to the ocean, everyone is excited to see how she will react. When they arrive the first thing Gertrude does after sniffing the salt air is to stick her head way in under an overturned rowboat that had been left there. She seems to be fascinated with boats because later they find the boat moving and discover it’s because Gertrude got herself completely under it.

Gertrude is an entertaining animal. A dried up jellyfish has to be taken away from her to stop her from trying to eat it, and Gertrude mopes when sent to her towel under the beach umbrella. Then disaster strikes. Gertrude disappears and finally Starr sees her splashing in fear in the ocean, apparently heading toward to an anchored boat. For some reason she isn’t trying to come back to shore. Somebody has to do something!

The fact that Gertrude at the Beach was written about things that actually happened in Starr Dobson‘s childhood makes it even more interesting for children to enjoy. Dayle Dodwell‘s beautiful illustrations round out the story well.

A portion of the sales of this book are being donated to the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia.

You can find My Goat Gertrude by Starr Dobson on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and sometimes Chapters.Indigo.

Please encourage an author and illustrator by leaving a comment. Thank you.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂