Mexico from A to Z


32 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Maps, Index
ISBN 0-86505-382-0
DDC j972




Reviewed by Sandy Campbell

Sandy Campbell is a reference librarian in the Science and Technology Library at the University of Alberta.


Each of the books in this alphabet series supplies a general
introduction to a country. The choice of the alphabet as a structure
forces the author into some peculiar selections of words and themes.
They vary widely in scope. For example, in Mexico from A to Z, “J is
for jalapenos,” a Mexican pepper, but “G is for geography,” a
general term.

The Canadian book contains some particularly odd choices. For example,
“U” is for the “underground railway” that brought escaping
slaves into Canada; this tiny corner in Canada’s history is important,
but not broadly representative (“underground mining” might have been
a more logical choice). There is also a lack of focus on Native people,
except in historical contexts. In addition, the book is much more
representative of central Canada than it is of the rest of the country.
Apart from mentions of cities, there is nothing west of the Ontario
border except the West Edmonton Mall and the Calgary Stampede. Finally,
there is an error in the book. Kalman claims that the “RCMP was formed
in 1873.” In fact, the NWMP was formed that year; the RCMP came into
being in 1920.

Kalman and her coauthors do a better job of keeping to broad topics in
Mexico from A to Z and the United States from A to Z; both books are
recommended for school or public libraries. Canada from A to Z is not a
first-choice purchase.


Kalman, Bobbie, and Jane Lewis., “Mexico from A to Z,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 22, 2024,