A Day at the Fair: Sketches from the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair


119 pages
ISBN 1-55013-677-1
DDC 630.74713541





Illustrations by Paul Young

Julie Rekai Rickerd is a Toronto-based broadcaster and public-relations


Young and King’s collaboration has produced this simply delightful
book on Toronto’s annual Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Young’s
unique sketches and line drawings are elegant studies of the horses,
cattle, roosters, sheep, goats, pigs and rabbits that are gathered at
“The Royal” each November to “strut their stuff.” A giant
pumpkin also “takes a bow.”

In his brief history of the fair, King, a skilled journalist, captures
to perfection the “mink and manure crowd” that attends the fair from
around the world. He also takes us back to November 22, 1922, when it
all began, and enables us to relive the excitement of the original
17,000 livestock entries competing for awards “from every province and
nine American states.” “A day at the fair” of today includes a
visit to the children’s Petting Farm, where rows of pens with “baby
goats, sheep, pigs, llamas and donkeys” are waiting to be hugged and
admired. There is also a sheep and goat section; a cattle auction of
prized and exotic animals; a swine barn (piglets and all); a dog show;
pickle, jam, jelly, honey, and maple-products contests; a beekeeper
exhibit; a giant vegetable competition; a superb garden show; and, the
piиce de résistance, the elegant international horse show.

Young’s visuals and King’s upbeat, quote-filled text are a perfect
marriage. They bring to life the sights, sounds, and smells of this
popular “fall classic.” Its vibrancy leaps off the pages, enticing
the reader to savor the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair’s past and look
forward to taking part in its future.


Young, Paul, and Paul King., “A Day at the Fair: Sketches from the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 23, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/1868.