Travel in the Early Days


32 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Index
ISBN 0-86505-433-9
DDC j388'.0973




Christine Linge MacDonald, a past director of the Toronto & District
Parent Co-operative Preschool Corporation and a freelance writer, is an
elementary school teacher in Whitby.


These latest Bobbie Kalman books, which look at historic communities
from two dozen different and intriguing angles, combine illustrations,
graphics, text, and photography to make a visual smorgasbord to tempt
any reader. The text in each volume is parsed in discreet paragraphs
with bold headings that provide a running commentary on the chapter
subject. Plentiful picture captions are enticing alternatives for the
reluctant reader.

Pioneer times come alive in Schoolyard Games, Classroom Games, and
Pioneer Recipes. The authors describe Sticky Apple Tag, Rigamarole, and
Nine Holes (among dozens of other games) in lively, interactive language
that makes the reader eager to try them out. Though Hot Buttered Beans
is actually in the game collection, Beans with Bear Fat and Maple Syrup
can be found among the variety of pioneer recipes that range from
Native-influenced Wild Rice with Cranberries to English Beef Stew.

The larger, brick homes of the townsfolk is the main focus in Colonial
Home; 14 chapters describe this world, from the “Bedchamber” to the
“Dependencies.” A broad sweep of history, both in time and distance,
is explored in Travel in Early Days, jumping from “winter hazards”
and “wagon trains” to “steam power” and “stage coaches.”

One problem with these volumes is that dates are very hard or
impossible to locate. Likewise, the geographic locale is vague, seldom
more specific than “the south” or “west” of North America.
Although the authors might believe that children are content to lump
everything into “pioneer times,” older readers and teachers need to
have more specific signposts. Nonetheless, keeping Cat’s Cradle and
Maple Lemonade in mind, this series is highly recommended.


Kalman, Bobbie, and Kate Calder., “Travel in the Early Days,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 16, 2024,