See Saw Saskatchewan: More Playful Poems from Coast to Coast


32 pages
ISBN 1-55337-392-8
DDC jC811'.54





Illustrations by Scot Ritchie
Reviewed by Alison Mews

Alison Mews is co-ordinator of the Centre for Instructional Services at
Memorial University of Newfoundland.


This collection of bouncy rhymes is designed for chanting aloud and can
be used for skipping or clapping games. Most poems even have action
icons that represent the various ways they can be enjoyed. The poems are
filled with unique and musical Canadian place names (e.g., Kapuskasing)
as well as tongue twisters like “Rocky Mountain mountain goats” and
“Canada Can Cancan.” Many of the poems are based on provincial
flowers or birds (factual information about these things appears in
italics adjacent to the poem).

Bright cartoon illustrations add energy and humour to the book.
Multiracial children are depicted in dynamic poses, while a range of
northern animals (e.g., moose and Canada geese) inhabit the pages in an
assortment of silly situations that reflect the nonsensical verse.

Unfortunately, though the rhymes are rollicking and the subject matter
appealing, the collection is uneven and the rhyme schemes are quite
clumsy. If you read them aloud sight unseen, the variance in syllables
will catch you unaware, and you will lose the rhythm. It is only after
learning where to compensate for the irregular rhyme, and with some
practice, that they will work quite well. Because of the dearth of
Canadian poetry for children, however, this collaboration will find a
ready place in Canadian schools and libraries. Recommended with


Heidbreder, Robert., “See Saw Saskatchewan: More Playful Poems from Coast to Coast,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 22, 2024,