The Chinese

Description

32 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Maps, Index
$10.95
ISBN 0-7787-0202-2
DDC j973'.04951

Year

2000

Contributor

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, Ontario.

Review

Colorful, glossy covers attract the reader to this Crabtree series
exploring the roots and culture of six major groups of North American
settlers: the Italians, the Africans, the Chinese, the French, the Jews,
and the Hispanics. Crabtree’s signature mixture of photographs,
cartoons, drawings, paintings, engravings, and maps, drawn from a myriad
of sources, occupy almost half of each volume. A reluctant or impatient
reader who merely scans the pictures and reads the captions will glean a
sound impression of the featured culture. The text is readily accessible
to a junior or intermediate audience, as it is sometimes “chunked”
or highlighted in contrasting colors. Subjects are seldom covered in
more than two pages, and challenging vocabulary is boldfaced for easy
reference to the glossary.

While all volumes have some subheadings in common (such as early
history or “Proud Heritage,” and modern prospects in “Here to
Stay”), most subheadings are tailored to the individual stories of
each culture. The Italian story focuses on the 19th-century emigrants
who fled poverty and starvation for “the land of opportunity.” The
African tale includes several sections on slavery and its ramifications
throughout North American culture. The Chinese volume explores in many
ways the clash of East meeting West. The French are thoroughly described
as early pioneers, one of the first immigrant groups to settle on the
continent—particularly in the area around the Bay of Fundy known as
Acadia. The Jewish story brings their worldwide struggle into focus as
it pertains to their emigration from Europe to North America. The
Hispanics volume outlines Spanish settlement in the Americas since 1492.

A variety of narrative techniques, including “Eye Witness to
History” (firsthand accounts), create a balanced tone: succinct and
factual yet immediate and personal. The authors consistently model an
attitude of respect and understanding, making this an excellent resource
for school or home. Highly recommended.

Citation

Horton, Casey., “The Chinese,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed February 29, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/29591.