New Neighbours


32 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 0-88902-606-8




Reviewed by Susan Rogers

Susan Rogers was a librarian with the Laurenval School Board (Adult Services), Deux Montagnes, Quebec.


New Neighbours, part of the Canadian Family series, is intended for use in the elementary school curriculum.

The story relates how Erik, a young boy of Danish background, is very happy to have the Shibitani family, originally from Japan, move in next door. Eric now has playmates and a place to go after school. At school Erik and his new friends participate in the school fair about the different countries from which the students come. Then Mr. and Mrs. Shibitani become Canadian citizens. There are illustrations on every page, mostly in colour. Particularly interesting are the small black-and-white drawings around each page number: a rabbit, a teacup, or some other item mentioned on that particular page.

This book could be used in a classroom setting with young children. It teaches in a pleasant manner. A child can learn how to make an origami mouse and Danish pancakes, is prompted to find out facts about Canada, and discovers how a citizenship court operates. The story, however, is not particularly interesting. At the beginning the reader is concerned about Erik and his problems, but as the story progresses, the author becomes more involved with explanations of how families of different cultural backgrounds make up Canada than with the feelings of one particular boy.


Pedersen, Joan, and Pamela Jacobson Quigg, “New Neighbours,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 21, 2024,