Early Settler Children


64 pages
Contains Illustrations, Index
ISBN 0-86505-019-8




Reviewed by Laura M. Gateman

Laura M. Gateman was a freelance writer/photographer and author of Echoes of Bruce County, lived in Chesley, Ontario.


Early Settler Children is a book that has been needed for a long time. Today’s children have very little exposure to material depicting the way of life of children in pioneer times.

The graphic detail covers many of the ordinary, everyday events of settler life. The text, although not lengthy, gives just enough print material to complement the illustrations, making it a volume for children of all ages.

Early Settler Children has a host of details a child might be curious about, and it can be used as a valuable teaching aid. Under 30 different headings it creates very real images of such subjects as clothing, fun and games, punishment, pastimes, school, toys, grandparents, and chores, revealing that the daily routine of a settler child was geared to the general needs and survival of the whole family.

This book reads like a story but is actually a book of information. It takes an interesting and neglected subject and presents it in a manner to attract a curious young reader. At the same time, it is an educational tool. With its 120 illustrations, a glossary, and an index, it could be the basis for a study in almost any elementary classroom. It represents a creative effort to record something important in our past that we have neglected — the children. Many textbooks are filled with the “adult” history of exploration, settlement, and wars; but very few of these books pause to mention children and the way they lived.


Kalman, Bobbie, “Early Settler Children,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed December 3, 2023, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/38966.