Montreal and Quebec City (149)

Since I was born in Montreal, this travel guide really tweaked my attention when I saw it on the new book section of my local library.

As all travel guides, the reader learns so much. But to think that I learned so much about a place that I lived in for 22+ years just baffles me.

I learned so much!  For instance, I learned about all the historical buildings in Quebec City, which I visited quite a few times.

Then I learned that Laval, where I was born, now has well over 400,000 people.  It only had a couple thousand people in the 1960s.

Also, the cultural centres around Montreal are growing.  This is understandable given the divergence of the population in Quebec and Montreal now. It is truly a treasure throve of beauty, vibrancy and yes culture.

I will make sure that I take this guide along with me when I visit Montreal. And I will be sure to visit some of the restaurants that are mentioned in the book.

I recommend this book to anyone who loves Montreal, and for those who have never been to this wonderful city!  You will definitely want to visit after you read the book!


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Baby Cakes by Theo Heras (148)

This is a wonderful picture book by an author who is quickly becoming my favorite picture book writer–his name is Theo Heras.  The illustrator, Renne Benoit is wonderful as well as he brings the story to life for young readers.

This story is about a mother and her child making muffins. It is super cute and very child friendly. It showcases how kids run into difficulties baking. And when a cute little kitty joins the cooking party, well, the book is not only a success but a triumph.

The book ends with a recipe for the little baby cakes that were made in the picture book along with a very simple frosting recipe. I may have to try the recipe myself.

Irene S. Roth

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Don’t Let My Past Be Your Future by Harry Leslie Smith (147)

This is a wonderful book that is honest and poignant. It interweaves memoir and polemic in a call to arms.  The book is set in the Great Depression.

Harry Leslie Smith is a great British stalwart. He is a survivor of the Great Depression, a Second World War veteran, a lifelong Labour supporter and a proud Yorkshire man.

Harry’s life has straddled two centuries. As a young man, he witnessed a country in crisis with no healthcare, no relief for the poor and a huge economic gulf between the north and south.

Now that he is in his nineties, Harry wanders through the streets of his youth and wonders whether anything has actually changed.

Britain is at its most dangerous juncture since Harry’s youth–the NHS and social housing are in crisis, while Brexit and an unpopular government continue to divide the country — but there is hope.

Just as Clement Attlee provided hope in 1945, Labour’s triumphant comeback of June 2017 is a beacon of light in this season of discontent. Britain has overcome adversity before and will do so again–a new nation will be forged from the ashes of grave injustice.

I love this book!  Although it is sad in places, it is pays homage to the boundless grace and resilience of the human spirit. What a triumph of a book!

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted in Author from Ontario, Educational book, Emancipation, Empowerment, England, History, Memoire, The GREAT depression, World War II | Leave a comment

City Critters by Nicholas Read (146)

This nonfiction book is about wildlife in urban areas. It will inform as well as educate. This book could easily be used for school projects for elementary school students as well as possible high school students.

When we think of wild animals, we don’t immediately associate them with the cities we live in. But a closer look soon reveals that we share our urban creatures.

City Critters examines how and why so many wild animals choose to live in places that, on first glance at least, seem contrary to their needs. How do those raccoons, squirrels, skunks, coyotes, crows, gulls, and geese not to mention the alligators, eagles, sea otters and snakes manage to survive in the big city?

And what are our responsibilities in enduring that these animals can continue to share our city lives?

This is a great book from start to finish. I learned so much reading the book about critters. From now on when I am out after dark, I may look out for these interesting creatures myself.

Posted in A Book for Nature Lovers, Author from Vancouver, Critters, Geography | Leave a comment

You are the Earth by David Suzuki (145)

This is another wonderful book by David Suzuki!  It is a book that will help kids know their world so that they can help make it better.

Nature has a remarkable ability to heal itself, given half a chance. For instance, fish returned to the River Thames in England after anti-pollution laws were passed, and plants started growing again around Sudbury, Ontario after metal-making factories installed scrubbers, which cut down on the toxic gases going into the air.

Many people are working today to bring about even bigger miracles. But we humans must be creative and generous and strong enough to make that happen. Some people say that protecting the environment costs too much. They say there are more important things than grizzly bears and prairies and rivers. But what can be more important than this precious home we share?

The Earth has sailed through the universe for billions of years, slowly creating the perfect conditions for life in all its fabulous variety. We don’t know how that works. We can’t control the tides or the seasons. We can’t create a tropical forest and fill it with hundreds of thousands of species all working together to keep it healthy. Only nature can do these things. All we can do is trying to let nature keep on dong them.

Our survival depends on remembering who we are. We are the Earth–part of the air, water, soil, and energy of the world, surrounded by our kin, the plants and animals that keep the world livable for us, beings with love in our hearts and life in our souls. It is up to us to protect those things so that they will be around for many generations to come.

I loved this book from start to finish.


Posted in Author from Ontario, David Suzuki, Educational book, Emancipation, Empowerment, Forest Fires, Nature, Nonfiction | Leave a comment

Take me Out to the Ice Rink by Stella Partheniou Grasso (144)

This is a picture book about a Canadian sport: hockey.  It is written for the older child and the younger too. I think the main audience for this book would be boys–but girls might like too, especially if they like the sport.

This book is very funny. The illustrations are also hilarious.  They will make kids laugh out loud.  Heck…it made this kid laugh out loud too…LOL.

This book’s story line is about a hockey season that is finally here. The fans can’t wait to watch the game and cheer on their team.

This book will help you follow the excitement and sing along to this hockey version of the classic song.

What a joy of a book!

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted in Author from Ontario | Leave a comment

Where’s Bunny by Theo Heras (143)

This is another adorable picture book by Theo Heras!  It is a book that will definitely be used by parents at bedtime. It also offers a checklist for parents on their bedtime routine–which can really help busy parents.

The bedtime checklist includes: picking up toys, put clothes in laundry basket, bathe, clean teeth, put on PJs, and much more.

The illustrations are adorable.  They are so full of expression and will encourage children to sleep.

I especially loved the illustrations of the siblings in the bath together, playing in the water and splashing about.  It is super cute and made me laugh out loud.

I recommend this book to all parents with toddlers. It will be a book that you will read and re-read.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted in Author from Ontario, Picture Book | Leave a comment