Thursday, March 1, 2018

Book Review: 'Along the Way: Book Four' by Teresa Schapansky

Canadian author Teresa Schapansky enters the world of children’s books with a very thoughtful and entertaining series entitled ALONG THE WAY. Thus far there are five books with hopefully more to come. The illustrations are by Ken Golden. Teresa is a sharp journalist and a popular speaker in schools and other gatherings and her early love for stories lead to books before she finally decided to write this series.

As an introduction to the entire series Teresa states,’ In our books you’ll find short stories, and you’ll meet ordinary, everyday children who face ordinary, everyday problems; read along as our new friends learn how to best solve such problems. We’ll go on make believe road trips and come across some pretty amazing facts that deal with different cultures, exciting history, geography, horticulture, science, and more. Most importantly, ALONG THE WAY books are dedicated to encouraging children to broaden their horizons – be all they can be – al the while, sharpening reading skills which are in fact, necessary, as they embark on this fantastic path to lifelong learning.’

And then we again meet our host Albertosaurus (aka Albert) a dinosaur who opens this little volume with more dinosaurology information – he believes that offering tidbits about dinosaurs and prehistoric times helps us remember the facts. This time he delves into the marine reptiles that were also dinosaurs and reminds us that the Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller, Alberta has one of the largest collections of prehistoric plants and many dinosaur skeletons. And after a little information about Vancouver – the great influx of different people from many lands who immigrated for religious freedom, escape from slavery and discrimination. Many North Americans are descendants of these early pioneers.
Then the story comes and our friends form Book 1 – Jade and Ben – who had moved to a new town where they made new friends like Nana Lee who brought cookies to their new home. Jade and Ben become close to Nana Lee, visiting her often, but one day on a visit there was no answer at the door and the house was dark. They find Nana Lee on the floor, helped her up and called 911 and when the paramedic come they make friends and receive encouragement and thanks for their good deed of calling 911. Now they have learned about uniforms and emergencies and how to respond.

The part three is a trip from Vancouver to Tsawwassen on a ferry across the mighty Straits of Georgia, past Salt Spring Island and other of the gulf islands. Albert closes with a bit more Dino Trivia just to keep us on our toes and the book ends on a farewell note, anticipating the next Along the Way.

Teresa continues to educate and entertain us and improve vocabulary and knowledge of history and prehistoric times. Join her! Grady Harp, June 15

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.