Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Canadian Railroad Trilogy by Gordon Lightfoot, art by Ian Wallace

In my opinion Gordon Lightfoot’s Canadian Railroad Trilogy is one of the best Canadian songs ever written. Ian Wallace has taken the lyrics of this iconic song, and produced a wonderful new children’s book, entitled Canadian Railroad Trilogy.

I can think of no other event in our nation’s history that so changed the physical and economic landscape of the country than the building of the railway. The illustrations in this book capture the vision of the politicians and entrepreneurs in the east, the toil and hardships of the navies swingin’ their hammers, and the quiet pristine landscape populated by the First Nations peoples.

This is a picture book, but it is definitely not just a children’s book. There is something in it for everyone. The book includes the song lyrics and music, illustrator’s notes, a brief history of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and suggestions for further reading. This book is more than history, it is a work of art.

November 7th marked the 125th anniversary of the Last Spike. It is the perfect time to enjoy this new book.

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