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Author: Wallace, Ian
Publisher: Groundwood Books
Year Published: 2017
ISBN: 9781554989225
Grades: Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grades 7 to 12, Teacher Resource

Curiosity Cabinet, The

Reviewed by:

Dear Canada,
Thanks for the countless adventures
logged in my red 
Converse All Stars. I.W.
In celebration of Canada’s 150 anniversary of Canadian Confederation, the author/illustrator Ian Wallace, created a pictorial curiosity cabinet in graphite, of objects he’d been gifted, purchased or experienced when traveling across Canada, visiting schools and libraries. Each two-page spread introduces readers to a different province/territory of Canada and things that stirred his curiosity and brought back wonderful memories.  The order is not in any particular sequence by order of provinces e.g. west to east or north to south.  On some pages, the location is identified, while on others, the location is a mystery.  Readers become aware that objects bring about memories that are particular to the individual collector alone when they read the Illustrator’s Notes at the back of the book.  Without these notes, many of the objects would remain a curiosity to readers. This is a significant diversion from Wallace’s other books, which shows that an author/illustrator can continue to grow in their own creativity and curiosity.  
This is an ideal book for Social Studies: Citizenship/Identity across grade levels.  Students may be encouraged to bring in to share their own objects from their own curiosity cabinets or build a curiosity cabinet as a class around a topic of study, whether related to social studies, science or a theme/project.  It could also be used for studying the use of pencil graphite drawings in art class before students sketch their own collected curiosities.  It may also be used as a pre-visit to a museum where artifacts and stories create curiosity and meaning in any culture.

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