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Children's Nonfiction General

Kids Book of Canadian Firsts, The

by (author) Valerie Wyatt

illustrated by John Mantha

Kids Can Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2001
General, General
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2001
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 8 to 12
  • Grade: 3 to 7


From earth-shattering innovations and amazing inventions to achievements in government, culture and history, Canadians have played a major role in shaping the world. With almost 150 entries --- in categories such as technology, nature, transportation and food --- this title in the Kids Book of series explores the many events and discoveries that are firsts in Canada or the world.

Photographs, coins, stamps, paintings and patent drawings give the book distinctive visual appeal. As well, quotes, profiles, fact boxes and a timeline reveal further information about these unique achievements.

Kids can read about • the first stamp in the world to feature an animal • the world's first chocolate bar • the first dinosaur bones found in Canada • the first light bulb ever --- yes, it was invented in Canada, and not by Thomas Edison!

About the authors

Valerie Wyatt is an award-winning author of more than 14 nonfiction books, many of them about science. She also writes on historical topics and, from time to time, picture books. Asked if she has a favorite book, she says it's always the one she's just finished. She loves writing for children because it's not just about the words. “You have to think about the photographs and illustrations as well and make sure they fit together,” she says. “It's like putting together a jigsaw puzzle.” Valerie lives in Victoria, British Columbia, with her husband and dog, MacPherson, whose favorite food is cucumbers.

Valerie Wyatt's profile page

John Mantha is a Toronto-based artist and illustrator. Born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, he graduated with honours from the Ontario College of Art. John is the illustrator of twenty-six books including The Kids Book of Canada's Railway and The Kids Book of Canadian Exploration.

John Mantha's profile page


  • Winner, Our Choice - Starred Selection, Canadian Children's Book Centre
  • Short-listed, Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize, West Coast Book Prize Society
  • Commended, Information Book Award, Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada

Editorial Reviews

One of the great things about Kids Can Press is that it's Canadian, and they publish books such as The Kids Book of Canadian Firsts. No imperial measurements, no funny spellings, just great information about great accomplishments by Canadians and great discoveries in Canada - nearly 150 are detailed in this book. What do Superman, the long-distance phone call, the baseball glove and the McIntosh apple (the one you eat) have in common? Canadian inventions, every one of them. Kinda makes you feel good, doesn't it?

The Edmonton Sun

How many kids know that the first Canadian to climb the dizzy heights of Mount Everest was Calgarian Laurie Skreslet in 1982? Or that Superman first flew in 1932 in the imagination of his creator, Torontonian Joe Shuster? Reading about these and other facts in The Kids Book of Canadian Firsts is stirring. In addition to stamps and photographs, artist John Mantha's color images provide a cheery visual touch. The Kids Book of Canadian Firsts gives project researchers a place to start - an overview of the marvelous constellation of stars in the Canadian sky of fame.

Quill & Quire

Other titles by Valerie Wyatt

Other titles by John Mantha