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Children's Nonfiction General

Wow Canada!

Exploring this Land from Coast to Coast to Coast

by (author) Vivien Bowers

illustrated by Dan Hobbs & Dianne Eastman

Owlkids Books Inc.
Initial publish date
Jan 2010
General, General, Travel
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2010
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2010
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 8 to 12
  • Grade: 3 to 6


The multi-award-winning Wow Canada! is an original, witty, and fabulously informative cross-country excursion, done scrapbook style. This 10th anniversary edition is sure to win over new audiences, who will treasure this celebratory look at all things Canadian. Join 12-year-old Guy, his younger sister Rachel, and their parents as they dip their toes in the Pacific Ocean, hop in their car, and set off to see the country from west to east. The family's surprise-filled travels take them from one end of the country to the other, even up to Nunavut. Honest and downright hilarious, Guy is the perfect narrator for this national odyssey; his wry backseat observations are a hit with young readers. Wow Canada! features fun and funny bits of Canadian trivia; postcards and e-mails from Guy and Rachel to their friends back home; stamps, souvenirs, photos, and drawings; panoramic map art for each province and territory; humorous sidebars, such as "Food I Was Introduced to for My Own Good," "Guy's Family Car Trip Survival Tips," “According to Mom;” Bucko Beaver cartoon strips; and more! This rollicking, informative, and absorbing tour of Canada’s many splendors is a refreshing celebration of the nation.

About the authors

Vivien Bowers appreciates kids' tireless curiosity, and satisfies it with high-energy non-fiction. With over 20 years of writing experience, she has garnered numerous awards and nominations. She is the author of Crazy About Canada! and That's Very Canadian! She lives in Nelson, BC, where she enjoys escaping to the wilderness to ski, hike, or canoe.

Vivien Bowers' profile page

DAN HOBBS grew up in Oshawa, ON, reading comic books. He attended art school and after graduation began his own design company called Angry Cow. To this day he enjoys success with his company, where he illustrates for advertisements, books, newspapers, and magazines. He also teaches illustration at Sheridan College. He lives with his wife and children in Oakville, ON.

Dan Hobbs' profile page

Dianne Eastman Dianne Eastman worked in advertising before she turned to full-time design and illustration of children’s books. She lives in northern Ontario.

Dianne Eastman's profile page


  • Commended, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Best Books for Kids and Teens Selection
  • Winner, Atlantic Library Association, Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award
  • Winner, British Columbia Library Association, Red Cedar Book Award
  • Short-listed, Alberta Children's Choice Awards, Rocky Mountain Book Award
  • Short-listed, Canadian Booksellers Association, Libris Award, Non-fiction Title of the Year
  • Winner, BC Book Prizes, Sheila A. Egoff Award
  • Short-listed, Mr. Christie Children's Book Award
  • Winner, Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada, Information Book Award
  • Short-listed, Canadian Science Writers' Association, Science in Society Award
  • Commended, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Our Choice Starred Selection
  • Commended, Quill & Quire, Best of the Year

Editorial Reviews

A perfect book for a car trip, or even an armchair adventure.

Victoria Times Colonist

An updated version of the bestselling classic, describing our country starting from West to East, a chapter per province and territory. Vivid illustrations and photography, fact-filled sidebars and cartoons make this an entertaining and informative read.

Burnaby Now

This is a fun book that helps children (and adults) appreciate the wonderful country we live in and would be useful for anyone travelling to another part of Canada.

The Record (Sherbrooke)

…everything you wanted to know about Canada and more!

Parent Council

Wow Canada! is packed full of both natural history and social history. The writing style is funny and engaging. The illustrations are a clever blend of photos and line drawings. Squeezing the second largest country in the world into a hundred and sixty pages is a challenge, but the author and illustrator team do it very well. The book makes me want to pack up the car and head out across the Trans Canada.

Kootenay Weekly Express

…make[s] you want to hop in a car and start exploring Canada right away.

Quill & Quire

"Finally! A textbook that won’t bore kids! It all adds up to a stimulating, funny, kid-friendly, and detailed look at a fascinating country that just might inspire family educational trips, as well as teach kids about Canada."

Kirkus Reviews

Here’s an oxymoron for you: an entertaining geography book. Or at least it was an oxymoron until the publication last month of Wow Canada!

WHERE Magazine

Equal parts history, geography, trivia, and journal, this makes a great snapshot introduction to Canada.

Book Links

Bowers shows us the diverse mosaic of our land, always with her uniquely Canadian perspective (read "a quirky sense-of-humor") at the forefront....The award-winning Wow Canada! is funny, stimulating and interesting...If your kids complain that history or geography are dull, they need a copy of this book.

Island Parent

…turns up information that captures the spirit of the many regions that make up Canada. It is filled with amazing Canadian facts and historical wonders.

The Sudbury Star

a refreshing discovery and celebration of our country’s many splendors.

Doctor’s Review

…bound to excite both the armchair traveler and those planning to venture to the many parts of this great land!

Saint John Times-Globe

A great celebration of our country, Wow Canada! appeals to a child’s natural curiosity.

Hamilton Spectator

An awesome read, unlike any book about Canada you've ever seen.

Toronto Star

…a gorgeous looking specimen…a fun read and a great way to keep back-seat vacationers entertained.

EnRoute Magazine

The thoughtful and humorous presentation distinguishes this book from others on the subject...A lively, valuable addition.

School Library Journal

Lighthearted yet informative, Wow Canada! is a terrific traveler’s companion and armchair read. Highly recommended.

Children’s Literature Journal

"This is probably the best Canadian travel book written for pre-teens. Wow Canada! is guaranteed to stimulate a youngster's urge to explore the country."

The Globe and Mail

Stuffed with more trivia, backyard science and solid geographic fact than a dogsled could hold, this book is as rich, funny and delightful as the country it tries so hard to capture. Too bad it probably won’t be adopted as a grade school textbook — as if teachers would let homework be this much fun.

Monday Magazine

Librarian Reviews

Wow Canada! Exploring this Land from Coast to Coast to Coast

Join 12-year-old Guy, his sister Rachel and his parents as they travel from coast to coast discovering Canada. Inside readers will find weird bits of trivia, postcards and emails from Guy and Rachel to their friends, panoramic maps, campfire chats, humorous sidebars, cartoon strips and facts about Canada. This 10th anniversary edition was originally published in 1999 by Owl Books and in 2007 by Maple Tree Press (Our Choice 2000 Starred Selection).

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2011.

Other titles by Vivien Bowers

Other titles by Dianne Eastman