Inside the Ark
University of Regina Press / 30 January 2014

Inside the Ark: The Hutterites in Canada and the United States by Yossi Katz and John Lehr Published by Canadian Plains Research Center Review by Keith Foster $39.95 ISBN 978-0-88977-282-3 Ever wonder what goes on inside a Hutterite colony? Inside the Ark: The Hutterites in Canada and the United States tells the intimate story of a people little known and even less understood. The impact of the Hutterites is significant. Authors Yossi Katz and John Lehr point out that the 40,000 Hutterites living in 474 colonies throughout Canada and the United States form the largest communal society in the world. The authors show the inner workings of a hardworking society, industrious as a colony of ants, toiling quietly in seclusion. One rural municipality in Manitoba, for instance, is home to three Hutterite colonies that “constitute the three largest operations in the area.” Yet according to the RM’s economic development officer, “we never hear from them, they just go about their business.” Like a protective ark, the commune provides shelter and safety against meddling and corrupting outside influences. But the authors believe that “today, the Ark is leaking.” Technology – especially computers and the Internet – is forcing Hutterites to emerge…

Taking the Reins
Coteau Books / 24 January 2014

Taking the Reins by Dayle Campbell Gaetz Published by Coteau Books Review by Alison Slowski $8.95 ISBN 978-1-55050-552-8 In Dayle Campbelle Gaetz’s Taking the Reins, we are introduced to Katherine, a capable, independent British girl whose family has settled on a struggling farm in the colony of British Columbia, circa 1862. She has a gift for handling horses and skilfully uses this knowledge to help her family throughout this fast-paced Young Adult novel. Emma, another fourteen-year-old recently arrived from Britain, meets Katherine when her father buys her a horse and expects her to learn how to ride it. Emma’s largest obstacle is her fear of horses. As she overcomes this fear, she also overcomes her shyness and reluctance to befriend people, as her tumultuous voyage to Canada taught her to be wary and mistrustful of strangers. Meanwhile, Katherine’s reluctance to adhere to her parents’ wishes and her drive to act on her own when adults refuse to listen to her are refreshing in so young a heroine. These two stories together create relatable themes and an enjoyable story for young adult readers. Unravelling the mystery behind Emma’s past and her stubborn desire to learn to ride a horse on her…

Crown Corporations in Saskatchewan
Your Nickel's Worth Publishing / 24 January 2014

Crown Corporations in Saskatchewan by Boris W. Kishchuk Published by Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing Review by Keith Foster $19.95 ISBN 978-1-894431-95-8 Few issues in Saskatchewan stir up as much controversy as Crown corporations. One need look no further than recent provincial elections. But Saskatoon author Boris Kishchuk deliberately steers clear of politics in his book, Crown Corporations of Saskatchewan. Instead, he focuses on their history and evolution. Kischuck divides Crown corporations into three categories: for job and wealth creation; for investment and financial services; and to provide services to the people of the province. Crown corporations have a long history in Saskatchewan. The Territorial government created the first Crown in 1901, selling hail insurance to farmers, before Saskatchewan even became a province. Some Crowns may not exactly be household names – like Saskatchewan Government Airways, Saskatchewan First Call Corporation, and Saskatchewan Box Factory Ltd. – but they nevertheless played an important part in the province’s history. Crown corporations sometimes invested in private enterprise, some with unusual names such as Hollywood at Home, Inc. and Clothing for Modern Times, Inc. Kishckuk brings his personal knowledge to the subject. He served as chair of the Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel for five years….

Dorothy McMoogle with Kumquat and Bugle
Wild Sage Press / 24 January 2014

Dorothy McMoogle with Kumquat and Bugle by Bruce Rice, Illustrated by Wendy Winter Published by Wild Sage Press Review by Jessica Bickford $25.00 978-0-9881229-5-6 Dorothy McMoogle with Kumquat and Bugle is just as playful a read as you can gather from the title. This book is written in a fun, lilting rhyme that just begs to be read aloud; Bruce Rice has certainly caught upon what kids and their grown-ups like most from a story time book. Dorothy McMoogle plays with language in a way that will not only help young readers learn to deal with some more complex sounds, but will make it a joy for their grown-ups to read to them. It’s not just the story, but the illustrations by Wendy Winter that make Dorothy McMoogle such a delightful little romp. There are so many playful details in the illustrations that you’re likely to take as long looking at them as you do reading the words on each page. Dorothy’s boring day is brought to life beautifully through the pictures and I have to say that my personal favourite is Dottie Aunt Lottie’s Gloom-O-Meter that goes from danger, to dull, dreadful, dreary, and finally dings out doomed! The…