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Gopher Tales Of Saskatchewan    by Doug Porteous & Tom Grummett order for
Gopher Tales Of Saskatchewan
by Doug Porteous
Order:  USA  Can
Meewasin, 2011 (2011)
* * *   Reviewed by Jessica Maguire

The clear morning air was cut by the whirring of the propellers as the engines on the little Air Canada Jazz plane roared to life. Securely buckled into my seat, I pulled out a book, a gift from a friend, to read as the plane noisily shimmied and shook down the runway. And so began my journey into the poetry and musings of Saskatoonian Doug Porteous as I headed back to the States.

Gopher Tales Of Saskatchewan is sure to delight and entertain, as well as teach the reader a little about the history and pioneer spirit of Saskatchewan and the lovely city of Saskatoon. Having spent the week visiting the best of friends in Saskatoon, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the city I just met.

The book is a melange of poetry, both serious and fun, background information about each poem, and glimpses into the lives of the author and his family. The illustrations by Tom Grummett are delightful. Many are humorous and will bring a smile to your face.

As I bounced my way over the provinces and through Edmonton and Vancouver, I enjoyed learning about the Saskatchewan Smokejumpers, the Porteous family, and Saskatchewan folk. The poetry and short stories also make this a good choice for travels or bedtime reading ... you do not lose your place too easily should you doze off or pause for layovers.

This book does more than entertain the reader. The work for the first edition has been donated by both author and illustrator. Additionally, all proceeds from the book are donated to the Meewasin Endowment Fund that supports the Meewasin Valley Authority. This conservation agency is committed to preserving cultural and natural resources along the South Saskatchewan River Valley and the green space along the river in Saskatoon. More detailed information about this program is provided by the author.

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