Title: Along the Way Book Series
Author: Teresa Schapansky
Illustrator: Elly Mossman
Grade level: K-4
ALONG THE WAY BOOKS – BOOK ONE : WELCOME TO ALBERTA SUMMARY
In the first book in this series, Albert wastes no time introducing himself and his two young friends, Jade and Dorian, who are about to discover that they will have to move away, and learn to deal with changes. Tag along with Albert as our prehistoric tour guide, learn some cool facts about Alberta, find some cool places to stop along the Yellowhead Highway, and test your skills with our very first Dino Trivia!
THOUGHTS ABOUT ALONG THE WAY BOOKS
The Along the Way Books book series has 12 books all together, introducing kids to Canada through the adventures, activities, and trivia presented in each book by a dinosaur named Albert – an Albertasaurus from (you guessed it!) Alberta. The first book starts off in his province before moving to some of the other provinces to give us a west to east coast (and north!) adventure.
Each book contains a short story with kids experiencing big things like moving, dealing with emergencies, being different, and handling emotions. It tends to have some kind of moral or important lesson to go with it – like change is hard but life goes on.
Other sections of the book include:
Albert’s Road Trip – which is where you will find out information about the featured province. Alberta presents tidbits of neat information in short, not-too-complex language that kids can read for themselves as they gain confidence in their reading skills or that makes easy to listen to if you are reading aloud to them. I really like that this short section actually seems to focus on some non-typical things about each province. Instead of coving things like super popular and well-known tourist areas, it seems like the author chose more unique and out of the way kinds of things. For example, in the third book about British Columbia – the featured places do include Victoria (mostly to explain that it’s the capital city) but also Duncan and Chemainus – towns I’m not really sure are usually included in an average trip across Canada adventure!
There is also a section in each book which focuses on something else as well. Book one talks about technology, book two about the ice age, book three about the different cultures we find in Canada, etc. You can expect to cover weather and natural phenomenon,
Albert’s Facts is a glossary you can find at the back of the book to explain the meanings of some of the words that kids will encounter in the books.
But the part that was the biggest hit for my kids was the Dino Trivia. At the end of each book is a list of true and false statements about dinosaurs. But brace yourself – you won’t get answers until the start of the next book! Honestly, that’s kind of a neat idea. It got my kids curious enough to want to open the next book – and that’s a win!
Some interesting things about these books are that they are presented in landscape form (meaning they are wider than they are tall) which is totally unique. The black and white illustrations are cute and engaging – sometimes with little comic-style speech bubbles – on almost every page. That helped to keep my kids interacting with each book.
I think the author has done a really great job of creating a series of books that do a quick introduction to different parts of Canada combined with the ever popular topic of dinosaurs and some other relatable stories about kids. We are happy to have these on our bookshelf.
You can find out more about her book series on her website: https://teresaschapansky.com/