Meet J. Armand Bombardier: A Book Review

Title: Meet J. Armand Bombardier
Author: Elizabeth MacLeod 
Illustrator: Mike Deas 
Publisher: Scholastic, 2022 


Meet Joseph-Armand Bombardier ― Canadian inventor, innovator and entrepreneur!

Born in 1907, Joseph-Armand grew up in Valcourt, a small village in Quebec. Like many places in rural and Northern Canada, it was often cut off from the world after winter snows made the roads impassable. When Armand was a kid, he was already inventing his own toys, including his first attempt at a vehicle that could drive through snow. As an adult, the passion to invent a snow machine became a serious ambition after his 2-year-old son died from appendicitis. It was winter and they could not get him to the hospital.

Armand persisted even after many failures ― until he did it! His B7 snow machine was used to deliver milk and mail . . . and it saved lives. But Armand didn’t stop there! He continued to invent and innovate his whole life, making contributions to the war effort and developing machines like the Muskeg tractor and the famous Ski-doo. His inventions revolutionized the way people live and work.

The award-winning Scholastic Canada Biography series highlights the lives of remarkable Canadians whose achievements have inspired and changed the lives of those who followed.


Transportation is something that many of us don’t really think about a lot. When we need it, we just use it. But in the past there have been many more challenges getting from place to place. Meet the creator of the snowmobile as well as many other inventions in this new book from the Scholastic Canada biography series! 

I love the Scholastic Canada biography series. Every book in the series is both enjoyable and informative. My kids and I learn a lot every time we read one of the books in this series. 

I think my favourite part about reading these books is that each one also teaches a little more than just the biography of the featured individual. Our kids can be inspired and learn character through the lives of famous Canadians! 

In the book Meet J. Armand Bombardier, we are introduced to a hard-working man with a desire to build a machine with wheels that would grip snow. He wanted people to be able to travel even on snowy days. He knew that people needed this kind of reliable transportation and that it would even save lives. Today, we might simply jump on a snowmobile and go- with little thought as to who created it and what kind of hard work and determination went into the design. Inventions aren’t easy! J. Armand Bombardier had to work very hard and have a lot of perseverance and persistence to create his inventions. We don’t just hear about his inventions but also all about his trial and error along the way. We also hear about both the good times and the bad times once his snowmobile was invented, and how Armand coped. I love this quote in the book: ““Armand never gave up, even when things didn’t work perfectly the first time. Or the second. Or the third. All of his inventions were sparked by Armand daring to ask, “What should I invent next?”” What a great example! 

It’s amazing to read about what inspired J. Armand Bombardier to create the snow mobile and to learn about what the early snow machine looked like. It’s also interesting to learn about how they were used by hospitals to transport patients and by stores making deliveries. Armand even created an armoured version that was used in World War II! I didn’t realise that Armand also created many other transportation-related inventions until reading this book. The book completes with a timeline of Armand’s life and a few photos. 

I highly recommend this book as well as any book in the Scholastic Canada biography series. Check out my other book reviews about other famous Canadians: David Suzuki, Mary Ann Shadd and Viola Desmond.

Lisa Marie Fletcher
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1 thought on “Meet J. Armand Bombardier: A Book Review”

  1. Elizabeth MacLeod

    Thanks for such a great review. You made my day!

    I loved writing about Armand and I learned so much about him as I was researching his life. It was really important to me to get across what life is like as an inventor so I’m glad you enjoyed that too.

    Thank you for your support of this whole series. Look for “Meet Buffy Sainte-Marie” coming out next year.

    Thanks so much!

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