Books! Books! MORE BOOKS! Books to me, especially children’s books, are what I imagine shoes or handbags might be to some other women. I have been collecting children’s books for 20 years. Mind you my oldest is only 12. My addiction…err… collection began long before he was born. So when the opportunity to review three children’s books in the If You Were Me and Lived In.… series brought to you by Carole P. Roman I was very excited. We are no strangers to Carole’s books as we’ve had the opportunity to review some of her more whimsical titles in the past.
- If You Were Me and Lived in…Ancient Greece: An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time (Volume 1),
- If You Were Me and Lived in… South Korea: A Child’s Introduction to Cultures around the World (Volume 3),
- If You Were Me and Lived in…Egypt: A Child’s Introduction to Cultures Around the World (Volume 16)
About This Series:
The If You Were Me and Lived In… series aims to teach children about some of the most significant civilizations and cultures in history. These books speak from the point of view of a child who may have lived during the period of time the book represents. We learn all about the lives of typical people during that time. There are great details about the clothing they wore, the foods they ate, their jobs, art, customs, celebrations and more. These books are packed with information. Each of them is at least 50 pages long with excellent color illustrations and pages jammed with text and information. The language of these books is pretty simple and geared toward young children. There isn’t complex vocabulary or confusing information. Everything is laid out clearly and plainly.
The pictures are detailed yet clear and simple. They depict the hard life of your average family. Interestingly the style of art differs from book to book. The illustrations in South Korea and Egypt are done with what looks like pen and ink with sharp lines and solid color. The Ancient Greece is done with more of a whimsy watercolor effect. Both styles are fantastic and serve the purpose of providing visual detail well.
One very neat feature at the end of each book is the glossary. I love how words specific to the time are well defined. For example, I had never heard of the word arosa. In Egypt that is a doll.
How We Used the Books
When the books arrived my children immediately scoffed them up and read them through almost instantly. My ten year old read them aloud to my three-year-old who then spent an hour pouring over the pictures on her own. During our typical school time, I chose to read each one a few pages at a time and then draw from them discussions that interweave with our general studies. They were great for inciting conversation about the life of the time period we were studying. They are very detailed and so full of great information. What you have in these books is all of the information from many library books condensed into just one book. Very convenient.
If You Were Me and Lived in…Ancient Greece provides a treasure trove of facts about ancient Greece. You’ll be discussing geography, (religion the various God’s that were worshiped), the political structure, living conditions, diet, and cultural customs. Did you know the people of ancient Greece used bread for napkins? Bread that was later fed to the dogs? Who knew? Also discussed are the cultural expectations for boys and girls, the clothing styles people wore, the economy and even the origins of the Olympics!
If You Were Me and Lived in… South Korea takes on life in modern days. Though the people and children depicted in this book live today, the text still offers similar details as the ancient books. This book provides a lot of descriptions of the everyday life of an average family. I love how much of the language we are introduced to. My family studies Korean Karate, and we were fascinated by this book. It was fun to compare what we found between the book’s pages with what we’ve learned through our Karate training.
If You Were Me and Lived in…Egypt is identical to the last two books except, of course, we are now talking about modern day Eygpt. In this book, there is a bit more history thrown in than compared to the South Korea book. It makes sense in some ways because Egypt is so well known for its big pyramids and ancient life along the Nile River. We’ve been studying ancient Egypt in our homeschool, so we enjoyed skipping ahead in time and discussing just how things have changed over the thousands of years.
While reading all of the books our conversation inevitably centered around comparing and contrasting our lives here in America with the children and families we saw in the books. I love showing my children just how different life around the world is. We aren’t financially blessed enough to travel to these fantastic countries, so we do the next best thing. We read about them.
Overall I highly recommend all of the books by Carole P. Roman. They are an excellent investment for your family and homeschool library.