I have so much enjoyed Carole P. Roman’s If You Were Me and Lived In… series, which introduces young children to cultures from around the globe. These sweet, simple books are great interest sparkers for young children just beginning to learn about the world outside of their own community. Roman introduces them to modern countries with rich roots like Kenya, Peru, Hungary, and many others, with a simple format that includes vocabulary from the native language, foods, traditional costumes, festivals, and favored vacation spots. Her newest series in this line, however, is historical!
Carole P. Roman kicks it up a notch as she takes her simple structure for introducing young children to different cultures of the world, and seeks to walk elementary aged children back in time through If You Were Me and Lived In Ancient Greece. Having just studied ancient civilizations with my children during our school year, I was very interested to see how much they would enjoy Roman’s overview. I opened Ancient Greece expecting the same simple overview as her previous If You Were Me and Lived In… books. I closed the book about an hour later!! Wow! There was so much detail about location, historical happenings, historical figures who made the area great, architecture, art, beliefs, fashion… as well as her established structure of walking children through a normal “day in the life” of a child in that culture, that my children and I read and talked our way through this book, enjoying and savoring every page!
In addition to Ancient Greece, Roman has also written on Renaissance Italy, Elizabethan England, and Colonial America. Each of these books contains a focus character whose daily life you follow & through whose eyes you see the historical time period. The facts are very interesting and well shared so that the reader, or listener, looks forward to finding out more about the subject beyond what is in the copy in their hands. The illustrations, also, are very nicely done. The costumes are well detailed, the settings capture the time period well, and are just altogether beautiful.
To be fair, the book that focuses on Renaissance Italy was somewhat difficult to read due to black type on a dark brown background. My eyes had a very hard time focusing, and I hope to see them change that in future editions, but the content is wonderful!
Whether you are teaching children formally, or just by enjoying time together, these rich books will make a fun addition to your library!
Alyssa Katanic is a wife and homeschooling mother of 7 children under 11 years old. She loves reading and collecting great books to share with others and knows that one can never have too many!
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Carole P. Roman. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.