Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received these books, free of charge,from the author, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about them.
Today I have not 1 but 4 great new books, that are the beginning of a new part of the
'If you were me and..." series from one of our favorite children's authors,
Carol P Roman.
Not only are these great resource books, they can make Summer a lot more interesting, if you take one of the books and then devise some Summer projects around it, like visiting a Shakespearean play, visiting a museum, making a craft or food from the time period, or even visiting a historical park/site from that time! These are great ways to re-enforce the learning from the books, while making them FUN. And shhh, the kids might not realize just how much education you're getting in there too!
This new series of books will help kids learn what kind of food you might eat in Ancient Greece, the clothes you wore in 15th century Renaissance Italy, what your name could be in Elizabethan England, and what Colonial American children did for fun.
If You Were Me and Lived in...does for history what Carol's previous award-winning series did for culture and geography!
How did children live in the past? Were they different? What did they face, eat, wear, read...how did they play and what where their families like?
All things started in Greece, in so many ways, for modern civilization, so it's no wonder that Carole started there too! Carole does a great job in showing how the worship of multiple Gods played an important part in the Greek culture and how it bled over into all aspects of life, and influenced people. The book focuses on 300-350 BC, and the changes that came into Greece, that would affect later cultures as well. Miss Grace is familiar with Aesop's fables, so we were able to use them as a foundation for understanding the differences in Greek culture back then, versus now, and show how the fables came about from things that occurred during this time period, like slavery and democratic government.
llustrated by Silvia Brunetti
The Renaissance was such a HUGE era for mankind- there were SO many discoveries, art that was made, cultures that bloomed, and history that was made. So no surprise Carole picked this time period for the 2nd book in the series! Carole does take the middle line, and doesn't get into the horrors from the time period very much, rather she deals with all the positives. It was interesting for Miss Grace to see how different life was for kids then, and how some of the things like masked balls, that we take for granted in Mardi Gras land, also happened in Italy so long ago. This book really peaked her interest in the series, and her racing thru the next 2 books!
This book was the most fun for Miss Grace I think, as she got to learn where some of the expressions we use all the time originated from, and how they were originally used, It started her off on a questioning binge, that had me maxing out my memory of expression history in no time! But that got her thinking and reading back through the book and finding all the commonalities and differences and dissecting them! For a Summer learning experience, it was well worth taxing my brain, to give her follow up info! With Miss Grace doing Irish dancing, there has been a lot of discussion on Celtic traditions, many of which spilled over, or were influenced by Elizabethan England history, when we're at different Celtic festivals, so she was really into studying this book. She still isn't fond of Shakespeare yet (I didn't get there til about 6th grade, so I;m not panicking), but she learned how his plays influenced so much from this book! This was a great addition to the series for helping kids to learn just how 'English' we still are over here across the pond! LOL
The Pilgrim story is one that is fraught with difficulty, as there are 2 sides of the story. You have the English version, and the Native American version, and they don't line up the same. So telling the story to kids generally has authors taking the 'safe' English version. Kudos to Carole for finding the line in the middle, and showing how they would have never survived, if not for the Natives helping them. Carole does a great job in explaining the many different foods that were native, that the colonists hadn't head of, and how they had to adapt differently to farming and hunting, and forming their new plantation.
Each of the 4 books features a glossary of terms for the book (very helpful for Renaissance Italy and Medieval England), although Carole does provide explanatory info in the text itself.
Each of the books also includes a list (along with portraits) of leading people of for the time period. This is also helpful for use for further educational projects, after reading the book, and to set different discoveries into a time frame kids can understand.
These books are not only great for homeschoolers, for at home resources, they will be great for assistance during the school year, when there are papers due on these different time periods! Carole has done a great amount of research, and the books are excellent teaching and learning tools. The illustrations are by different illustrators, but they are all charming and help to explain what Carole is talking about very well, and help kids to understand more.
While this book series is aimed at kids Grades 2-7 but even older kids can use the info in it for school! I would recommend having the whole set
as a home resource!
Additional Books in this series:
...Ancient China (Han Dynasty) (Book 6)
...American West (Book 7)
About the Author:
Carole P. Roman’s is the award winning author of the nonfiction If You Were Me and Lived in… series of children’s books. The first title in the collection, If You Were Me and Lived in…Mexico, won the Pinnacle Award for Best in Children’s Nonfiction in 2012. If You Were Me and Lived in…Russia and If You Were Me and Lived in...France were finalists in the Indie Fab Foreword Review Book of the Year. Norway and South Korea have also been named as Book of the Year with Rebecca's Reads and Children's Reader's View Book of the Year. Roman has also found success with her Captain No Beard children’s books. Her debut, Captain No Beard: An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life, was named a Kirkus Best of 2012, received a Star of Exceptional Merit, and won the Pinnacle Award in 2012. Roman lives on Long Island with her husband and very near her children.