One of the wonderful things about reading, known to all readers, is the ability of books, whether fact or fiction, to transport the reader to other times and places. I have long enjoyed the ability of a good written description to take me somewhere I have never been. The author, Carole P. Roman does that with young readers in her books describing countries of the world. She has written a series of children's books that present interesting, relate-able information to young ones about different countries and cultures around the world. All of her many children's books can be found in Carole P. books and collections, on amazon.
This post is a review of three books from her award winning If You Were Me and Lived In... series that were provided to me to read and review. Introducing young readers to the travel without leaving home aspect of reading, the children's paperback books are large, bright and colorful. In each of these books, Carole focuses on giving children an opportunity to learn about a location and a culture from around the world. With simple and bold images she uses simple language to share what it is like to be a child living in another part of the world.
With the three, If You were Me and Lived in...titles, I shared and "traveled" to Australia, Russia and Mexico with a young friend who is a beginning reader. The reading level of the series is above his early reading level so we read and enjoyed the three titles together. Each narration is presented from the perspective of a child living in his or her home country. The basic format of each is the same, introducing a few new words, food, places and cultural activities that are similar to or different from that of the reader. The differences are presented through the description of a common or universal activity such as a family meal, a religious celebration or a well known sport played world wide.
These three bright and simply illustrated books captured my young reader friend's attention. He was was fascinated by the differences he was introduced to. A favorite fact he learned regarding Australia, he shared with his parents, was the one of an Australian child calling his mother "Mummy"(muh-mee). (The books include a pronunciation guide for the new culturally specific words.) His connection was to his knowledge of ancient Egypt. He was delighted by the choice of the word. Reading about Mexico led us into a discussion of sports popularity and his own interest in soccer and about the different names of the same sport in two countries. Trying to clarify that with a six year old can lead to an interesting circular conversation! It is easy to imagine that any child could find something to relate to in the life of a child in a far distant place as their lives are presented in these delightful paperbacks.
All of the books in Carol's children series can be found on amazon at Carole P. Roman books and collections.