Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
Culture and geography from around the world helps us learn how similar we are to others and to perhaps understand a bit more about their lives. Carole P. Roman has chosen to focus on cultures from around the world with her series If You Were Me and Lived In . . . These books cover countries and cultures all around the glove and they take a look at the lives of the people from the perspective of the children. However, a variety Carole P. Roman’s assorted series exist and include cultural and historical books, bedtime stories, joke books, spy books, and more.
Each book of the If You Were Me series hits on many of the same points: names, family structure, food, school, clothing, and language. But, since every culture is a bit different, there are differences brought up as well. Perhaps it is government or the how products are bought.
The books show the reader around the country through the eyes of a child in that country. Using the perspective of a child helps us see simply how life is and how different is not bad thing. These cheerful, bright books are always a welcome addition to the library and work beautifully as supplements to unit studies, geography programs, or history programs. They are good for reading aloud and talking about or for reading independently for fun. The only bad way to use these books is to leave them on the shelf.
We have reviewed books by Carol P Roman before and have enjoyed them every time. We have a total of about 25 of her books and cannot say enough good things about them.
Today’s review covers:
If You Were Me and Lived In . . . Brazil
If You Were Me and Lived In . . . Portugal
If You Were Me and Lived In . . . Egypt
If You Were Me and Lived In . . . Mexico
In 2016, we reviewed books on Ancient Greece, Ancient Roman, American West, and Viking Europe. Another time we reviewed the books about Mars, Mayan Empire, the Ancient Mali Empire, and a fiction story titled Oh Susanna! It’s In The Bag. We have also read books on Russia, Poland, and Germany.
We have used these books often to go alongside our geography curriculum. We have also built a study of ancient civilizations using some of these books. They are highly adaptable and flexible and add a unique perspective to many studies.
If You Were Me And Lived In . . . Mexico: To visit Mexico through this book, you learn about fútbol (soccer), escuela (school), playing with la muñeca (a doll). Learning boys and girls names is fun when one of the names is recognized as a name of a friend. There a places to visit, like Chichen Itza, a Mayan temple from the past or an event to participate in such as Grito de Dolores (the Cry of Dolores). This book on Mexico did a great job of reinforcing what was learned in our geography unit on Mexico.
Miss J’s take on Mexico: I really liked this book because it was so fun and interesting! I like how it tried to pronounce the Spanish words. But it pronounced some of the Spanish words wrong.
If You Were Me and Lived In . . . Brazil: Visiting Brazil through this book introduces the reader to Portuguese, the official language. Many interesting words are used and the pique the interest of the reader. We read about Carnival, soccer, the market and money, and different foods. It was so much fun to read about the foods that we looked up a recipe for brigadeiros, a chocolate candy, and made them. They were a hit here at the house and at the church (where we took them since it made a large number of pieces).
Miss J’s take on Brazil: It was interesting. It was interesting reading about different aspects of their life. The word school didn’t sound anything like the word school in English. I found it interesting that they grilled meat on a stick and called it espetinho. They also do grilled cheese on a stick and call it quiejo coalho. I also found it interesting that they changed the capital from Rio de Janeiro to Brazilia. What I didn’t like is that you have to go all the way to the back of the book to find the answers to the questions they ask.
If You Were Me And Lived In . . . Portugal: As with all of the books, it begins with an outline map of the country and the capital marked with a star. Then we jump into information on this European country. This will likely be the next book we read together and it will tie in nicely with the book from Brazil as these cultures are linked through things like Carnival, Portugese languague, and some foods. (We are also moving straight into Europe for our geography program and this will tie in perfectly.) Of course, soccer (futbol) seems to link many world cultures, also. The rooster icon’s importance and the volcanic chain were both interesting facts to include in the book.
If You Were Me And Lived In . . . Egypt: There is a lot more information included in the Egypt book than in the Brazil book, which is wonderful. Grandparents taking children shopping, holiday like Sham-al-Nessim and how it is celebrated within the family (picnics, painting eggs, and eating specific foods), family picnics on a boat (felucca) all point to an importance of family in this culture. The length of history in Egypt is talked about, as well as the pharoahs and the pyramids.
Miss J has not read this one yet since we have not reached this country in the geography program we are using. But it isn’t too far away and this will be a great addition to the study of that country. I expect we will be making some of the foods mentioned in this book, also. I’d better get the shopping list ready. 🙂
Some features of the books in this series include:
– a glossary or pronunciation guide at the back that helps answer the questions asked throughout the books and gives a pronunciation and explanation of words
– photographs with drawn images over the top to help relate the picture of a particular place to the people in the book
– a simple map of the country with the capital marked
– drawn images that help illustrate what is being described; in this case, different foods.
Carol P Roman does a good job with introducing many cultures and countries through the series If You Were Me And Lived In. . . Some of the books contain a good deal of information and some have quite a bit less. The introduction and personalization they provide for each country is super helpful and allows children to connect. Having the information presented through the eyes of a child is a solid foundation for other children being able to relate.
We do recommend these books for anyone studying world cultures or planning to visit different countries, whether virtually online or in person.
Lori, At Home.
Be sure to hop over to the Homeschool Review Crew to read the reviews of other families who also read books by Carol P Roman. Just click on the banner below.