Review: Books by Children’s Author Carole P. Roman


Books!  Books! MORE BOOKS! Books to me, especially children’s books, are to me like shoe or handbags might be to some other women.  I have been collecting children’s books for 20 years.  Mind you my oldest is only about to turn 11.  My addiction…err… collection began long before he was born.  So when the opportunity to review four books in the If You Were Me and Lived In.… series, brought to you by Carole P. Roman and I leaped at the opportunity. This isn’t my first time experience her books since I had the opportunity to review her Children’s Introduction to Cultures Around the World…. series a few years back.

I received If You Were Me and Lived in…Ancient Greece (An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time) (Volume 1), If You Were Me and Lived in…Elizabethan England (An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time) (Volume 3) If You Were Me and Lived in… The American West (Volume 7) and If You Were Me and Lived in… Ancient China: The Han Dynasty.


About This Series:

The If you Were Me and Lived In… series aims to teach children about some of the greatest 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 being during that time from 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 great color illustrations and pages jammed with text and information.


Since we are studying Shakespeare and China this year (great combo right? keeps me on my toes) we spent quite a bit of time with If You Were Me and Lived in…Elizabethan England and If You Were Me and Lived in… Ancient China: The Han Dynasty although all four books share the major characteristics I’m about to describe.

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 cleanly and plainly. Her is a short of example of some text form the Elizabethan England Book.

You might have lived in a house on cramped street in the heart of London over the bakery your parents owned.

You ancestors had changed over the last hundred years or so. Your great-grandfather was a poor farmer who was forced to leave the country and move to the city when the landlord changed from farming to sheep herding. His family was poor, and your grandfather worked as an apprentice in the bakery from the time he was eight years old…

The pictures are detailed yet clear and simple.  They clearly depict the hard life of your average family.  Interestingly the style of art differs from book to book.  The illustrations in the The American West and Elizabethan England are done with what looks like pen and ink with sharp lines and solid color.  The Ancient Greece and Ancient China: The Han Dynasty are done with more of a whimsy water color 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 trencher and in the Elizabethan England book we learned that it is the bread used as a platter.


How We Used the Books

When the books arrived my children immediately scoffed them up and read them through almost instantly.  My 8 year old read them aloud to my 6 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 draw from them discussion that interwove with our usual 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 this book is all of the information from many library books condensed into just one book.  Very convenient.

We really love these books and are considering investing in the books we did not get as a part of the review.  What a great addition to any home library.


If You Were Me and Lived in ... {by Carole P. Roman and}
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