My littlest likes to get stuff in the mail, he likes to read books, and he likes to find out about other parts of the world. This made our review of a series of books by Carole P. Ronan a delightful experience.
There are currently four books in the series:
and her newest title
If You Were Me and Lived in... NORWAY...
The books are sturdy (Nice thick pages with a smooth "hand," which is something I enjoy) paperbacks with 22-28 pages. The books follow a basic format in order to introduce children to some of the specifics of the culture in the various countries.
Each book shows where the country is found in the world, and a bit about the capitol city. They give some traditional boys and girls names, the names for mothers, fathers, something about traditional foods, money and toys. Generally a specific tourist sight associated with the country, traditional activities that one might participate in, and descriptions of national holidays are also included.
The final page of each book is a pronunciation guide, which can be helpful when attempting to speak certain words. ;)
The publisher included a fun packet of extras in our review mailers (Not included with purchase), which was a lot of fun. We received an inflatable globe, which we used to help locate each country as we read about it, as well as some pencils and passports and passport stickers. These are the sorts of things that really add to a study in geography. I know that there are places online with printable passports, so be sure to search those up, if you want to "visit" each country more "officially."
My son really enjoyed hearing and comparing various words. For instance, the words for "Mother" and "Father" were very similar, but the word for "School" definitely had some more obvious differences. He thought that was very interesting!
Because he is still a beginning reader, he especially enjoyed looking at the illustrations and picking out various details in the pictures. He started discussions about some of them (mostly dealing with clothing and "tradition") on his own.
Since we had recently done a unit on a picture book that included talking about the country of France, and another that talked about China (*close* to South Korea), I was able to use these books to remind him of the other stories, and build on what we had learned about the cultures already.
Here is a little look inside If You Were Me and Lived in... MEXICO...
What I liked:
- The physical attributes of the books (nice "hand")
- The variety of information presented in a pleasant predictable format (Which made comparing the various differences and similarities fairly simple).
- The pronunciation guides ~ because I *don't* speak every language! :)
- The connections of the obviously similar as well as the very different
What I felt could be improved:
The pronunciation guides (Sometimes a little confusing... Ceek-can-es is that first "c" soft or hard? I wasn't sure because the word was Kirkenes... ) I also recall running into a word that I expected would be in the guide, but wasn't, while there were words that were fairly common that were included.
As a homeschooler, I was less excited about the emphasis on "school" at the end of each book~ because our children don't go to a big building filled with children. However, that's not a huge deal to me, I just know that this *can* be an issue for some families.
Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty
- Company: Carole P. Roman with Away We Go Media
- Product: If You Were Me and Lived in... Mexico ... South Korea ... France ... Norway
- Ages: Pre-K - 8 years old
- Price: approximately $9 (Prices vary)