Tuesday, March 27, 2018

If You Were Me and Lived in... (Historical Age books)

Carole P. Roman, Author
I have had the opportunity to review books for Carole P. Roman a in the past* and so my son was happy to hear that we were once again to be the recipients of some items from the Carole P. Roman books and collections. The Homeschool Review Crew was given the option to choose among all of her varied series and books, so while my review is focused on the Historical series, others reviewed the Cultural Series, the Captain No Beard Series, and the newest Oh Susannah series, among others, so be sure to check those out! She has books appropriate for children aged 2-12 on average. 

            Oh Susannah stories                                                 Bedtime Stories

*previous reviews: 

As mentioned above, one of my previous reviews included some of the more (or less) recent history books so I decided it was time to check out more Ancient History. As a note about the content of the books, each book talks about the clothing, meals, occupations, and religion of the culture and many more details. They also include a glossary of words and a list of important people from that location and time period in history. When we hear so much, so often, about the atrocities of American Slavery, it was eye-opening for him to realize that there were other cultures that kept slaves (for centuries longer, and with extremely barbaric treatment). In fact, each culture in the books we read was known for its slavery of others, and that was a common theme which my son pointed out to me. I thought it was an interesting impression for him to have taken away from this series, even though it was only one detail among many in each book.

So, which books did we choose?

With a recent visit to our Science Museum and an Omni Theater film experience about Ancient China and Qin Shi Huang, it seemed like a good time to read If You Were Me and Lived in… Ancient China.

My son enjoyed learning about the customs and culture of Ancient China. Some of the things that stuck with him… The regular citizen had to “tithe” a month of their time to do work for the Emperor in some way to help better the community/country. He was struck by the facat that each color of clothing had a specific meaning, and he found it interesting that the average diets haven’t changed all that much as noodles, rice, chicken, and fruits were staples then as now.

In keeping with the Ancient Theme I thought a visit to Ancient Greece was in order, and so Youngest also read If You Were Me and Lived in… Ancient Greece.
One thing he thought was very interesting was that the Greeks didn’t really identify with their country, but more with their towns. They considered themselves Spartans and Athenians and Corinthians, rather than Grecian.
He felt that the Greek culture was very similar to Roman culture~ where people ate reclining at the banquet table and worshiped many gods. In fact the Greek gods and goddesses are introduced one at a time, each at the bottom of a different page, usually when talking about a part of the culture with which they were identified.

The final book we chose to review If You Were Me and Lived in… Viking Europe as a warm-up to a fictional Viking series that I will be having youngest read, probably this summer. I figured this would give him a bit of prior background on the culture.
He thought it was interesting earning about the origin of names that are familiar in our modern pop culture (thanks to How to Train Your Dragon” and Superhero movies), like Thor, Odin, and Loki, and the difference between the boats and ships that the Vikings used for long and short trips.

These books are a nice introduction to other times and cultures, with just enough information to spark some interest and discussion.

Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty 
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