The books we received are:
- If You Were Me and Lived in... Brazil
- If You Were Me and Lived in... the Ancient Mali Empire
- If You Were Me and Lived in...Viking Europe
All are paperback, and there are Kindle versions available. This is the third time we've reviewed these books, and we are still enjoying the collection we've accumulated!
Here is our first review (with Ancient Greece, Colonial America, Ancient China, and the American West). and our second review (with If You Were Me and Lived in... Peru, Rocket-Bye, and Oh Susannah: It's in the Bag).
If You Were Me and Lived in...Brazil A Child's Introduction to Culture Around the WorldEvery year we study a different continent. Each child chooses one country from that continent to study in depth and write a large report about. This year one of my children is studying Brazil, so it made sense to choose this book! We also have family from Brazil. This book doesn't cover enough information to be useful for our entire reports, but it will help a lot with the culture portion.
The book is 29 pages long, and all of them are full color. Some of the pages have photographs on them, with drawings over the top. The rest of the pages are hand drawn by Kelsea Wierenga.
The story covers topics such as economy, geography, language (with a pronunciation guide in the back), culture, holidays, points of interest, and food. On the page about food we all had to laugh; here is what one sentence says. "You always wait for Mamãe to leave the room so you can steal pão de queijo from the table." Oh, that would be so true! But we don't have to steal it - when my sister-in-law taught me to make it, she taught me to double or triple the batch because as soon as it comes out of the oven everyone will begin eating, and they won't stop!
We love getting together with our Brazilian family, and we LOVE eating the food they make. We're already familiar with many Brazilian foods, words, and lots more, so when the book talked about the good foods we had to be careful not to drool on the pages... because we know how good it is! This book provided a good reminder of some things our family has already taught us, but there was a lot of new information that we learned too.
We chose this book because Africa is the only continent we have not studied yet, and the Mali Empire sounds intriguing. We were hoping to learn some interesting facts about this ancient civilization and the location.
The book is 77 pages long. It is FULL of information, and includes a glossary at the back. There are also pages of famous people from the Mali Empire. All of the illustrations are drawn by Mateya Arkova.
This book covers information such as the Mali Empire's formation, family life, climate, economy, clothing, food, leadership, and history. It does talk about raids and slavery, in a simple and explanatory way. It tells how children were taught, and that boys had a ceremony when they turned 12 and were considered men. It also talks about how a girl would be considered ready for marriage at that age. It's all very simple and tactful, yet informative for children.
We are glad we chose this book, we learned a lot of facts about a culture we had very little information about previously. My kids got a good laugh about children hiding behind the pants that the men wore, that the bigger and baggier the pants, the greater the honor.
We learned about Vikings a few years ago, but we didn't go into much depth. It's a pretty fascinating civilization, so we chose this book to learn more about them.
This book is 76 pages long, and also includes a glossary and famous Vikings in the back. There is also a list of six Norse Gods. The story is illustrated by Mateya Arkova. It starts by explaining when the terms Viking, Scandinavian, and Norsemen are used and what they mean. It also explains how sons and daughters are named, which is something we are quite familiar (and frustrated) with as we search for my husband's ancestors!
There is information about Viking travels, money, chores, society, clothes, homes, culture, food, winter, hunting and fighting skills, alphabet, and more. We were particularly interested in a game called knattleikr, which is played on a frozen lake with a ball and bat... and sand and tar on your shoes for traction! It was fascinating to learn so many things about this culture.
My youngest (1st grade) says these are really good books and they teach you about other places. People can study their favorite part, and the places they are about.
My oldest (9th grade) says they are good books. If you are learning about a place these books cover the basics of everything. If something sparks your interest you can learn from these books and if you want to study more in depth, you can do more research. These books are a good way to see a different perspective of places and things, for instance, the Brazil book allows you to see the beautiful landscape and animals that live there, rather than just thinking "oh, that would be scary because they have piranhas."
My 4th grader says her favorite is the Brazil one because she likes learning about the rainforest.
There are so many Carole P. Roman books that I'm sure you can find one that will help you learn about whatever you are studying! Check them out today!