If You Were Me and Lived in...Italy: A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around the World (Volume 21) from the Cultural Series. This book was specifically written to introduce children ages 4-8 to other cultures around the world. It can be used with older children because you can ask them to do more research or read more about the country. I thought that Little Miss would love this book as she is really into fashion and cooking right now and she had learned a little bit about Italy in her history recently. She began by reading through the book and learning all the Italian words in it with the right pronunciation (which is right in the book for you). The book starts by talking about Rome as the capital of Italy and giving some history of it. Little Miss was pleasantly surprised to be reviewing what she had learned in history while reading this book. She decided if she had to pick an Italian girl's name she would go by Giana. She was very excited to learn about the foods they eat in Italy. She said they sounded delicious. She even helped me make spaghetti one night since she had read about it. She also got the opportunity to find some of the Italian foods about on a recent trip we took to a bigger city that had an international grocery market while she wasn't feeling adventurous enough after a long car ride to try some Italian meats, she did try some Italian cheeses and decided she really liked them. She wants to try the meats some other time. She also liked reading about football and got her big brother to play it with her in the backyard. Overall she really enjoyed reading this book and everything she learned from it. She wants to study Italy more after reading this book so that she can learn more about the food, Gladiators, and fashion since the book didn't cover it. The book got her curious about this country so I am planning to do a unit study on it next fall for her. I appreciated that the book was easy for her to read and figure out the Italian words. I also like that it made her more interested in the topic and want to learn more about it. That is what good books do.
If You Were Me and Lived in...the Ancient Mali Empire: An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time (Volume 5) from the Historical Series. This series of books take children back in time to discover what life was like in different eras. It is recommended for children ages 8-15 because there is a lot of information you can learn from these books. We chose to travel to the Mali Empire because we didn't know anything about it. Little Miss and I learned that Mali was an Empire from 1230 to the early 1600's in Africa. We also learned about how they traded for goods, that both gold and salt were valuable for their empire, the roles of males and females in their empire, the role of religion among other things. This empire thrived on tradition and passing these traditions on to other generations. Little Miss enjoyed learning about what the people wore and what they ate. She wasn't so sure about eating porridge for breakfast every morning, but she thought she would enjoy the fish they ate for dinner. She thought it was odd that they gave kola nuts as a gift to show respect. I really appreciated how this book was filled with facts, but kept it entertaining by telling it in a story form. Little Miss didn't get tired of reading about Mali because the book made her feel like she was right there touring the empire. She learns a lot when she reads the books in this series and she is always excited to share what she has learned with her dad when he gets home from work.
Oh Susannah: Things That Go Bump: An Oh Susannah Story (Volume 2) which is the second book from the Oh Susannah series which is recommended for children ages 7-12. Little Miss got her hands on the first early chapter book in this series the last time we did a review for Carole P. Roman and she loved it. These books are right up her alley. It features Susannah Logan who my daughter can relate to. This book is all about Susannah getting invited to a friend's slumber party which is very exciting for her, but she gets nervous about staying all night at some place new. She has to work through her fears and anxiety about the unknown in order to stay at her best friend's house. My daughter really relates to these books because sometimes she gets stuck in the "what ifs" of new situations. She is like Susannah and her imagination tends to run wild, but when we talk situations through and figure out what her fear and anxiety is about she sees that it really isn't as bad as she thought. We also work out solutions for her "what ifs." This series of books help Little Miss see she isn't the only one who has to work through these issues. As a mom, I truly appreciate these stories because they do show my daughter you can figure out a solution and things don't always go as bad as you thought they would. They are a great way for us to read about issues and then discuss what she would do and then read what Susannah ended up doing. I truly hope there are many more books in this series and I definitely want my daughter to read them.
We are huge fans of Carole P. Roman books and collections. We definitely recommend them and will definitely keep working our way through her series as well. I love how her books are fun, but educational at the same time and they keep my kids flipping the pages (I even find my 14 year old listening in when we read these). Carole's books are an asset to our school and they will be to yours too. You can learn more about Carole P. Roman and all of her books on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. You can find all the Carole P. Roman books and collections here. Make sure you also click the banner below to read the reviews from my friends on the Homeschool Review Crew because we got to pick which books we received so we are reviewing many books this week.