I rely heavily on books for our homeschool, so I’m always excited when I discover great resources for the girls. We recently had the chance to review Carole P. Roman‘s stories and fell in love with them. Her books and collections are for kids of all ages and range from fun to educational. This month, we’ve explored history and another culture while dreaming about the future.
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I let the girls browse Carole’s website with me and help pick three books to review. Sunshine wanted If You Were Me and Lived in…Scotland: A Child’s Introduction to Cultures Around the World, because she did Scottish Highland Dancing for several years. Lily chose If You Were Me and Lived in…the Middle Ages: An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time, as we’ve just finished studying that time period in history. Jade picked Can a Princess Be a Firefighter? (of course!) because she loves anything princess.
If You Were Me and Lived in… Scotland
If You Were Me and Lived In… A Child’s Introduction to Cultures around the World series by Carole P. Roman focuses on various countries around the world. Any of these titles would be great choices for geography or social studies. These books are written for children ages Pre-K to Grade 3. Since I’d love to vacation in Scotland, I picked this title to read (and dream!) with my kids.
If You Were Me and Lived In… Scotland begins with a map to orient children geography. The book then discusses Scotland’s capital, common children’s names, the official animal (which Jade is currently obsessed with!), typical foods, and favourite activities. At the back, children find a pronunciation guide for all the unfamiliar words in the story.
As Carole recommends, parents who read this to children of multiple ages can direct older kids to additional activities. For example, children could pick one of the topics mentioned in the book and then research it further. As I read it, I immediately thought about a little Scottish cookbook I have. The girls would have fun cooking or baking some of the foods mentioned in Carole’s book.
Other cultures in this series include Australia, Germany, India, Norway, Russia, Israel, and Greece.
If You Were Me and Lived in… the Middle Ages
If You Were Me and Lived In… An Introduction to Ancient Civilizations Through Time by Carole P. Roman is a series of historical books for kids. I was actually surprised by how thick this book was. I thought it was a picture book, but it’s more like a textbook. This series is intended for children ages 8-15, but again, could easily be used with multiple ages.
Carole says, “There is a lot of info packed in these books but they read a little like a story. Kids can place themselves in someone’s shoes living in different eras in history. For younger kids, it’s a great introduction to get to know the different time periods and why they were called ‘the Dark Ages.’ It may dispel myths about Mali or the Vikings. Older children will get more out of it but it will definitely open discussions with younger children about the importance of the Renaissance, the impact of Ancient Greece, etc. I did them to demystify the ages, get kids used to new terms and understand that history is fluid—each age leads to the next.”
As I mentioned, we’ve already covered the Middle Ages in several unit studies this year. I found If You Were Me and Lived in… the Middle Ages very accessible for all three girls. The pictures drew children in and really enhance Carole’s descriptions of life in the Middle Ages. I could read it aloud to Jade (Kindergarten) or assign pages to Lily and Sunshine to read on their own.
If You Were Me and Lived In… the Middle Ages is set around 1072. It describes how the Middle Ages rose after the fall of the Roman Empire in the 400s. The main character in the book (“you”) is a Norman lady whose father was a knight or soldier in William the Conqueror’s army. Her daily life, home, food and clothing is described with rich details.
Readers also learn about typical occupations during the Middle Ages (one brother is destined to become a priest, and a sister a nun). The life of peasants (very different from that of the main character!) is also described. Medicine, music, education, religion, and more are mentioned.
At the end of the book, readers find a list of Famous People from the Middle Ages, from Clovis to St. Joan of Arc. If You Were Me and Lived in… the Middle Ages also includes a detailed glossary of terms for children to look up.
Other time periods in this series include Ancient Greece, the Viking Empire, Renaissance Italy, Elizabethan England, and Mars.
Can a Princess Be a Firefighter?
As a mom of girls, I loved Can a Princess Be a Firefighter? and I’m so glad Jade picked it. This book is about two sisters (based on the pictures) who love being princesses, but ask their mom, “Can a princess be a firefighter?” And their mom tells them they can be anything they want, from an accountant to a dancer. That’s the message I want to give my girls too.
This is a book where the illustrations tell half the story. There are only a few sentences per page, but you’ll want to look at the pictures along with your child. The story is written from the daughter’s perspective, so the mom only appears in the pictures from the knees down. The girls dress up in the roles they imagine themselves doing when they are older—firemen, cowpokes, mimes and more.
Carole says Can a Princess Be a Firefighter is “forever my love letter to my granddaughters. You can be anything you want to be. It’s a book about reaching for your dreams and not letting people put you down because of gender.”
More about Carole P. Roman
Carole has written a lot of books for kids! To read more reviews of her books, click on the image below.
Carole P. Roman started writing as a dare from one of her sons. Using an imaginary game she played with her grandson as a base, Captain No Beard was born. It has won numerous awards and was followed with nine more books to the series. The entire cultural non-fiction series If You Were Me and Lived in… was named Best Series by Shelf Unbound. You can find out more about Carole by visiting her website or following her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.