If You Were Me and Lived In... South Korea... A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around The World By Carole P. Roman is a new picture book introducing young readers to a new country. This book is the newest edition in a series of picture books focusing on a particular country. It would also be a good book for a family that is interested in their ancestry or appropriate for grade school children as part of a geography or social studies lesson.
This book follows a similar format as the first books in the series about Mexico and France. This consistency makes this series perfect for the school setting. The predictability of the book's format will appeal to younger readers. In this addition to the series, the reader will learn about the geographical location of South Korea and will be introduced to historic buildings, coinage, tourist attractions, local foods, national holidays, sports and other social norms. Full color, simply drawn cartoon drawings compliment the text. Yet this book is also educational as it may be the only glimpse readers will ever have of South Korea (Republic of Korea - not to be confused with North Korea which is known as the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea DPRK!) It might be good for the author to include the political and geographical distinction between North and South Korea- which probably will be a question that is raised after older children read this book. It is interesting to see the author's stylized depiction of South Korean writing in the market and the park. The foods and dining serve to reinforce American notions of Asian cuisine. as well as the stereotypical ideas of ethnicities in the context of their actual settings. Apparently a special hallmark of this series is the inclusion of a unique and unexpected pattern which is integrated into the scenes. On the page about the school the author should have included a brief explanation of the high tech yellow school vehicle which does not resemble a school bus. In this newest edition to the series the author makes more use of the mixed media textures in the illustrations. After reading this book, I believe the reader may have even more questions about South Korean culture. The pronunciations at the end of the book introduces the child to the native language but it would be better to have the equivalent English words listed as well. The last page includes pronunciations of some of the words used in the book. As a blogger I received this book for the purpose of writing this review.