If You Were Me and Lived In... Portugal: A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around The World By Carole P. Roman is a another 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. This book follows a similar format as the books in the series about Mexico, South Korea, Russia, Turkey and France. Roman makes use of a variety of textures and mixed media in producing the illustrations. The water texture, and cloudy sky image textures of Libson as well as an antique castle on the sea, present a unique contrast with the colorful architectures. Most impressive and unexpected is the two page photographic spread of the Azores with the two cartoon children off to the side. The beautiful sunsets, and authentic textures and textile patterns, adds an authentic appeal and beauty to simplistic scenes. I am happy to see the direction that Roman is taking with the illustrations in her geography picture books. I believe the "Carlesque" styled mixed media illustrations with the simple line cartoons in her newest book are an unexpected treat. Mixed media illustrations are very popular and appealing for young readers as evidenced by the popularity of Eric Carle's kids' books. By combining geography with mixed media- I believe that Roman will generate even greater interest and attention for her educational series.
As with the other titles in this series, This story would also be a good choice for a family that is interested in their ancestry, a family vacation or as part of a social studies lesson. This consistency of these geography books makes this series perfect for children. The predictability of the book's format will also appeal to younger readers who are familiar with the series. Full color, simply drawn cartoon drawings with the unique texture accents compliment the text. The pronunciations at the end of the book introduces the child to the native language. I would like to see Roman combine all the editions of this series into one larger encyclopedia type of volume in order to create one single comprehensive text. I would also like to see the illustrations of previous editions revamped and updated in order to incorporate more of the mixed media textures as well. I believe that her loyal readers would be interested in having all these editions in one book. To do this would be a wonderful educational and entertaining resource. If you enjoyed the previous titles, you are sure to enjoy learning about Portugal. As a blogger I received this book for the purpose of writing this review