If You Were Me and Lived In... Greece... and If You Were Me and Lived In... Peru are two new editions to the "A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around The World" series By Carole P. Roman. The art contained in these two new additions are the most impressive yet. The mixed media cartoon art combined with beautiful scenic photos bring new life to the subject of geography. These books take only minutes to read cover to cover but they will give a child a good picture of a particular country. These books follows a similar format as the first books in the series about Mexico, South Korea, and France. Yet in this newer editions, the author makes an even greater use of a variety of textures and mixed media in producing the illustrations.
When reading about Greece, the photograph of the ancient ruins serves as the backdrop for the two sight seeing children. The pale blue sky makes for a beautifully realistic and unexpected presentation. The beautiful sunsets, stone tiles and other authentic textures adds an authentic appeal and beauty to the simplistic cartoon scenes. The colorful panoramic spread of the Machu Picchu surrounded by soft airy clouds, in the book on Peru is beautifully made. The cartoon tour guides will certainly capture the attention of all young readers as well as parents and educators. I believe the "Carlesque" styled mixed media illustrations with the simple line cartoons in her books 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.
These stories would also be a good choice for a family that is interested in their ancestry, a family vacation or even appropriate for children as part of a social studies lesson. The consistency of these geography books makes this series perfect for the school setting. An educator can count on the fact that young children will be introduced to the basics. The predictability of the book's format will also appeal to younger readers who are familiar with the series. In each addition to the series, the child will learn about the geography and will be introduced to its climate, tourist attractions local foods, sports and other social norms. 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 but it would be better to have the equivalent English words listed as well and definitions to reinforce the material learned in the story.
At some point in the future, 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. This would also make the book more accessible and convenient to educators and schools in the public and private sectors as well as home schoolers. As a blogger I received these books for the purpose of writing this review.