Saturday, February 21, 2015

If You Were Me and Lived In... Hungary by Carole P. Roman

 If You Were Me and Lived In... Hungary in one of the newest editions to the "A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around The World"  series By Carole P. Roman. Of all the places features in Roman's books, this edition holds a special place for me, as it is where my grandfather was born before he came to this country when he was only a young boy.  Ironically, the cartoon of the young boy on the cover reminds me of old photographs of my dad as a young boy. Its funny how a cartoon can capture a likeness.

The art contained in this  new addition on Hungary is among  the most impressive yet. The mixed media cartoon art combined with beautiful scenic photos bring new life to the subject of geography and the land of Hungary.  While this  book takes only minutes to read cover to cover it is packed with information and visual appeal.  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 Hungary, the photograph of the Parliament serves as the backdrop for the two sight seeing children who appear to have taken a selfie in front of the well known monument. No doubt, this is a realistic depiction of what any tourister would do! The clear blue  sky  makes for a beautifully realistic and unexpected presentation.  The beautiful cave, the city bus scene,  and the quaint traditional house with its authentic  textures adds an authentic appeal and beauty to the simplistic cartoon scenes.  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.

I never had much of an opportunity to learn about  my heritage.  My grandfather never shared too many stories about Hungary- other than leaving his entire family behind when he was very young with only a note pinned to his jacket.  I could not find anything out, as I suspected the story of how he left Hungary and left behind his mom, was so traumatic that brought tears to his eye years later.  I no longer have my grandparents, or even my father for that matter.  No one remains in my family that could possibly know anything about my heritage.  Ironically, my acquaintance or re-acquaintance  with my heritage is through Roman's children's book on Hungary; and for that I am thankful. Who would have thought that of all places, at the ripe old age of 41, that if I were to learn about my heritage- that it would be from Carole Roman.   If you check the collection out on Amazon or Barnes & Noble online, you may find a book about your ancestry too. Take the time to rediscover your heritage! These books are not only for kids. And if you don't see your national heritage or country represented yet, at Roman's rate of writing about the countries in the world, it won't be long before she gets to yours too. As a blogger I received this book for the purpose of writing this review.

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