Saturday, July 16, 2016

If You Were Me and Lived In...... The American West by Carole P. Roman

If You Were Me and Lived In...... The American West by
Carole P. Roman, illustrated by Paula Taylor- is a new picture book in
 Roman's  newly created picture book series featuring a variety of  historical time periods.  This picture book features the story of the American West, chronicling the lives and culture of a typical family as they journey from the East coast to the West, along the Oregon Trail.  Roman captures the emotion and the grief experienced by families as they left everything they knew in hopes of a better life. The trials and the disappointments of the typical family is captured with empathy and realism.  The unique second person point of view draws in the reader.

Bold, detailed illustrations mixed with a touch of texture and mixed media details are used to introduce the young reader to the life and times of these travelers.  Unlike the dry accounts from a traditional history textbook, the lively cartoons and fast paced narrative make the treacherous journies and culture entertaining as well as informative.   This full color book provides an in-depth glimpse into the historical details of daily life, education, their religious beliefs, as well as farm life. The solemnity of the indigenous peoples is respectfully captured by Roman as well as through Tabor's art.

 Students of all age groups will find something to love about this book. Younger children will enjoy the bold comic book cartoon characters while older students will enjoy the rich historical content and the attention to detail. Parents as well as educators will enjoy this book too.  The author incorporates many authentic historical details in creating this pictorial account,  The end of the book features mini- biographies of well known figures such as Daniel Boone, Geronimo, and Wyatt Earp.   Also included is a thorough glossary of historical terminology that is common to the time period .  This book would make a great resource for any history curriculum.  This book would be great for any elementary school or middle school library.

Personally, I'd love to see Carole P. Roman use Paula Tabor as an illustrator in more of her books in this history series.  Tabor's beautiful and articulate illustrations are a perfect accompaniment with the mixed media backgrounds.  I would like to see this artistic presentation used in the American West volume  carried over to all the books in this historic civilization series.

Other books in this series include Elizabethan England, Renaissance Italy, and Ancient Greece.

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