If You Were Me and Lived In...... Middle Ages by
Carole P. Roman, illustrated by Mateya Arkova is a new addition to
the newly created picture book series introducing readers to a variety of civilizations. Although this is technically a picture book, at 97 pages in length, it goes beyond a picture book in its content and detail. Although in picture book format, this book is more of a full sized history book for elementary and middle school students complete with illustrations on each page. The reader will become engrossed as he or she is drawn into this vivid account of the Middle Ages. The unique second person point of view will jump out at the reader making history memorable. Roman has captured the culture and history in painstaking detail, reflecting years of research into this time period. As a teacher, Roman has incorporated her love of history as well as her research which delves deep into the day to day life society and culture of the Middle Ages. We learn about doctors and clergy, slaves, peasants and serfs. We learn about clothing and food as well as entertainment and travel. No detail is too insignificant, and Roman incorporates every aspect of Middle Ages life into this comprehensive book.
Unlike some of the other books in this series which feature illustrations and mixed media backgrounds, this picture book features pastel water color styled art. Arkova's illustrations are more free flowing- with a softer focus. Personally I prefer Paula Tabor's bold and true to life artwork featured in the book If You Were Me and Lived In.... The American West. I feel Arkova's art would be well suited to accompany a fairy tale for young girls rather than a full length 97 page history book. Nevertheless, some readers may prefer the soothing colors and casual style of Arkova's freestyle art. The unexpected artistic style of this book gives the Roman historical series more of a variety.
Additional books in this series include Elizabethan England, Ancient Greece, and Colonial America and are available through Barnes and Noble and Amazon.