Tuesday, July 25, 2017

If You Were Me and Lived in...Israel: A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around the World by Carole P. Roman,

If You Were Me and Lived in...Israel: A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around the World

by Carole P. RomanKelsea Wierenga (Illustrator)

There is another new volume in Carole P. Roman's Cultures around the World series.  If You Were Me and Lived in...Israel: A Child's Introduction to Culture Around the World by Carole P. Roman,  illustrated by Kelsea Wierenga is the newest book.

There are plenty of commentaries and tourist books on Israel.  It has much symbolic, religious and political significance.  Countless affluent religious tourists make the expensive trip to visit this location. No doubt if you have access to social media, you have seen vacation photos in your newsfeed from your upscale, upper class friends.  Tourist photos do not give the whole picture of daily life in this culture.  Written from an objective, secular viewpoint, the reader gets a unique, unbiased  perspective of everyday life.   The author goes beyond the stereotype of Israel to review the basic day to day life that a child who lives in Israel experiences: school, sports, pastimes and more.  This edition  is a beautiful and informative work of art, celebrating Israel with its combination of  cheerful cartoon tour guides superimposed with beautiful, full color, picturesque photography.  Without a doubt,  each book in the "A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around The World" series offers the reader new surprises each time.

I can imagine this book series would make a good transition as an educational television series. Hopefully at some point in the future, consideration can be made to publish these stories together in one larger volume. 

When reading about Cuba, the photo shoot with the happy family   jumps out at the reader, against the backdrop against a traditional city neighborhood with its stonework benches  and age withered apartment complezes.   Other authentic  details and textures, bright blue skies, stonework, and architectural details,  add 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. This sets her books apart from cartoon only illustrations.

The consistency of these geography books makes this series perfect for the school setting. An educator can count on the fact that students will be introduced to the basics. There is enough detail to make this series appropriate for middle school and even high school students as well.

  It would be great to see this series used as part of a  school geography or social studies curriculum.  It is clear that each book, though simple in design, presents a wealth of information and research.   This book as well as the other books in the series is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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