Monday, October 1

Carole P. Roman Books {Review}

This review was originally published September 2017 on our Gypsy Road site.

Being a Charlotte Mason-style family, we read aloud all of the time!  I love finding a good book about what the kids are interested in and curling up on the couch for an evening together.  When we saw some read-alouds coming our way to review from Carole P. Roman, we were excited…new books!

The first two books were written as part of a series to help children understand other cultures and historical eras.  They’re told from a child’s point of view, are fairly easy reads, and are full of fantastic facts and illustrations.  The books cover food, clothing, daily routines, family, celebrations, jobs, and school.  Each book ends with definitions and ideas for further learning.  The second two books were from the Captain No Beard series, which is appropriate for younger children than our own, and focuses on character through imagination play.  Of the books we received, the first series was definitely the favorite!

If You Were Me and Lived in…. series
This series is most appropriate for children aged 8-15, and was our children’s favorite series.  They enjoyed the historical book more than the cultural one, but history is something of a passion in this family, so it’s not a surprise.  I felt that the historical book was written a just a little bit higher reading level than the cultural book, and in my opinion, the country books could be appropriate for even younger children.  These books are great conversation starters among older children!

If You Were Me and Lived in…Australia is good for elementary-aged children.  It teaches about both the culture and (basic) history of the country in an accessible way.  There are colorful illustrations, and any new words have the pronunciations right beside them.  The children enjoyed learning about how children live in a different country.

If You Were Me and Lived in…Viking Europe was hands-down the favorite – not only because it was historical, but because it was about Vikings.  What do Vikings do?  They fight.  With swords.  And the boys are all about some swords these days…  The book is written at an upper elementary or middle school level.  It could be read aloud, but the children actually enjoyed taking turns reading this one quietly, and then I later found them discussing some of the things they had learned.  It has good illustrations, pronunciations of unfamiliar words, and a glossary.  One thing we thought might be interesting to add is a timeline…to show how the Viking landscape has changed through the years.  We enjoyed reading this book together, and even pulled out our Viking Unit Study from a few years ago to accompany it!

If You Were Me and Lived in…the Mayan Empire was the second favorite favorite – as it was both historical and about an ancient civilization.  We learned about Mayan culture, careers, family life, and food...among other things.  We were surprised to learn about the caste system, and how your father's career determined your career.  The illustrations are very beautifully done, and it gave us an opportunity to pull our our Mayan Unit Study and revamp some past learning!

Captain No Beard series
This series is most appropriate for children aged 3-8, and our children are considerably older than that, so these books were not as big of a hit as the other series.  That said, I do think that younger children would enjoy them.

In Being a Captain is Hard Work, the captain learns that he must listen to the other crew members in order to be a better leader.  I have to be honest here and say that this story did not go at all like we thought it would…it seemed at first like a parable for trusting God, and then at the very end, turned into the captain needing to listen to his crew.  It was a strange twist for us.

The Crew Goes Coconuts tackles the issue of bullying and acceptance.  In each of these books, the animals are anthropomorphized, and we find out at the very end that they were just playing dress up and imagination.  It reminded me a bit of the Backyardigans.

Each of these series of books has its strengths.  They are geared toward different audiences, with different end goals.  I think that anytime you can incorporate learning into a read-aloud book, you have a much better retention rate…whether that be for understanding character and moral issues or for better comprehending the cultural and historical aspects of a place.  I am sure that we will be looking into more of the If You Were Me and Lived in… series in the near future!

See what others are saying about Carole P. Roman books at the Homeschool Review Crew!

Books by Carole P RomanBooks by Carole P Roman
Books by Carole P RomanBooks by Carole P Roman
Crew DisclaimerOh Susannah, Bedtime Stories, Captain No Beard, If you were Me ... {Carole P. Roman Reviews}

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