I know I talk a lot about integrating subjects and how much I love that, but here we are again! Carole P Roman, with Away We Go Media, has written some amazing books that we were able to integrate so many subjects into...and enjoy it. We were sent 4 fantastic books to review:
- If You Were Me and Lived in...Mexico
- If You Were Me and Lived in...South Korea
- If You Were Me and Lived in...France
- If You Were Me and Lived in...Norway (new release - no website yet)
Each of these books has the subtitle of "A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around the World" and that is exactly what they are. They sell for under $9 each and are recommended for children ages Pre-K to 8, which that is pretty accurate, in my opinion. Our 2 year old guest and Terrific T, who is 10, also listened in and enjoyed them, but I can see why they chose those age recomendations.
Each paperback, picture book is about 26 pages long. They are brightly colored and quick to read. I read the books aloud to the kids since there are words in there that are foreign and I didn't want them to be frustrated. No comments on MY pronunciation, but I did hear laughing from Big Daddy from the other room while I was reading. Coincidence, I'm sure. ;) There is a pronunciation guide on the last page of each book...it would have been nice to have that in the front so I wouldn't have sounded like such a fool - haha. I'm very American!
The books give a very brief overview of life in a different country. We started with France, since we have been studying Europe. We grabbed our map and the kids found France before we started. Each book tells the capital and some interesting facts about the country. The kids liked learning what kids in different countries call their parents.
Since the books are so quick to read, we then talked about what else they wanted to learn about the country. It was a great jumping off point to discuss foods, people, religions, biomes (another things we are studying right now), holidays and more. My sister lived in South Korea for a few years so we already are familiar with many of their customs and foods. Reading this book made us hungry for some bulgogi and friend mando. YUM!! We were learning about the Scandinavian Peninsula when we read the Norway book. I loved how these all fit in so well with our studies.
I recommend these books as a great way to begin a discussion or study of different countries. There are wonderful sites full of lapbooks and activities that you can use in conjunction with them that can be found by googling. They kindly sent us an inflatable globe (or "ball-ball-ball" as our little man kept saying) and some other fun surprises. We had fun racing to find the countries on there and tossing it around.
The kids enjoyed these and I found P reading them several times during the past month. That's a win in my book for my girl that doesn't love reading! I think it helps that the font is so big - makes her think she isn't reading as much as she is - haha. Whatever it is, I'll take it! Reading and learning about other cultures is a good thing!