There are nearly 8 billion people living in the world, speaking scores of different languages and having their own customs, traditions and values. Lot of adults don’t know a lot about different world cultures and countries. But as children are little sponges, teaching them early about different cultures and learning about how people are the same yet different is a very good thing.
The award-winning children’s author Carole P. Roman has written a series of children’s picture books, aimed at 4-8 years old, that introduces them to different cultures in countries around the world. This award-winning series is If You Were Me and Lived in ….
For this review, we head off into eastern or central Europe (depending on what side of the debate that you fall into) to Poland in If You Were Me and Lived in… Poland. Did you know that Poland was the first country in Europe to have a constitution (not the one they currently have), and the second country in the world?
With lots of Polish people living and working in the UK, how much do you and your children really know about their country, culture and customs? In the If You Were Me and Lived in… Poland picture book you will get a brief introduction into Poland and its culture with facts including why there are so many statues of mermaids in the capital city Warsaw, and how legend said that it got its name and what the best day in the world for children is.
Your young readers (and you if you are reading the book to them) will also learn popular Polish children’s names, food they like to eat, their favourite sports and pastimes, and even famous tourist attractions like the Wielicza Salt Mine that sounds really impressive and definitely a place to add to your places to visit.
One possible downside to children reading books about other countries is the difference in language. Place names can be hard to pronounce and names for everyday things like school will be completely different, but fear not, Carole P. Roman addresses this quite easily with child-friendly, broken down pronunciations of these words in brackets next to the Polish word. There is also a handy glossary at the back of the book with a brief description and pronunciation of all the Polish words used within the book. Words such as pilka nozna, what we know as football, is peu-ka-noz-nah and what we know as Warsaw is Warszawa in Polish with the pronunciation in the book as Var-shav-a – hopefully these pronunciations work well.
As you work your way through the book, the young readers will also be asked if they can work out what certain Polish words mean within the story (tip: the beautiful illustrations will help).
Overall, If You Were Me and Lived in… Poland is a very informative book that delivers some brief but interesting facts about the country, language and culture. It is an excellent start into learning more about another country, what they do there, what they eat and their cultural differences.
It is an excellent book to ignite a child’s interest in another country, their language, culture and traditions. The information is delivered in a very child-friendly way and the beautiful illustrations by Kelsea Wierenga are well-drawn in a unique way and deliver just as much information as the text.
If You Were Me and Lived in… Poland is a fun factual and enjoyable educational picture book. It is never too early to get your children interested in other world cultures and the diversity of their inhabitants and Carole P. Roman’s If You Were Me and Lived in series gives an excellent starting point to instil the basic understandings of different places around the world.