We were excited to read the installments of Australia, Russia and Portugal. The books are written by Carole P. Roman, a former social studies teacher. They all follow the same format, but each one is specific to its country and culture. There are a boy and girl who tell you about popular children's names, toys, food and landmarks, or what you might call your mom and dad if you spoke their language. The familiarity of each new book makes them great for children who appreciate predictability, but each one is of course unique.
The books are engaging and informational, and I like that they give a look at not just the differences in childhood in other cultures, but the similarities as well. I think recognizing and appreciating unique differences is very important, but I also believe that helping children see similarities and common characteristics in others is what helps build tolerance and understanding of each other. Each title shows children that kids around the world are still the same, no matter what their skin tone or native tongue. They still like to play the same sports and playground games and play with the same toys, and that's something most kids can relate to.
What do we think?
The kids adore these books! Elliott is very interested in geography, but I think I've said that before. He loves finding the countries on the map and looking up neighboring countries. Every time we read a new book in the series, Emory proclaimed that he wanted to visit there!
The individual titles are a great addition to any country unit study, and the whole series is a great resource for a world geography or world cultures study. We will continue to reread the books as they fit into our geography studies, and I will gladly continue to add new titles to our collection.
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