Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year 2017

Happy New Year.  This year I have chosen the word ACCEPT as my word of the year. I am taking it from the Serenity Prayer.

Last year was so full of changes. I need to make sure I accept the things I can't change. Most importantly I need the wisdom to know what those things are. Once I find the things I can change I need to step out on faith and find the courage to step forward to make those changes.  There have been so many changes in my work, financial, and physical life this last year. I persevered throughout them all. I realized I  had a problem accepting certain situations.  I want this to be the year that I accept whatever God puts in front of me. I know that he knows what is best for me and my life.  I wish for all of you the best of what God has in store for you. No matter what it may be, I hope you will find a way to accept his will.  I have for you, this first day of a new year reviews of Thirty-five Books by Carole P. Roman.

Genre: Children's Picture Books
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

If You Were Me and Lived in Brazil
Readers will learn that Brazil is the largest country in South America and is the largest Portuguese speaking country in the world. They will learn about the Amazon, foods, sports and holidays. The book is full of wonderful information that allows readers to be transported to Brazil.

If You Were Me and Lived in Ancient China
This is a wonderful book for kids to learn about the story of Ancient China. The reader learns about the different classes and how life differed between them. You learn what they ate and why. The author has included information about the three religions. This is a great book to put on my shelves as a resource for my students.

If You Were Me and Lived in the American West
The author has done a wonderful job painting a picture of what life was like as people from the East moved to the West to have a better life. They traveled the Oregon Trail. The reader looks at life lived as they traveled chores the kids had, and what they ate. Readers learn of the hardships they faced and the new life they had. The author has included eight small biographies of famous people from the West as well as a glossary.

If You Were Me and Lived in the Middle Ages
This is one of thickest books this author has written for children. It is another book that I will proudly place on my school shelves. Readers will learn when the Middle Ages began and ended. Readers will also learn about the different classes of people and what life was like for them. Most readers will love to read about knights and castles, foods and jobs At the end of the book the author has once again given us a glossary and short biographies of famous people of the Middle Ages. It is my pleasure to recommend this book.
If You Were Me and Lived in Elizabethan England
author has given us a look at a time called Elizabethan times. This was when Elizabeth the I was queen. The author has done a great job comparing and contrasting the life of the poor to the wealthy. She also showed major differences between life in the city and the country. In the back of the book she has included a small biography of eight very important people who lived during the Elizabethan period and what they contributed. There is also a glossary included to help explain unfamiliar terms.

If You Were Me and Lived in Renaissance Italy
In this book we learn about the period after the Middle Ages. It was a time of rebirth. The awakening of creativity. It was called the Renaissance. The author has given a lot of information about how those who had some money lived. Everything was different from the clothes they wore to the food they ate. The author included a section on the changes in art, famous artists and a glossary.

If You Were Me and Lived in Colonial America
The research done for this book had to have been extensive. The author gives the reader some history in England that led to people moving across the ocean to what became Colonial America. We get a look at how tough life was for these people, especially the first year. You learn about the friendship with the Natives that helped them survive. The back has small biographies of several important people to the colonies.

If You Were Me and Lived in Ancient Greece
Readers will learn about some of the most important city-states. They will also learn a bit about the different gods they believed in. They will learn about how homes were made and what they ate. I found it interesting that girls were not considered citizens. I loved the way this book was set up. As you read about a specific topic you learned about the god or goddess that best fit with that topic. There is a separate section in the back that deals with the different gods.

If You Were Me and Lived in Italy
This is another book that takes the reader on a journey. This time we visit Italy. Italy is the home of the Roman Empire.  I also learned that the Catholic church is considered an independent state and the capital is Vatican City. Italy is also home to so many wonderful old ruins, such as the Colosseum. One other thing I learned is that March 8th is International women's Day. If you want to learn all about Italy, the country and its culture then get your hands on this wonderful book and share it with a child.

If You Were me and Lived in China
The author takes us on a trip to China where we learn that there are 135 billion people living there. We learn that names for children are chosen for their meaning, not just because they like the name. Most people who visit China visit the Great Wall of China.  They estimate it to be about 5,500 miles long.
The food you eat depends on where you live. In the north you eat Mandarin food; in the south you eat Cantonese food.  In the southwest you would eat Szechuan style food that is spicy, and in the southeast you eat seafood. Ping Pong is the favorite sport.  They have special things they do to prepare for the New Year.  As always this is a wonderful book to teach you about the culture and many wonderful things to do and see in China.

A Flag for the Flying Dragon
This is another Captain No Beard Story.  Captain No Beard is off on another voyage with his crew.  Each of them is doing their chores. Linus the lion polishes the lamp to light their way. Matie the goat cracks coconuts for them to have a snack, Hallie swabs the deck, Cayla stuffs torn up burp rags in the ships cracks  and Mongo was in the crows nest with the newest member Zach.  Mongo didn’t want him there because he was too little and couldn’t talk yet.  On top of all of these problems the captain has been unable to find a flag for his ship The Flying Dragon.  How will he unite his crew and find a flag?  Read this wonderful book where a young boy and his friends use their imagination along with the toys in his room to find adventure.

Fribbet the Frog and the Tadpoles

This is the next book in the Captain No Beard series. When Cayla drops a bucket of dirty water on deck, everyone realizes Fribbet the frog is missing. They find him and learn he is distressed. It seems Fribbet’s home is invaded by tadpoles. As a reader we learn about the changes a frog goes through from egg, to tadpole, to frogs. We learn how valuable a lesson it is to listen to others and help them through their problems. This invasion of siblings for Fribbet is something Captain No beard can identify with. He also shows how special it is. The ending has a surprise for one of the other crew members. Another wonderful way to teach children simple lessons.

If You Were Me and Lived in Scotland 
Scotland is at the north end of Great Britain.  I didn’t know until I read this book that Scotland has more than 790 islands in the North Sea. The capital is Edinburg.  Many of its buildings were inspired by ancient Greece and Rome.  Common names in Scotland would be Ian, Connor or Malcom for boys and Kelsey, Aillen or Margaret for girls.  The word for mommy is Mathair and daddy is Dadadh. The official animal of Scotland is the mythological creature known as a unicorn.  They are well known for their lake the Loch Ness and its creature known as the Loch Ness Monster or Nessie.  They eat oatmeal called porridge for breakfast, tattie scones which are potato muffins.  They eat a lot of fish dishes.  They use oats for all kinds of things from stuffing to desserts.  One of their favorite sports is golf.  They have the Highland games.  They dress in kilts, tartans and plaids.  One of their most well known instruments is the bagpipes. I absolutely love these books.  It is a way for students to travel the world and learn about different cultures without leaving their home. I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed are my own.

If You Were Me and Lived in HungaryOnce again we take a trip with this author to a new country. Today we explore Hungary and learn that the capital is Budapest.  It is fun to learn some common names such as Peter, Laszlo or Atilla if you are a boy; and Judit, Suzanna or Erzse’bet if you are a girl.  Mommy is Anya, Daddy is Apa and grandma is Nagy. The largest lake is the Balaton. It means mud or swamp. A popular food is goulash, which is a stew with meat and vegetables. It was interesting to learn that water polo is a favorite sport.  I learned that the Rubik’s Cube was invented there.  This is a wonderful way to learn about the country and culture of Hungary

If You Were Me and Lived in Peru
The first one is about Peru.  In this book we learn the capital is Lima and we learn the word actually means "talker.  We also learn common names for boys and girls.  If you visit you will want to know that their money is called nuevos soles. You will learn a little bit about the Incas.  You will read about some of their favorite foods such as fried guinea pig.  Peru is the potato capital where you will find about 4000 kinds of potatoes.  There is so many more cultural things to learn as you take this wonderful trip to Peru.

If You Were Me and Lived in Greece
The second book is about Greece.  Here you will learn the capital is Athens and is known as the birthplace of democracy.  Money used to be call drachmas, but now the use Euros.  Common foods are stuffed grape leaves, octopus, or grilled slabs of white cheese. You will want to have dessert which is a donut covered with honey and cinnamon.  This is where the Olympics originated.  During the Feast of St. Basil if you find a coin in your piece of cake then you will have good luck all year.

Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis
I am and have been a fan of this authors work from the first book I read and reviewed. Alexander is a young boy/pirate who goes on wonderful adventures through the use of his imagination.  He takes a boat load of friends/stuffed animals and two other humans with him on these adventures.  Each time we travel with him on an adventure we learn a lesson as he learns one.  On this trip he wants to steal the Aurora Borealis. The crew refuses because they know that stealing is not a good thing.  As usual they always find a solution to their problems.  This is a wonderful book to read to your youngest loved ones.

If You Were Me and Lived in Portugal
This is a book that follows along I the same way the author’s other books do. In Portugal you learn the capital, what your parents are called, popular boy and girl names. The author always talks about where you would go on vacations and what you would see. My favorite part is learning about some of the foods you would eat. These are great books for getting children interested in learning about other countries.

Captain No Beard: An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life
This is a cute story of a young boy named Alexander and his cousin Hallie’s adventures as ‘pretend’ pirates.
The story will entice any young pirate wannabe. The language is appropriate for ages 3-5. The pictures are bright and charming.

I Want to Do Yoga Too Hallie goes with her mom to the yoga studio. She is told she is to stay with Robin, but is upset she can’t go with her mom to do yoga. Robin tries to get Hallie to have fun with her. They stand like a tree, bend and stretch like an airplane and pretend to be several other things. Read the book to find out if Hallie will ever get to do yoga.

If You Me and Lived in Turkey
Great cultural book. You will learn about marinated and grilled goat, soccer, and their favorite holiday. Learn what you call your mother and father and common names for boys and girls. Great beginning to learning about other countries.

If You Were Me and Lived in France
I am enjoying this series because I have learned so much. I learned about the first city in Europe to use gas street lamps. I had never thought about that before. Readers will learn who designed the Eiffel Tower. They will discover the wonderful things you can fill a crepe with and discover what Bastille Day is.

If You Were Me and Lived in India
I saved this one for last. As a teacher I have a lot of Indian students. The funny thing is I learn something new from each of them because they come from so many different areas of India. In this book you learn why you can't just speak "Indian". There is no such thing, since there are over one hundred different languages. I had never heard of the celebration called Holi before reading this book. I knew from my students that they used cumin, curry and cinnamon in their foods but had no idea they used chiles. It doesn't matter if these books are for younger children or not. The parent reading these books will enjoy learning right along with their child. I would recommend that parents read and talk about these books with their children. I would also recommend they use it as a jumping off point for further study of each country. I highly recommend this series.

If You Were Me and Lived in KenyaYou would learn about the Massai Mara national Reserve and explore the Mombasa Carnival. You would find out what snack you would enjoy. learn what the game cricket is and explore the other cultural aspects of this country.

If You Were Me and Lived in Mexico
In this book of the series take a trip to Mexico. You will learn about the food, language, sports and you would learn about Chichan Itza and what is significant about the number of steps of the Mayan Temple.

If You Were Me and Lived in Poland
This is another wonderful cultural book from Carole P. Roman. There are a lot of things I learn from reading her books. The Polish Constitution is the second oldest in the entire world. There is a legend connected to the capital of Warsaw. That is why you will find mermaids everywhere, including the city seal. There are salt mines outside Krakow. It has become a tourist attraction. Playing outdoors is important for children. Poland is one of the most important bird breeding grounds in the world. They are known for famous people such as Fryderyk Chopin. As usual, there is a dictionary of important words in the back of the book.
I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

If You Were Me and Lived in South Korea
You will what is special about Min Sok Chon the Korean Folk Village and what Kimchee is. You will also learn about the Lunar New Year in this book in the series. I recommended this book to my son to share with his children. The reason is because he was stationed in South Korea. This is a way for him to share a little of what he learned over there.

If You Were Me and Lived in Viking Europe

Vikings are one subject area I know very little about. Some Vikings came from Norway. Vikings were some of our earliest explorers. People who traveled for trade or war were called Vikings and those who farmed were called Scandinavians. When they moved to other lands they were called Norsemen. Like many early peoples, there were different classes. The Jarls were wealthy and ran the government and had slaves. Karls were peasants and farmers. Thralls were slaves often captured from other ands. Family was very important. The houses also contained an area for your animals, storerooms and a latrine. Everyone shared the house including the slaves. Fruits, nuts, vegetables along with seafood was a large part of your diet. Seawater was boiled to make the salt that preserved the food. Children worked as hard as the adults. They were a productive part of society.
I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Pepper Parrot’s Problem with Patience
The crew is introduced to a new crew member “Pepper the Parrot”. Pepper gets very anxious when she doesn’t know something everyone else knows. She reacts by screaming. Pepper learns a lesson and earns a new name. Read to find out what Pepper learned and her new name.

Strangers on the High Seas
Inn this story Alexander the pirate is joined by Caley his baby sister when they are approached by strangers in another boat. The lesson taught here is not to talk to strangers. Read this cute story to discover the secret weapon Captain No beard has in his arsenal.

Stuck in the Doldrums: A Lesson in Sharing
Captain No Beard and his crew are on his deserted island. Captain No Beard starts bossing everyone around and they leave him alone, mad at him. When his ship is attacked by a giant squid the crew decides to forget they are mad and help. The captain learns a valuable lesson. Read this book to find out what that lesson is.

If You Were Me and Lived in Egypt
Children will learn that Egypt is in both Africa and Asia. It is one of the oldest civilized countries. The capital has the second oldest university in the world. The pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. Travel down the Nile in a felucca or sail boat. Popular sports are archery, rowing, beach handball, tennis and of course soccer. They have a holiday that celebrates the beginning of Spring. Asalways there is a glossary of unfamiliar words at the back of the book.

Can a Princess Be a Firefighter?
This story tells girls they can be whatever they want to be. It encourages them to research jobs because it is important to like what you do. No matter what, girls will always be someone’s princess.

Take a trip through our galaxy visiting each planet before we wake up safe and snug in our beds. Another cute book by a fabulous author.

Being a Captain is Hard Work

Captain No Beard and his crew have set sail once again. They are all working hard on the ship. Mongo the monkey tells the captain he believes a storm is coming. The captain disagrees. He tells Zach to raise the flag even though Zach tells him the wind is too strong. Hallie tells him it is getting too cold and he disagrees. Captain No Beard believes as Captain he knows everything. He must learn that a captain must learn to listen as much as he must give orders.  The end of this book has a page devoted to teaching you about the different types of clouds.

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