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An Elementary Writing Curriculum

Review of If You Were Me Books: A Child's Look at Different Cultures

I love to study other cultures with my children. Learning the customs and culture of other countries always leads to some interesting exploration. My children have had the unique opportunity to meet people from other cultures in many ways. My in laws are directors of a ministry to international students. Our church hosts a Missions Festival each year, and other churches from around the world are often represented. My younger girls have also had the opportunity to study different cultures in their co-op classes. The  If You Were Me... Books from Carole P. Norman with Away We Go Media take a look at various cultures through the eyes of a child.
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We received four books from various cultures:
If You Were Me and Lived in France
If You Were Me and Lived in South Korea
If You Were Me and Lived in Mexico
If You Were Me and Lived in Norway (This one is a new release and doesn't have a web page yet.)

The books are intended for children under 10. I read them with my 8 and 9 year old. We received the paper back books which can be purchased for $8.99. There is also a Kindle version of each book.

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The books are bright and colorful. The print is large. The appearance drew my girls in, and they were interested when I first brought the books out.


The writing style is easy to read. It is simplistic and followed the same pattern for each book. There was always a welcome: "If you were me and lived in..." A page followed where names would be given for children in that culture. "If you were a boy, you may be named... If you were a girl you may be named..." Then a page would talk about an important place in that country. The capitol city was always mentioned. Also included were things the children may find in that country using words from the language. And the books ended talking where the children would learn- the school, with the word given in the language of the culture.

What we liked:

* The books were colorful and appealed the the girls. The drawings and the "If You Were Me..." titles interested them.

* The books were simple enough for them to read alone as 3rd and 4th graders.

* Learning words from another language is always fun. There is a pronunciation guide at the back of each book which is really nice because many of those words are unfamiliar.



What we didn't like:

* I really think the books were too young for my girls. I think preschoolers and kindergartners would have appreciated the simplistic style more. My girls wanted some more in depth.

* The books all followed the very same pattern. Again, this goes back to age appropriateness. Young children often enjoy repetition. But my girls were not thrilled with it.


I think these book would be great to use with younger kids. The appearance and simplistic style would appeal to little ones. And they would be a good way to introduce a culture to a young child who didn't know much about it or who was just beginning to understand that people all over the world live differently even though some things are the same.


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You can find out what other Review Crew members and their families thought by clicking below:


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