Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Prolific Writer Begins New Historical Series...If You Were Me and Lived in...Ancient Greece - Wow!

I admit it, I'm already hooked on Carole Roman's new Historical series exploring the cultural possibilities of what it was like during different time periods around the world. For me, it was ancient history that most caught my attention waaaay back when I was forced to learn...LOL... Seriously, I have been so impressed with Roman's ability to make those school lessons in geography and history so colorful and fun, that she makes children--and some of us adults--continue to learn and study these topics through her excellent full-color illustrated stories.

Greece is our first stop on our tour and will be followed by Renaissance Italy, which I'm especially looking forward to and then on to Elizabethan England. Colonial America is up next so be prepared for the tour du jour...!

All of the art work is done by Mateya Arkova...The book says, "the illustrations take the readers in a funny cartoonish world with bright pastel colors and curvy lines leading to great adventures...The cover photo provides the "feel" but the inside illustrations are much more detailed reminiscent of the topics to be covered in this series: occupations, food, clothing, and recreation... The narrative and length of this series is also much more extensive and could easily be used as the basis for discussions and lessons for older students,  as the author suggests.

If You Were Me and Lived in...
  Ancient Greece

By Carole P. Roman
Illustrated by Mateya Arkova

The author sets the tone first by displaying a typical scene in Greece:

Greece may have looked like this in the year 350 B.C. What are the differences?

Immediately readers will see that there are only animals that are used to move things... No cars anywhere! How did we ever manage? I think We can already see that the time period would have been much slower and we would probably live in one location for most of our early years... Indeed, most individuals, when asked where they lived, did not say Greece but instead identified themselves as Spartans or merely named the city in which they lived., But then we get into the details...

Greece is located in the Mediterranean Sea in southeastern Europe at the crossroads between Asia, Frica, and Europe. It is officially known as the Hellenic Republic today and was called Hellas (Hel-las) in ancient times. The area has a long history dating back thousands of years. Greece was the first advanced civilization in the region, giving it the title of "the Cradle of Western Civilization." Ancient Greece created the foundation for many modern western societies, from legal and government systems to cultural features like literature and philosophy, as well as the Olympics.

Athens is currently the capital of Greece, and the first people settled there around the 11th-7th century B.C. That makes it one of the world's oldest cities.

Of course we must meet some of the children of this ancient country. At that time Alexandros or Linus were popular if you were a boy. They might name your sister Melitta or Theodora... and check out the typical home where families would congregate and eat...

Most days, your diet would consist of bread, cheese, olives, figs, and grapes. There was usually a lot of fish available, but meat was only eaten on special feast days when you were celebrating something special...

And do you know what they used for napkins?! Bread! That bread was then used to feed their pets... Cool, right?

But you know what was coolest of all about Greece? They are proud to say that they introduced a system of politics called demokratia or ruled by the people! They are responsible for creating the democratic principles that we, here, in the United States (and other countries) now are governed by. It is Greece's most enduring contribution to the modern world!

We knew thee of old,
Oh, divinely restored,
By the lights of thine eyes
And the light of thy Sword

From the graves of our slain
Shall thy valour prevail
As we greet thee again-
Hail, Liberty! Hail!

And added just for enjoyment by all!

See what happens when we started learning with Carole Roman? Wow! I enjoyed this trip immensely...And one of the little side additions that readers will quickly point out is that we had guides on this trip...The youth on the cover appears on each of the inside stories, looking on or actually telling us what is happening...And...in a tiny corner, we get to meet the ancient Greek gods that were worshiped at that time...For instance,

Aphrodite was the goddess of love and beauty. She loved the myrtle tree, and her favorite birds were the dove and swan.

The extra touches in these books made me consider this much more than the average children's book...It is worthy of acquiring as a magnificent addition to a home library for use to individuals of all ages, including the older children who may be studying ancient Greece in school. An exceptional well-done to both the author and illustrator. The book has 54 pages, jammed with additional narrative about the country. It also includes a total list of the gods and goddesses as well as a glossary for all the terms included. Impressive, Carole Roman. You should be proud of this new series!


Named to Kirkus Reviews' Best of 2012 for her first book, award winning author Carole P. Roman started writing as a dare from one of her sons. Using an imaginary game she played with her grandson as a base, Captain No Beard was born."Captain No Beard- An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate's Life" has not only been named to Kirkus Best of 2012, it received the Star of Exceptional Merit, and won the Pinnacle Award for 2012. "Pepper Parrot's Problem with Patience" Book 2 in the series, received 5 Stars from The ForeWord Review The Clarion Review. Strangers on the High Seas has won second place in the Rebecca's Reads Choice Awards 2013. It has followed with six more books to the series. This year, Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis was named to Kirkus Best 2015. The entire cultural non-fiction series If You Were Me and Lived in... was named Best Series by Shelf Unbound. She has begun work on two new series that will be released in early 2016.
Motivated by her love of yoga, Roman has written a book that not only teaches four poses, but shows how easy and accessible yoga can be. 
Her new non fiction series, "If You Were Me and Lived in..." combines her teaching past with her love of exploration and interest in the world around us. The debut book in the series, "If You Were Me and Lived in...Mexico" has won the Pinnacle Award for Best in Children's Non Fiction 2012. France, South Korea, and Norway. Rebecca's Reads has given If You Were Me and Lived in...Norway an honorable mention in the 2013 Choice Awards. If You Were Me and lived in ...France won second place. ForeWord Review has nominated If You Were Me and Lived in...France for best in children's non fiction literature 2013. They will be followed with Kenya, Turkey, India, and Australia. She plans to do Portugal, Greece, and Argentina next year.
Writing for children has opened up a whole second act for her. While she is still working in her family business, this has enabled her to share her sense of humor as well as love for history and culture with the audience she adores. Roman lives on Long Island with her husband and near her children.

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