Friday, October 4, 2013

2013-09-252Disclosure: I received the books in this post for review, but all opinions are my own.

If you were me KoreaA couple of months ago I reviewed Carole P Roman’s book If I Were You and Lived in South Korea. Now Carole sent us three other books in these series – Norway, France and Mexico. Every book is set up the same way and illustrated in the same style. Readers will learn where the country is located, what its capital is, what most popular names are, favorite foods and favorite sports. They will also learn a little about local holidays and famous places or traditions.

If you were me NorwayThis similarity gave me an idea. I put both Korea and Norway books on the table and first asked Smarty to tell me three facts about each of those countries. She came up with the following:

Korea: between Japan and China, wanted to be independent from Japan and tried to make an alliance with Russia (that’s from The Story of the World), hot.

Norway: Somewhere in Europe, cold, Eric the Red discovered Greenland.

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Then Smarty read both books to me and I drew Venn circles. We had a fun conversation about what is the same and what is different between these two countries. Smarty commented that both languages are “crazy”, but Norwegian seems closer to English than Korean. Interestingly, she thought that what we eat is closer to Korean than to Norwegian (probably because we eat a lot of rice!)

IMG_1624According to Smarty, both countries have an Independence Day holiday, they are old, and they eat a lot! She also said that she’d rather visit Norway, because she loves snow and because she thinks she’d fit right in with her blue eyes and fair skin. I’d rather visit Korea, because I love Korean food, and I’ve never been there. I visited Norway several times, and it’s truly a gorgeous country.

Now I am looking forward to doing a similar activity on France and Mexico in a month or two – I actually expect Smarty to be even more engaged since she will now know what to expect. And I highly recomment If You Were Me series for children 4 and higher who are interested in the world cultures.

Your turn: Have you tried to compare and contrast two similar books with your children?

10 comments:

Phyllis said...

I love Venn diagrams, but my boys are less thrilled about them. I never thought about using one for two different countries, but it is a great idea.

Marie-Claude Leroux said...

What a neat idea :) The book series sounds good - I'll have to get our library to order them!

Carole P. Roman said...

Thank you for the great review!I am so happy to see Smarty engaged with it! You can order the books on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.com. I don't know if the local libraries will have it. Watch for Kenya and Turkey later this month.

Joyful Learner said...

It's true, food is very important in Korea! There's a lot of etiquette around eating and drinking. But Korea has four seasons and it gets very cold in the winter. My friend just visited recently and she said she was freezing!

We did Venn diagrams of India and US after watching Families of _____ by Master Communications. They are wonderful because you can follow along with the lives of the children in those countries. I might have posted this a long time ago.

Ann said...

No but good idea! My daughter enjoys research!

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

I need to look into this series for my kids. I love the activity you put together to go along with the books!

Ticia said...

Yes and it's a hit or miss on how the activity goes. But boy do those books look great.

Growing Book by Book said...

I need to look for this series too. I love using Venn Diagrams to compare stories. Thanks for sharing.

Anna said...

LOVE this idea! I am trying to develop an idea in my head for introducing geography for my kids. Why didn't I think of simple graphic organizers? This is a great starting point for me - thank you!

Carrie said...

Oh, I love using Venn Diagrams to compare them. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!