A 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.
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.
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!)
According 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?