Reviewed by Teri Davis
Imagine living in England during the year 1072. To help you, former social studies teacher, Carole Roman along with illustrator, Mateya Arkova, have created the perfect tool for transporting each of us into that time and place through the pages of this exquisite book.
The paperback explains how life changed from when the Romans controlled the country and their contributions to the change of the Renaissance period beginning around 1400 A.D.
By taking a reading journey into each fiefdom, you learn about the world of knights who sold their services and life as a servant or vassal.
This book is through the eyes of a daughter whose father was a knight in William of Normandy’s army and rewarded with land for being victorious with the invasion of England. Describing life inside the keep is picturesque. Also, well-represented is the perspective from being a peasant. I find the section regarding the medical field fascinating, but obviously not the healthiest.
In the back of the book are listing about famous people of the period as well as a glossary with definitions and pronunciations of common words of the time.
For the book, If You Were Me and Lived in…Viking Europe, the time period is around 870 A.D. and set in Norway, along the coast.
I was surprised to learn the difference between Scandinavians and Norsemen. The difference is that they are from the same area, but the Norsemen was used for the people who moved to the foreign lands explored.
Also explained are the patterns for family last names describing the use of …son and …dottir.
The class system for the Vikings is defined and easily pictured due to the illustrations which perfectly match the text.
The descriptions and pictures of the houses are fascinating transporting you to another time and place.
The section about your grandmother is both educational and entertaining. “She had a loud voice, and when she was irritated about something or felt that the community was insulted, she would nag and harangue the men into action. She worried about the town’s honor and was known to use her magic to keep them safe.”
Listed at the end is a guide including pronunciation and short description of some of the better known Norse Gods. Also included is a list of some of the great Vikings throughout the period of exploration. As usual, the book is completed with a glossary of common words for the book, including a pronunciation guide.
Both of these books transport the reader into other times and places with the texts in each book perfectly matching the illustrations. These books are intended for elementary children but readers of all ages can both learn and enjoy the time traveling journeys of a past time.