Children's Fiction and Historical Studies from Carole P. Roman {Review}


Reading children's stories is an everyday thing around here in the Our Everyday Harvest house. We sometimes spend hours upon hours reading each day. Our library includes books in all sorts of genres and subject matter, both fiction and non-fiction. Recently, we were introduced to the works of award-winning children's author, Carole P. Roman, and have been enjoying several of her literary treasures, each one being unique from each other.

Our first book, If You Were Me and Lived in...Elizabethan England was one of my top Carole P. Roman picks. I have a true interest in this period of history and couldn't wait to sit down and read this with my son. The author has written several books in the If You Were Me and Lived in... series. Each one focuses on traveling back in time to a particular civilization or point in history in order to see what it may have been like to live during that period.

In If You Were Me and Lived in...Elizabethan England, Roman offers a detailed idea of what it was like to live during the Renaissance era from a middle class point of view. Topics include, living conditions, employment, meals that were served, schooling, and how these all differed depending on the particular class a person belonged to. Children will have the chance to learn about the clothing that was worn, home structures that people lived in, religions that were followed, and even the different types of currency and who earned what.

The illustrations by Paula Tabor are vibrant and descriptive, offering a glimpse of how people lived in the days during Queen Elizabeth's reign. Since the Renaissance was a period of rebirth, there is also discussion on how the arts became a strong influence on society as a whole. Children will get a glimpse of what it was like to be a member of an acting troupe and perform plays on stage. William Shakespeare is also briefly introduced in this book.

In addition to a fact-filled story about the Elizabethan era, there are a few extra sections to really help children expand on their studies on the subject:

  • Important people to know in Elizabethan Era offers detailed profiles of eight important figures (including Queen Elizabeth) who lived during that time.

  • A glossary with seven pages worth of definitions and pronunciations of various titles, vocabulary, and people during this era.

If the rest of the books in the If You Were Me and Lived in... series are as engaging as this one, then I'll definitely be adding some of the others to our wishlist. This is a fantastic introduction to the Elizabethan era that will help spark an interest of historical periods and movements in young minds. Not only is it filled with informative facts about this time in history, but it's particularly useful for putting together a unit study. As a homeschooling mother, I really appreciate books like these that help get children excited about studying history.

I have to be honest, I'm not a huge fan of pirate themed books, but Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis actually surprised me. This story took what many of us know about pirates (dishonesty and thievery) and reversed it to a lesson about morals and positive values. There are even a few science facts included.

Captain No Beard and the crew are on a mission, but only the Captain knows where and why. Soon the crew finds out that he actually wants to take the Aurora Borealis with him. Stealing is wrong, even if he loves the beauty of the Auroras and only wants to borrow it for a little while. The crew try to talk him out of it. Will they be able to? Perhaps they can come up with a solution that will make everyone happy, all while doing the right thing.

The illustrations by Bonnie Lemaire are fun, full of color, and very detailed, right down to the expressions on each of the crew's faces throughout their trip. The ending also had a cute twist that we didn't see coming.

This is the first book in the Captain No Beard series that my son and I have had the privilege of reading, however, it did give me a change of heart when it comes to pirate themed stories, at least as far as this collection goes. We would definitely consider picking up additional Captain No Beard books in the future. I really like how the story focuses on problem solving and teaching children to do the right thing.

Although I don't typically read princess books, mainly because I don't have any daughters or nieces, I did find Can a Princess Be a Firefighter? to be a really sweet story with a very important message. It begins with two little girls who ask their mother, "Can a princess be a firefighter?" The mother begins to let them know that they can be whatever they want to be. The daughters then go on to name off several other professions, but could they still be princesses, too? This story contains a heartfelt message to little girls that they can strive for anything they'd like to and even change their mind along the way. All that matters is that they follow their heart and that they're happy. This is definitely a recommended story for all the little princesses out there!

Be sure to connect with Carole P. Roman on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about her collection of children's books. 

Read what the rest of the Crew are saying:

Oh Susannah, Bedtime Stories, Captain No Beard, If you were Me ... {Carole P. Roman Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer