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Book Reviews

If You Were Me and Lived in... Australia

A Child's Introduction to Cultures around the World

Reviewed by

Roman transports young armchair travelers Down Under in her latest captivating book.

Award-winning author Carole P. Roman’s If You Were Me and Lived In… series turns children into armchair travelers lucky enough to get a glimpse of life in countries such as India and Mexico. With If you were me and lived in… Australia, Roman transports young readers to the other side of the globe to learn all about the history, weather, food, families, and language Down Under.

Roman, a former teacher, eases kids into learning about Australian culture by pointing out its similarities to—and differences from—life in the United States. For instance, she writes: “You would call your mommy ‘mummy’…and your dad would answer to ‘daddy’…just like in America.” She goes on to explain that Aussies use another kind of dollar as currency, and are known for eating Vegemite sandwiches, playing cricket, grilling on the “barbie” (as opposed to the barbecue), and saying “no worries.”

The author also maintains just the right amount of information to pique readers’ interest without overwhelming with jargon or too much detail. For example, instead of using the term Aborigines, Roman simply explains that “Australia was isolated from the rest of the world, so as a result the native culture remained rich and unchanged until Europeans arrived.”

If you were me and lived in… Australia is also the perfect book for beginning readers, as Roman places the phonetic spelling after key terms, and there is a pronunciation guide as well as a glossary in the back.

The illustrations will also captivate young audiences with their saturated hues and depictions of ethnically diverse kids participating in parades, for example, or spending time at home with their parents.

A small thumbnail drawing of the Sydney Opera House accompanies the left-sided page number, associating an iconic image with the country throughout the book. Perhaps the volume’s only downside is the page where the text appears over an image, making the words difficult to read.

In the end, If you were me and lived in… Australia deserves a place on school or library bookshelves and will undoubtedly entice curious young minds.

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have his/her book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Review make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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