Posts tagged ‘customs’

ANCIENT GREECE IN A NUTSHELL

If You Were Me and Lived in …Ancient Greece

Written by Carole P. Roman

Illustrated by Mateya Arkova

ancientgreece,picThis book is part of a new series which looks at the cultures and customs not of individual countries but about civilizations throughout time. Ancient Greece is the topic of the first release. The author begins by describing the geographical location of Greece and how Greece may have looked in the past contrasting it with the present. Unlike the other series, this book covers a much broader time period, and the author chooses to stage her character as a child living around 350 B.C. in classical Greece. There is no mention of the previous Greek Archaic Period, the rule of the aristocracy or the tyrants which eventually evolved into the establishment of democratic city states. Much of the book discusses everyday life, food, dress, education, family structure, occupations, and religion. Roman ends her discussion with the military conqueror Alexander the Great who established an empire, and whose death would usher in the end of the classical period and the beginning of the Hellenistic Age.

There is a great deal of information simplified and condensed for the elementary school and middle school reader. I would have liked to see more detailed maps showing locations and some actual photographs, though the simple, soft pastel illustrations are lovely and appealing for a younger reader. The glossary and list of gods and goddesses are helpful because readers will need to reference these to keep track of all the information. No doubt this book will open a child’s eyes to the vast legacy of ancient Greece and provide an excellent starting ground for future explorations on the political, social, religious, scientific and educational contributions of ancient Greece.

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RAISING YOUR VOICE

Layla Learns to be Brave: Series for beginning readers

Written by Bron Whitley

Illustrated by Melissa Bailey

 

 

 

Layla,picReally enjoyed reading this early chapter book about a second grader named Layla who lives in Australia. Young readers learn that while it is okay to be scared of new things, it is also a brave act to try something new.

I like the way the author introduces Australian customs, culture and habitat to her readers. For example readers learn about gum trees, kookaburras and cockatoos. Layla reveals her active imagination when she imagines being a cowgirl and sees bugs in her cupcakes. The humor and large black and white pencil drawings aid in sustaining interest for beginning or reluctant readers. Layla represents the thoughts and dreams of many of her readers.

Highly recommended chapter book for beginning and reluctant readers. Look forward to reading more books in the Layla down under series.

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HALLOWEEN WITH A TWIST

Tommy Goes Trick-Or-Treating (Bird Brain Books 4)

Written by Emlyn Chand

Illustrated by Noelle Giffin

Tommy Goes Trick-or-Treating, pic

Story revolves around two animal friends, a woodpecker named Tommy and his raccoon friend, Michael. Both enjoy watching humans for amusement. One day Tommy notices something strange; all the children are dressing in weird costumes and knocking on neighbors’ doors asking for candy. Michael tells Woody that this is the custom on Halloween.

Woody is jealous; he wants some of his own candy. So he enlists Michael to go trick or treating with him. At first they are unsuccessful, until they figure out that they need their own costumes and must say the magic words, “Trick or Treat.” Once they get the hang of it, the two animal friends go off the deep end and abuse the custom. Read the book and find out what happens to them and what lessons they learn.

Illustrations cleverly done in Halloween colors are interspersed throughout and will hold the interest of younger readers. The book is an excellent choice for an early chapter book. Don’t be fooled by the length; half the pages are not part of the actual story but rather author background and summaries of other books in their series. Teachers might use the book as a read aloud for Halloween and parents might want to discuss its lessons before their children go trick or treating. I would recommend it especially for ages six through nine. This book is also available in Spanish. If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS Feed button in the upper right hand corner of this page.

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