Title: If You Were Me and Lived in … the Ancient Mali Empire
Author: Carole P. Roman
Illustrator: Mateya Arkova
“If you were me and lived at the height of the Mali (Mah-lee) Empire, you would have been born in the year 1332,” Carole P. Roman writes in her children’s book, If You Were Me and Lived in … the Ancient Mali Empire – A Child’s Introduction to Culture Around the World.
~ What ~
Part of An Introduction to Civilizations throughout Time series, this seventy-eight-page paperback targets elementary to middle school-aged children and readers who like learning about historical eras. With no profanity, scary scenes, or violence, it would best be read to beginner readers based on some complicated words. Pastel illustrations cover two-thirds of the open pages with a black font wording on the other third of the open pages that have white backgrounds. Six pages at the end of the book list ten famous individuals of the period, followed by an eight-page glossary that also includes pronunciation for each word.
In this book dedicated to Ancient Mali, its history, religion, culture, clothing, and activities are explained. Readers can learn what their names would be, employment, city and home environment, famous buildings, food choices, necessary attire, monetary values, education, hobbies, and important people and what they accomplished.
~ Why ~
Not written as a fictional story, this educational and detailed account is a way for children to learn about another period in history and how it changed the world. As an adult, I appreciate the information on their houses, mosques, and palace. Learning about Mansa Musa, his throne, duties, army, and accomplishments as well as the classes of people, role of a griot, arranged marriages, and the Muslim way of life were interesting.
~ Why Not ~
While the book contains long paragraphs and three- to four-syllable words, it would have to be read out loud to new readers. Some may think its contents may be too advanced for young children, but the pictures are interesting.
~ Who ~
Award-winning author, Roman has written several series for children of books based on countries, eras, and the pirate genre. She lives in New York with her husband and close to her children and grandchildren. Illustrator Arkova enjoys creating bright pastel colors and curvy lines in her artwork. She lives in Bulgaria.
~ Wish ~
I wish more creative books like this one were available that promoted historical events to be used as educational tools for teaching children.
~ Want ~
If you are looking for a new series that covers a gambit of historical places and people, this one will teach your children about living in Ancient Mali.
Thanks to the author for furnishing this complimentary book that I am reviewing freely.
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GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.