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Reviewed by JB McPherson for Readers' Favorite
Carole P. Roman and Mateya Markova have created a delightful children’s book in If You Were Me and Lived in… Viking Europe. I have two grandsons who love Vikings, and this book brings many elements of history and culture together in a way that makes children feel that they have experienced Viking times. The colorful illustrations add to the impact of details such as the style of homes and how food was prepared. The author explains Viking words (like Moder for mother) in such an interesting way that even younger children can understand. This book seems to be targeted for elementary age children, but middle school children may enjoy it as well, especially those with an interest in Norse culture or history. At the end, there’s a simple explanation of Norse gods and famous kings and queens.
My favorite aspect of the book is the imaginative way in which the author draws her readers into the narration by using “If you…” This formula is repeated throughout the book and keeps the child reader listening for more details. I also appreciated how the author provides the pronunciation for unusual words or spellings. Here’s an example: “Your name might have been Knut (Kahnoot) or Ulf (Ul-uff) if you were a boy and Sigrid (Seeg-freed) or Hilde (Hill-da) if you were a girl.” I could imagine children using the details from this book to create their own Viking stories or games. Carole P. Roman and Mateya Markova have brought to life a long ago time and a faraway place that will inspire children to learn more. Highly recommended for young readers who love history!