My seven-year-old Levi and I recently went on a most fabulous 4 week cultural adventure through four countries, passports in hand, made possible by award winning author Carole P. Roman with Away We Go Media.
Where did we go?
Well, we started out in Mexico as we journeyed our way through the colorful and fact-filled paperback book If You Were Me and Lived In…Mexico.
While my intentions were to take one adventure per week, staying in one country for the whole week, Levi immediately had the traveling bug and jumped right back on the plane headed to Asia, enjoying If You Were Me and Lived In…South Korea without a rest.
And of course my travel-bug wasn’t ready to stop there. He flashed that passport and headed straight for Europe, exploring If You Were Me and Lived In…France next.
Still not ready to put the globe or passport away, he arrived in The Land of the Midnight Sun to check out the Snow Hotel in If You Were Me and Lived In…Norway.
For right around $9.00 per book (for sale at Amazon and other fine bookstores) you can take your early elementary kids (targeted audience is Pre-K to age 8) on a most exciting learning adventure through other cultures.
These brightly colored paperbacks are made of thick, high quality materials. The large-sized pages (8.5″ square) are richly and accurately illustrated and packed with so many fun facts of the region, culture, language, and history in large print.
Each book follows the same type of format, and is between 20-30 pages.
First is a picture/cutout of the country with its capital. Next is a picture similar to the one on the cover with the children holding a globe and the country highlighted, with the name, description and fun fact of the country.
Next is a journey to the capital city, then the child is introduced to typical boys and girls names, what you would call your Momma and Pappa, money, food, toys, historical places and events, sports, traditions, and the school.
The end of the book contains a pronunciation guide for the words used from the language of the culture.
The book being written in second person “you” definitely pulls the reader right into the adventure. Spoken directly to the child, the story includes thought provoking questions that lead to much discussion!
Gunn Ranch Academy’s Around the World Adventures
As I have already spilled the beans about my lack of self control in introducing these books weekly as I had planned, I’ll just start by saying don’t buy them all at once if you want to save them to do weekly, LOL.
Our awesome package came with two paper do-it-yourself passports, a blow up globe, and two colorful pencils with country flags on them. Levi and I began with a discussion of passports, world travel, and a look at the globe after blowing it up. We look at our globe all the time, but the blow up one brought a brand new interest! We found all the places we would be traveling, and tracked them with our fingers from our home in Texas.
We began reading through the books, and just couldn’t stop with one on the first day of discovery. The next day we revisited the first book and spent the rest of the week on it.
Mexico being the closest and most familiar to us was our first destination. He is very familiar with the language, the food (we had tamales for our cultural meal on into the week), dug out a peso, and discussed more cultural names of friends we know. We spent a day on into the week checking out the Mayan Temple with 365 steps and he imagined going to see it some day. We colored a printed off flag of Mexico, and he asked to get started on his Spanish again.
Next we visited South Korea. He practiced saying the names, drew his own won which is like a dollar bill, looked up Taekwondo and kicked his legs and flung his arms around the room a bit, ate rice with chopsticks (ok, we didn’t have Korean food, we went to the Chinese place, LOL), and practiced bowing. Lastly he colored a South Korean Flag.
The following week we revisited France. Having took French in school myself, I had a lot of fun with this one. We visited the Eiffel Tower, picked French names for the week (mine was Christiane as it was in school years ago, and his was Jean-Claude), cooked crepes with cream cheese filling (yum!), and he was ever-so-proud to inform his sister that the French National Day or Bastille Day is the same day as her birthday, so they have fireworks and parades for her. 🙂
Lastly we came to what I think is both of our favorite place of all (in theory, as I am sure I would be miserable in the freezing cold after getting used to the wonderful heat of South Texas!).
Norway, where the sun never sets and shines all day and night for parts of the year, was a wonderful adventure! He decided to be called Gunnar Gunn (Gunnar is one of the boy’s names in the book), and I was Mama Hellena for the week.
We practiced spending our kroners for bread and making smorbrods (open faced sandwichs) out of bread and chicken to eat for our Norwegian meal.
We talked about snow, skiing, dog sledding, and then made plans to visit the Kirkenes Snowhotel some day. We took quite a tour of the snow hotel online, even looked at reservations and several videos, which included the aurora borealis.
Levi has read back through the books several times. His favorite seems to be Norway at this time, mostly for his obsession with skiing and the snow hotel.
This adventure through the cultures has really opened his eyes to the similarities and differences between people and places throughout the whole wide world.
The books are very well written, including just enough to educate and grab the attention of the reader, but not too much to be confusing or boring.
These books would make and awesome gift along with some extras like paper passports, country flags, pencils, etc. for early preschool kids, and would also be great unit studies for co-ops or study groups.
We highly recommend these adventures!!
To read about more Crew adventures with these books, click the banner!
Enjoy Your Journey!!