If You Were Me and Lived in…Renaissance Italy is another entry into the “If You Were Me and Lived in…” series. Aimed at children, this series tells what your life would be like if you lived during this time. Types of clothing, food, and classes of people are looked at. There’s also a section on art, influential people, and a glossary for the more foreign terms.
If You Were Me and Lived in… Renaissance Italy Review
I’ve previously reviewed a few books from this series, and loved them. Carole P. Roman has a method of entertaining and engaging children that actually works. It’s easy to absorb some of the facts of the time period because she sticks you right in the middle of it. She doesn’t hide some of the stranger practices/ideas of the time. Instead she shoves them to the forefront to give parents or teachers and children something to discuss together. (Such as: not drinking water because everyone knew water was bad.)
Then there’s a section on why the Renaissance was so important, and a brief look at famous people from the era. Roman does a great job in putting the changes in art in simple, easy to understand terms. Honestly, I wasn’t aware of all that had changed during that time, so it educated me too. Beyond the people that everyone’s familiar with (Da Vinci, Donatello, etc), she mentions some lesser known figures. For example: Artemesisia Gentileschi. She was apparently one of the most famous female painters of the time.
The illustrations are solid, if not exciting. The information is enough to get your child interested without overwhelming them. The series, as a whole, is worth taking a look at, and would make a great addition to a classroom library. However, to be fair, there were a lot of errors in this book that should have been caught by a proof reader. It holds me back from giving it the rating I would have otherwise given it.