Roman (If You Were Me and Lived In …Kenya, 2013, etc.) introduces children to the history, geography and customs of Turkey in this colorful primer.
This entry in the author’s cultural series follows the format of the books that preceded it, which took young readers to Mexico, France, Kenya and other countries. In this case, Roman gives children a brief lesson on the geography of Turkey before moving on to everyday customs. Kids learn about Turkish holidays, landmarks, children’s names and money (at the market, “you would use lira to pay for things”). The book also describes family life and popular toys and games: “Of course, you would love to play soccer, but you would call it football, because you use only your feet. Maybe you would rather play with a doll, which is called a bebek.” In clear and simple language, Roman demystifies customs that many young readers may be hearing about for the first time, such as when she explains: “You would enjoy a feast of borek and doner kebabs. Borek is a delightful pastry stuffed with meat, cheese, or potatoes. Doner kebab is marinated, grilled lamb that is served with a round bread called pide.” Colorful illustrations, depicting activities such as eating borek or visiting a market, convey additional information. The frequent use of "you" encourages children to imagine themselves visiting Turkey, which makes the book a good choice for early elementary school students studying geography or world cultures. And with Turkish cuisine becoming more widely available in American restaurants, the descriptions of food may give readers ideas for dishes they’d like to try closer to home. Taken as a whole, Roman’s series can help kids see that while they may have different names or eat different foods than do their peers in other countries, they have many things in common.
A simple introduction to Turkey that may especially appeal to elementary school children who are learning about life in other countries.