So You Think You've Got It Bad? A Kid's Life in Ancient Rome; Chae Strathie, illustrated by Marisa Morea
So you think you’ve got it tough? Wait until you learn just how bad kids living in ancient Rome had it. Seven day school week’s and beatings for any misbehaving. Washing clothes in wee and wiping bums with a sponge. Mice on a stick for dinner and playing ‘pass the skeleton’ for a bit of entertainment. Battling lions in the gladiator arena and trying to please all of the gods and goddesses. And that’s just the start of it. Being a kid in ancient Rome was all kinds of rotten…
Published in collaboration with The British Museum, the ‘So You Think You’ve Got It Bad?’ series are an awesome collection of information books that whisk readers back in time to various periods in history to give them a glimpse of what life was like. Sure, nowadays kids might have to deal with whinging parents, having to eat kale and spinach, and the frustrations of iPhones running out of battery, but compared to kids in ancient Rome, life in the twenty-first century isn’t that bad after all.
Ancient Rome might sound awesome with colosseums, chariots, lavish food, emperors and gods and goddesses but life was actually rather tough, or at least much tougher than kids of today have it. The book’s premise is simple, compare the modern-day lives of kids with various aspects of life for children roughing it in ancient Rome.
On this hilarious, witty and light-hearted whistle-stop tour, kids will get to grips with some of the many challenges and problems of life as a Roman. Bursting with all things hilarious, fascinating and very often gross, this immersive experience leaves no doubt as to just how rotten Roman life could be. Clothing and hairstyle, family life, the home, education, gladiators, food, health and medicine, emperors, Roman gods and goddesses, and fun and games are all explored and there’re plenty of surprises in store. Goat dung to get rid of head lice. Eurgh! Fighting to the death in the gladiatorial arena. Sheesh! Your pet parrot ending up in the cooking pot. Squawk! Dad using pigeon poop on his hair and mum with her snail face cream. Dis-gus-ting! Kissing horses on the nose to cure hiccups. Bleurgh!
With its eye popping bright luminous green cover it certainly stands out on the shelves. Incredibly appealing and with awesome illustrations, horrible history is brought vividly to life. Ensuring engagement and enjoyment levels are kept high, information is presented in a range of ways including speech bubbles, chunks of text, diagrams and an abundance of bright artwork.
Very funny, highly accessible and highly engaging, it serves up fascinating facts and entertainment by the chariot-load. Essential reading for any child studying the Romans at school or who has an interest in this particular period of history.
Recommended for 8+.