Would You Believe...in Mexico people picnic at granny's grave?!: and Other Dynastic DelightsIt's ridiculous. And long. Also, to be completely honest, I had no idea what dynastic meant when I first read the title. I thought this was a book about dinner rituals (dining, dynastic, you see the connection, right?). It's not. It's about families. What families are, wedding rituals, divorce traditions, step families, half families, dowries, siblings, etc. There is one ever-so-brief mention of same-sex couple families, which I was somewhat worried about with our very conservative parents if there was a longer discussion of it.
I did enjoy this book, once I realized what it was actually about. Books sometimes tend to focus on one particular culture or one small subset, but this book had a wide range of ideas about families. Like I said, it included a short discussion on same-sex couples, but it also included discussions about polygyny (one man, multiple wives) and polyandry (one woman, multiple husbands), which I found fascinating. Especially considering both are practiced nearby (the example the book gave for polyandry is in Bhutan, which is a short 1 hour flight from Dhaka). Overall, I felt it was a good introduction to family and lifestyles around the world, especially for students who have never been outside their country. Aimed towards students in grade 3 or 4.
Families are complicated. Filled with crazy people, half-relations, interesting genetic traits, and traditions that date back centuries. Sometimes you're born into a family, sometimes your adopted in, and sometimes you have school friends instead of a family. "Would you Believe..." explores all of these relationships, and a few more.
Richly designed, with clear pictures, pleasing layout, and uncluttered, but still full of information, pages, "Would You Believe..." is a good introduction to familial relationships for students grade 3 and above.