Bibliography information: Rockwell, Anne. Romulus and Remus. New York, NY: Simon & Shuster, 1997.
Professional recommendation: Catharine Petrini (Children's Literature)
Summary: Twin brothers Romulus and Remus live with a pack of wolves after their mother lost them down the Tiber River. When the boys grow up, they go their separate ways. Romulus focuses on making and building things, while Remus enjoys hunting with the wolves he grew up with. Eventually Romulus builds several houses on the Palatine Hill, creating a city he names 'Rome'. The people who come live in Romulus's city crown him King.
Critical response: The language in this book is very simple and straightforward. "The years went by" and "Romulus and Remus grew up", are examples of this strategy. The language helps young children comprehend the story and learn about Rome's conception. Similarly, the book is divided up into short chapters. Each chapter contains a section of Romulus and Remus's life; getting lost down the river and living with the wolves, growing up, going their separate ways building cities and hunting and finally, the creation of Rome. The separation by chapter aids students in understanding sequence of events. On the other hand, the layout of the text does not lend itself to student comprehension. Instead of sentences flowing continuously on a page, there are line breaks in the middle of sentences. The text appears more like a poem in terms of format, but it does not flow smoothly or rhyme. (Although not all poetry has to rhyme.) When I read a page out loud to myself, the line breaks do not come across naturally. This might hamper students from practicing reading fluency with this story.