Title of the work
Country of the First Edition
First Edition Date
First Edition Details
Louie Stowell and Jean-Sébastien Deheeger, Sticker Romans. London: Usborne Books, 2015, 24 pp. + 10 pp. stickers.
Instructional and educational works
Toy and movable books
We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.
Author of the Entry:
Kylie Constantine, University of New England, firstname.lastname@example.org
Peer-reviewer of the Entry:
Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, email@example.com
Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, firstname.lastname@example.org
, b. 1985
Jean-Sébastien Deheeger (aka Nesk) is a freelance illustrator and (former) graphic designer registered with La Maison des Artistes. He has worked with numerous communications agencies, book publishers, and press outlets, including Usborne Publishing.
Oficial website (accessed: October 1, 2018)
Bio prepared by Kylie Constantine, University of New England, email@example.com
, b. 1978
Louie Stowell is a children's author specialising in non-fiction and in retellings of myths. She draws comics and has published work on how to make comics. Louie Stowell is an in-house writer for Usborne Publishing and Editorial Director for Ladybird. She also writes interactive fiction for Fiction Express. Under the Usborne banner, Louie has written numerous activity books, story books, non-fiction texts and creative writing guides for children of all ages. Born and raised in London, Louie studied English Literature at Exeter College Oxford, and now runs story-writing and comic-making workshops at schools and literary festivals. She draws upon ancient myths and fairytales in her writing, and is the author of the webcomic, Deus Ex Suburbia, which is about gods living in the suburbs. Her debut literary series, The Dragon in the Library, is due to be published in 2018 by Nosy Crow Publishing. She has a forthcoming second series, with the same publisher, due to be published in 2019.
Profile at the johnsonandalcock.co.uk (accessed: Sepember 28, 2018)
Profile at the greenhouseliterary.com (accessed: September 28, 2018)
Webcomic at the godsnextdoor.wordpress.com (accessed: September 28, 2018)
Bio prepared by Sonya Nevin, University of Roehampton, firstname.lastname@example.org and Kylie Constantine, University of New England, email@example.com
Sticker Romans is part of the Dress-up Sticker Books for the Usborne Activities Series. Similar to the Sticker Greek Myths book, also catalogued in this database, the book features a number of inhabitants of Ancient Rome in their underwear who can be dressed in clothing facilitated by the single purpose stickers located in the last ten pages of the book. Each double-page represents a particular scene from Rome, like the forum or a villa, so that a variety of characters – from gladiators and slaves to soldiers and senators – can be dressed in appropriate attire.
The book is beautifully illustrated with colourful drawings of everyday life in Rome. Clothing depicted in the provided stickers is historically accurate, as is the terminology used to describe particular characters, such as the gladiatorial roles of Retarius and Murmillo (14–15). When dressed, each is correctly garbed in the costumes with weapons appropriate to their respective characters.
Additional stickers depicting anecdotal story-lines are provided, which can be placed within each scene should the reader so choose, creating an optional subtext. Using the gladiatorial scene again, two differently attired gladiators are shown fighting in the background, as well as several corpses of defeated competitors.
Each double-page scene is accompanied by a small amount of text, providing short, accurate descriptions of everyday activities in Ancient Rome. At times, this text also supports the additional narrative of the optional anecdotal scenes. For example, a priest (yet to be) dressed in a toga covering his head is shown “on his way to sacrifice a bull to the Roman gods”, while a visiting Ethiopian prince “has just had his purse stolen, so he’s not enjoying his visit.” (4-5) Additional stickers of a “thief” and “a bull to be sacrificed” are provided (sticker pages 4–5).
The book provides an enjoyable educational activity on the subject of Ancient Rome, in which the reader is prompted to “follow the numbers and arrows to add the stickers in the right order” (instructions found on each sticker page). Usborne gives additional educational support on Ancient Rome by providing links to short films and activities in the topic on their webpage (accessed: September 25, 2018).
Usborne’s Sticker Romans provides a pedagogical tool to engage young readers with Ancient Roman History. Like the other titles under the Usborne Sticker Book series, the reader is provided with a tactile experience that reinforces newly acquired information on aspects of daily life in Ancient Rome. The slightly humorous depictions of particular scenes, such as the centurion who is always dressing down a certain legionary (18–19, creates an enjoyable learning experience.
While the scenes displayed are broad ranging, and provide diversity in represented characters (like children and foreigners), women are largely ignored. There are no female characters to dress, although there is some (minimal) representation in the occasional optional narrative sticker and as part of the background in several scenes. This may be a reflection on the earlier academic tendency to overlook women in Roman daily life, even though there is a significant amount of work available on women in Ancient Rome.
As an educational activity, the Sticker Book is limited in two respects: single-use stickers restrict the activity of dressing up the characters to once only, while specific instructions detailing the location of the majority of stickers reduces creative or interpretive play. However, the online provision of further activities does accommodate repeatable activities.
Dr. Anne Millard – Historical Consultant.
Dr Anne Millard is an historian and published children’s author in her own right, with numerous titles published under Usborne Publishing, including The Usborne Book of World History, and Dorling Kindersley (DK) Publishing.