Books for children about Ancient Egypt are legion so what’s so special about this one? Taking a slant where children and their lives come centre-stage is a novel and appealing one and will certainly engage young readers wanting to find out about this fascinating civilization.
The pages of this book are chock-full of great questions which would bring the reader’s life into close comparison with a child living in Ancient Egypt: ‘Do you ever wish you didn’t have to take the school bus?’ opens a section on transport; Do you ever wish you could have something other than cornflakes or toast for breakfast?’ regales us with the Egyptian taste for onion and garlic! – a great way to re-present the facts but in modern fashion.
I also enjoyed the informality and friendliness of the text. In the section on Ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses, for instance, the marriage between brother and sister. Osiris and Isis, is described as ‘awkwaaaaard’! and in referring to a son of the wealthier families as ‘Little Prince Poshpants’ you will immediately recognize the distinct vein of fun that runs through the whole book.
The organization of the book, though, follows the structure of more traditional non-fiction texts: this makes it easy to use and to navigate. There is a clear contents list, a good glossary and an effectively easy-to-read index – useful for those classes in Years 3 and 4 particularly who are getting to grips with the different format of information texts. Pages are full of information but layout is very clear and lends itself to ‘browsing’ through the text as well as more detailed interrogation. Illustrations draw in the reader and are bold, colourful and particularly friendly. They also add to children’s knowledge by simple use of captions and labeling.
If you are looking for something up-to-date about Ancient Egypt which will really engage your younger Junior classes, then this is the book!
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