From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3–With her usual flair for simplifying complex topics, Gibbons makes ancient Egyptian civilization accessible to young readers. She offers ample material for children exploring mummies, pyramids, and pharaohs for the first time. Much information is communicated through the watercolor illustrations and accompanying captions. The text is limited to a few short sentences at the bottom of each page, a feature that earmarks this title for independent reading. To explain the Egyptians' belief in an afterlife, Gibbons shows a man standing next to the outline of his own body. Inside the outline is a bright yellow star, depicting the man's soul. Easy definitions of Ka and Ba are provided, and the process of mummification is presented in a sequential, straightforward manner. The last page is packed with bonus facts that are sure to please new Egyptologists. This title is perfect for fans of Aliki's Mummies Made in Egypt (HarperCollins, 1979) and Joanna Cole's Ms. Frizzle's Adventures: Ancient Egypt (Scholastic, 2001).–Gloria Koster, West School, New Canaan, CT
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PreS-Gr. 2. Gibbons uses her familiar formula of basic text and ink-and-watercolor illustrations to introduce a topic of inherent interest to most kids--ancient Egypt. Spreads offer brief facts about society, homes, clothing, farming methods, and craftsmanship before turning to the enticing subject of mummies. Several pages include interesting details about how Egyptians prepared the wellborn for the afterlife, with close-up drawings of mummification and a cross-section of a pyramid's burial chambers. Younger children may need help with some of the more abstract concepts, such as the ancient Egyptians' spiritual beliefs. There are plenty of books available on the subject for this age group, but this one is a good place to start, with an approachable, simple text; lively scenes of Egyptians working and celebrating; and definitions of basic terms. Gibbons squeezes more interesting facts on a final page, which offers a bit of world context: "Other cultures, like the Mayans and the Aztecs, built great pyramids, too." Gillian Engberg
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