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Mummies, Pyramids, and Pharaohs: A Book About Ancient Egypt Hardcover – June 1, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

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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From Booklist

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
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 1 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1st edition (June 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316309281
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316309288
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.4 x 11.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #932,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gail Gibbons has published close to fifty distinguished nonfiction titles with Holiday House. According to "The Washington Post," "Gail Gibbons has taught more preschoolers and early readers about the world than any other children's writer-illustrator." She lives in Vermont. Her website is

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on August 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Gail Gibbons' Mummies, Pyramids, And Pharaohs is a children's picturebook that explores daily life and belief in the afterlife among the people of ancient Egypt. Aptly researched and presented in plain terms along with color illustrations stylistically reminiscent of ancient egyptian art, Mummies, Pyramids, And Pharaohs is as educational as it is enthralling. A highly recommended nonfiction book to whet young minds' curiosity about world history, Mummies, Pyramids, And Pharaohs would make a popular addition to any school or community library system collection.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
"Mummies, Pyramids, and Pharaohs" is what writer-artist Gail Gibbons uses to get young readers to take a look at this book about Ancient Egypt, but she gets beyond the main attractions to provide a nice little introduction to this ancient civilization. The idea is for young readers to travel back in time to when one of the world's first civilizations began five thousand years ago along the banks of the Nile River. For three thousands of those years the pharaohs ruled over Egypt, and each was believed to be Horus, the son of Ra, the great sun god.

Gibbons looks at the "Black Land" of fertile soil around the Nile, the life of the Pharaohs, the organization of ancient Egyptian society, and families lived back then. Appearance mattered to people, farmers depended on water from the Nile, and craftspeople had plenty of gold and copper to work with to make beautiful objects. Sections are devoted to picture writing, medicinal healing (and magic), feasts and celebrations. Gibbons looks at the primary beliefs of Egyptian religion and the basic process of mummification (without going into detail on how the body's organs were removed, which is the icky part). This gets us to the pyramids, which remain the most obvious symbol of ancient Egypt we can see today, and young readers come full circle to the museums around the world where mummies and other artifacts are on exhibit.

The final page of the book looks at some Ancient Egypt Discoveries and covers a bunch of interesting facts, such as more than 80 pyramids have been discovered in Egypt and the priest in charge of making a mummy wore the mask of a jackal symbolizing Anubis the god of the dead.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amanda W. Martinez on July 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I teach third grade, and for the past 5 years I have integrated an Egypt study using, among others, this book. "Mummies, Pyramids, & Pharaohs" isn't one the kids would choose for a light, fun read, but it is full of information and is presented in kid-friendly language. I use it in a center and have the students read the book to fact-find.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Richard and Liz TOP 500 REVIEWER on January 16, 2015
Format: Hardcover
If you are looking for a book to help teach your children about Ancient Egypt then I would recommend this one to be included in the reading list. The illustrations are simple but get across the information being discussed. The reader is introduced to a Pharaoh, the Nile River and then to the life of different people: priests, farmers, laborers etc. See one of their houses and understand why they dressed the way they did, how they really cared about their appearance. How did the farmers do their job? What about the craftspeople?

Learn a few basic hieroglyphs along with the details on the Rosetta stone, temples, feasts, Osiris. How was a body prepared for burial? What did the inside of a pyramid look like? At the end of the book there is a page titled "Ancient Egypt Discoveries" which presents a few more interesting facts.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Grace F. Page on May 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book was great for my kids 8 and 6 . They enoyed it very much and like to read it often. It was especially helpful before seeing the King Tut exhibit.
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