I love these Usborne Beginners books. They're attractive: small, hardbound, printed in a clear font on nice quality paper, and with a generous helping of attractive illustrations and photos. But the best thing is the text: it's simple and clear without being dumbed-down.
To give you a sample: page 1: "People of the Past: Egypt is a hot country in north Africa. The people who lived there thousands of years ago are called ancient Egyptians. This picture is part of an ancient Egyptian wall painting. It shows a group of servants. [sidebar] Egyptian paintings often show things from the side." Pages 2/3: "River Life: The ancient Egyptians built their towns and cities along a river called the Nile. This photograph of Egypt was taken from space. The river and its banks look dark green. The yellow parts are dry, dusty desert. The Egyptians fished in the river and sailed boats on it. They drank water from it and used it for washing clothes. This is an ancient Egyptian model of a boat. [sidebar] People swam in the Nile, but they had to watch out for crocodiles." Pages 4/5: "Farmers: Egyptian farmers grew fruit, vegetables, and other plants on the banks of the Nile. This Egyptian painting shows farmers picking the grapes they have grown. [sidebar] Farmers trained monkeys to pick fruit from high trees and throw it down. The NIle flooded every year. This made the soil good for growing plants. When the land dried up, plants grew in the sun. Farmers worked hard in the fields. Farmers kept some of the crops to eat, and took the rest to markets."
Overall, I'd highly recommend this book, both for young, precocious readers, and for older readers who are learning English or for whom reading is a challenge.
I teach special needs students. While their classmates are learning about Egypt from more advanced texts, my students are enjoying reading about Egypt on their level. The book is well written, using simple language that makes the information easily accessible. It provides the students with basic information as well as some lesser known, but funny facts. My students were not so anxious to learn about Ancient Egypt before we started, but after reading a few pages in this book, they were engrossed!
This is a great book to introduce kids to the ancient Egyptian culture. It is full of very accurate pictures, great art as usual from this publisher. The book is 32 pages long, and a great item for new readers. It is also useful in VBS or bible study classes.