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Ten Little Mummies Hardcover – September 15, 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2-"Bored stiff" in their tomb, 10 little mummies venture out to play. One by one, they fall victim to hippos, heat stroke, and other desert disasters until the last lonely creature returns to her tomb-only to find the other nine waiting to surprise her. The book's reverse-counting scheme and rhyming text are modeled on familiar preschool finger rhymes, but early elementary readers will be more likely to giggle at the antics ("8 little mummies/committed hijinks./One was arrested for painting the/Sphinx"). Karas sets comic, stick-figure creatures loose on bare-bones desert landscapes. Lively pencil strokes keep the mummies tumbling and twirling across the simple landscape of rounded dunes and angular pyramids. A smattering of "Ancient Egyptian Facts" with silly commentary is printed on the endpapers. A fun read-aloud best suited to Halloween or Egyptian-themed storytimes.
Eve Ortega, Cypress Library, CA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

PreS-Gr. 1. Ten little mummies, "bored stiff," break out of their tomb for a day of hijinks in this rambunctious counting tale set in Ancient Egypt. Bouncy rhymes filled with painful puns (the mummies are "wrapped up in themselves") tell the story: as the mummies cavort through the desert, sandstorms, chariot races, hippos, and more claim members of the group in a descending countdown that ends with one lonely mummy, who returns to the tomb to discover that her pals have already safely returned. Karas' childlike pencil-and-paint illustrations are a perfect accompaniment to the energetic silliness of Yates' words. A mix of shifting perspectives shows quintessential Egyptian images, such as the Sphinx, and the mummies themselves are irresistible. With wide, expressive cartoon smiles; dot eyes; and spindly stick limbs, the playful mummies will easily pull children into their adventures. An excellent read-aloud, even for youngsters who have already mastered 1 through 10. More facts about ancient Egypt appear on the endpapers. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Juvenile (September 15, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670036412
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670036417
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.4 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,743,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I checked this book out from the library and my sons would not let me put it down. I have read it so many times and renewed it until the library stopped letting me. Not only did my [...] LOVE it but his [...] brothers did too. I am now going to buy it to add to our own library. I see it becoming a family favorite for years to come.
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By Literati on February 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of my favorite books. I have read this book to my 4 kids over the years and have loved it. I purchased another as a gift for someone who travels extensively. This book offers real facts about pyramids too, along with a fun mummy adventure. All text rhymes.
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By A Customer on October 31, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is the perfect present as the characters are all ready wrapped and ready to go! Delightful treat! Its a good book for all children as the youngersters practice counting and older students learn more about Egypt!
Great book!
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Format: Hardcover
Fresh ideas for counting books are as rare as new Egyptian tomb discoveries, but Ten Little Mummies is a wonderful exception. Ten mummies get bored in the tomb and go out exploring. They meet with various adventures and mishaps until just one is left. So as not to damage the wee tykes' psyches with concepts of irretrievable loss, the author allows the mummies to reunite at the end of the story.

In a world where falling anvils are edited out of classic Bugs Bunny cartoons, adults might feel a bit queasy about the dreadful things that happen to some of the mummies. But children look at the world a bit differently than we do and I think they will giggle with glee as the mummies face crocodiles, heat stroke, falcons and sand stroke. For those of you who might blanch with horror, remember the mummies are already dead. Other than the prospect of loneliness, which is resolved at the end, they aren't really in much danger.

This book is a 2005-2006 nominee for the Maryland Black-Eyed Susan award in the picture book category.
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Format: Hardcover
When reviewing children's picture books, I have a list of criteria I work with. One is the violence factor and another is age appropriateness. When I began reading this book, I gave it low scores for the violent way the mummies were disposed of ie: sunstroke, eaten by an alligator. But as I continued to read, I began to really like the book. Yates has a way with his stories that make them very endearing. The mummies disappearing one by one began to look fun. The ending makes it better as well since the mummies come back together. I guess one has to remember that mummies are already dead and therefore no actual mummies were hurt in the making of this book.

This book is quirky. Not the usual counting book. I wouldn't recommend for all audiences as some children would not appreciate the subject matter. But then, there are many who would. Inside the front cover are some facts about mummies that add to the educational experience.

I don't love the illustrations. They are very sketchy. The mummies look like they were drawn by a little kid. But somehow the illustrations work for this story.
Normally, I would not rate a book like this so high, but the author pulls everything together and makes it work. In the end, he leaves you smiling and very happy that you read the book. And that is my definition of a good book.
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Format: Hardcover
My three year old son and I both love Ten Little Mummies! This book is beautifully written and illustrated. It flows nicely, without relying on cheesy rhymes, which I appreciate, since when my son finds a book he loves we read it every night for months on end. As an archaeologist, I was drawn to this book, since it touches on a few aspects of ancient Egyptian culture, but it does so in a whimsical, child-friendly manner without being bogged down by facts. This is definitely a book I recommend to all of my friends and coworkers with toddlers.
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