Fascinating as it seems to be, the subject of mummies doesn't allow for the brisk high spirits with which Aliki has brought . . . Dinosaurs, Fossils. . . , and other natural history subjects to life. Nevertheless both her Egyptian-look pictures and her simple text are as crisp and spiffy as one could ask a description of embalming and burial to be. Aliki doesn't go into any social or religious background beyond the necessary references to beliefs and customs relating to life-after-death. (She does, however, begin with a captioned portrait gallery of gods and goddesses, two of them identified as the wife and son of Osiris though he, oddly, is not introduced until the very last page.) Specific, now-famous pharaohs and tombs are also ignored, nor does Aliki bother with archaeological considerations or any medical or other lessons that mummies might have for us. Instead she sticks to the business of making mummies--and their coffins and tombs. In the process, she neither shies away from the less savory procedures (removing the brain through the nostrils) nor exploits the inevitable shivery appeal. Given the climate of interest, who could pass it up?