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From the Histronauts series

by Frances Durkin ; illustrated by Grace Cooke

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-63163-240-2
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press

Three children are transported to ancient Egypt in this fact-filled graphic novel.

Luna, an 8-year-old white girl with long, turquoise braids, Nani, a 7-year-old black girl with short, straight, white hair that swoops upward, and Newton, a 10-year-old white boy, are excited to visit the museum. When the three “histronauts” (and their cat, Hero) enter the ancient Egypt exhibit and Nani touches a papyrus display, they find themselves dressed in cultural robes, facing a brown-skinned woman on the banks of the Nile who’s collecting papyrus for her husband, the scribe. The children are barely surprised (they tell her, “We’re exploring!” and “I think we might be lost”). The woman, who is a priestess, brings the group with her to various places, including the Valley of the Kings, a secret village where craftspeople work in the valley’s tombs, her own home, and a temple. Through the journey, knowledgeable Luna and the casual hosts teach Nani and Newton about the culture while additional pages of activities teach readers how to make a sundial, play a game of senet, make Egyptian flatbread, and more. The varied format, with story interspersed with facts and activities, makes for an engaging presentation of a significant amount of material, though some activities are more interesting than others. The clean art makes fine use of ancient Egyptian aesthetics.

A good choice for fun, effortless learning.

(quiz, glossary, timeline) (Graphic fiction/nonfiction. 6-10)