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MUMMIES, PYRAMIDS, AND PHARAOHS by Gail Gibbons

MUMMIES, PYRAMIDS, AND PHARAOHS

A Book About Ancient Egypt

By Gail Gibbons (Author) , Gail Gibbons (Illustrator)

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: June 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-316-30928-1
Publisher: Little, Brown

The ancient Egyptians are given an enthusiastic, if wildly oversimplified, treatment in this new outing from Gibbons. Focusing as much on their lives as on their spectacular burials, the text and accompanying watercolors (handsomely framed with patterned bands) depict happy Egyptians planting, celebrating, mummifying, and burying. The lure of ancient Egypt is a strong one, and it’s not unreasonable to want to bring a book on the subject to primary graders—but it’s a highly complex subject, and to tackle everything in one picture book is a tall order that leads to such unsupportable statements as, “Everyone cared greatly how they looked.” Such categorical pronouncements and generalizations (readers are led to believe that all pharaohs were buried in pyramids) follow one upon the other with no reference to the archaeological work that has revealed such details to the modern world. Readers are better served by works that take a narrower focus, such as Aliki’s classic Mummies Made in Egypt (1979) or Meredith Hooper’s graceful and poetic Who Built the Pyramid? (2001). (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-8)