Egyptorium by Laura Buller and Peter Chrisp

Sunday, June 1st, 2008 Book Review by Kay Lane

This is a lovely book. Indeed, it is not so much a book as a set of ten small books within the outer covers of the big book. Each of the small books contains information about specific aspects of Egyptian life, and between them they contain everything a child would want to know about ancient Egypt - ranging from why they believed mummification was good for the soul to what they had to eat.There are instructions on making mummies in a mummy-shaped book which fans out so that different aspects of the mummy-making process appear as you open it. (Do not try to copy the Egyptians at home, children.)

Nile File Amazing Facts contains all sorts of things which children may find useful one day in a pub quiz. Did you know that the commonest mummies in Egypt were cats? (Further warning : do not try to copy the Egyptians at home, children. Pussy won’t like it.)

Egyptian Flick is also good fun, showing how to build a pyramid. (Final warning: ask your parents before trying to copy the Egyptians in your back garden, children.)

This is a lively book, and its format should make it readily accessible and attention-grabbing. Throughout history, people have been interested in Egyptian antiquities, from Alexander the Great to Julius Caesar to Napoleon. There was a craze for things Egyptian in the early nineteenth century, and again in the 1920s when Tutankhamen was unearthed, and more recently when there have been major exhibitions. This book may not start an international craze, but it is still an excellent way of introducing children to the fascinations of ancient Egypt.

Buller, Laura and Chrisp, Peter (2008) Egyptorium

Dorling Kindersley, London

ISBN 978-1-40532-951-4

£17.99

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