DK Find Out! Ancient Egypt by Dr Angela McDonald (Penguin Random House) PB RRP $14.99 ISBN 9780241282779
Reviewed by Dianne Bates
As a child I would have loved to receive this book – and as an adult I’m delighted to read and review it. All Dorling Kinsley books are beautifully designed, researched by experts and full of amazing and fascinating facts – and this book is no exception.
Fully coloured, this is a small book filled with full colour page spreads (mostly photographs) on all aspects of Ancient Egypt such as boats and trade, gods, artwork, tombs, Pharaohs, soldiers and war, even how to make a tomb -- and much, much more. Take the pages on Food and Drink: the diet for poor people mainly consisted of bread and beer as well as spring onions and nabk (which tasted like apples) but cucumber was a ‘fancy’ food. Rich people on the other hand ate dates, lotus root, figs, honey, yogurt, pomegranates and melons as well as meats, principally beef. We read on these pages that a rich Egyptian called Mereruka had hyenas fattened for a feast!
In the section on Children in Egypt, there’s a board game which highlights the dangers these ancient children faced such as falling into the river Nile and being chased by a hungry crocodile, and being stung by a scorpion. If you land on spot 12, you get another go because ‘you’re a natural red-head’ and ‘red hair is rare in Egypt and a symbol of the god Seth.
There are so many unusual and fascinating facts in this entrancing book, all set out in easy to read style with lots of break-out boxes, diagrams, and photographic captions. Learn about mummified dung, secret messages, the importance of the number 10, facts about missing parts, explorers, servants, pyramid building and so much more. Any child reading this book is sure to drive the family mad because they will constantly making discoveries and relating them.
This book is highly recommended for schools and for children, especially those aged 8 to12 years.