Perfect Picture Book Friday: Mummies, Pyramids, and Pharoahs

Title: Mummies, Pyramids, and Pharaohs

Author/Illustrator: Gail Gibbons

Publication Info: Little, Brown and Company, 2004
Intended audience: preschool and up
Genre: nonfiction picture book
Themes/topics: ancient Egypt, geography, world history, civilizations
Opening and synopsis:
“One of the world’s oldest continuous civilizations began about five thousand years ago, in the land of Egypt. For the next three thousand years the Egyptians were ruled by kings called pharaohs. While he was in power, each pharaoh was believed to be Horus, the son of the great sun god, Re.”
Gail Gibbons provides an age-appropriate overview of ancient Egypt including social structure, religious customs, and, of course, mummies.
Why I like this book: Have I mentioned that my three-year-old is obsessed with mummies? Our visit to The Getty Museum, with its Roman mummy in April made an impression, and we’ve been reading books about mummies ever since. Gibbons’ book, which we’ve read approximately 100 times, is the clear favorite. Gibbons is a prolific nonfiction writer. Her picture books are perfect for preschooler audiences.
Resources: This book is a wonderful way to explore ancient Egypt. Online resources abound, so here’s just a few. The British Museum has wonderful mummy collection. Check out the museum’s young explorers’ online explorer to learn more about ancient Egypt. National Geographic has a lesson plan for grades three through five, here. The site also has fun games, including “Tomb of the Unknown Mummy Game.” Kids become Egyptologist to explore the tomb and solve the mystery. The site also has a Day in the Life brainteaser/quiz game for children. Scholastic boasts several lesson plans with Egyptian themes. For grades six through twelve, educators can find lesson plans on PBS. Really, opportunities to extend the learning from this book abound.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday will be on hiatus until September 7. I’ll be taking a bit of a blog-cation over the next month, but I’ll return with more book reviews in early August.
Every Friday bloggers review “Perfect Picture Books.” Find a complete list of book reviews organized by topic, genre and blogger at author Susanna Leonard Hill’s site.

24 Replies to “Perfect Picture Book Friday: Mummies, Pyramids, and Pharoahs”

  1. My son would have LOVED this book when he was little! Gail Gibbons is terrific, isn’t she? So many fabulous books! Thanks for adding this one to our list – I don’t think we have a lot of Egypt-related books yet, so this is especially fun!

    1. Gail Gibbons is one of my favorite nonfiction author/illustrators. We have read so many of her books. And of course, her major house is Holiday House, so you can’t argue with that.

  2. A great nonfiction selection. That is amazing that your 3-year-old loves mummies — I was afraid to go to close to them at museums when I was a child. But, I do love this book Kirsten.

  3. I always look forward to your non-fiction selections. This one looks fascinating and I am now thinking we may have to do a mummy week over the summer. Thanks, Kirsten!

  4. I knew this book was yours just by the title of the link on Susanna’s page! This one sounds like an excellent introduction to Ancient Egypt. We were lucky enough to be able to visit the King Tut exhibit when it landed in PA. It was incredible to look at items created thousands of years ago.

    1. Oh, Heather, we are really envious. We were just researching where King Tut is, and I think it’s in Seattle, the last stop. The California Science Center did just open a Cleopatra exhibit, but I’m not sure there’s a mummy.

  5. Thanks so much, Kirsten…this is a wonderful book…love the illustrations and I always enjoy books that help kids learn about other cultures…even ones that aren’t around anymore…I know my almost seven year old twin grandchildren would love this. 🙂

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