Saturday, January 04, 2014

Book review: Tools and Treasures of Ancient Egypt

As I have already mentioned several times, we follow the classical method of 4-year rotating history cycles, and this year is ancients again.  I had the opportunity to review this new resource and love it!

This is an overview book of ancient Egypt, best utilized probably as a read-aloud for around 1st/2nd grade or an independent level reading book for grade 3 or so. It carefully covers all the basic ancient civilization topics at an introductory level:
* What did they create/leave behind?
* What was the environment like (desert/water, homes)?
* What major crops did they eat/grow?
* Who were the neighbors/trade influences?
* What was the religion/language/culture?
* Brief intro to Egypt of today

Each page has 3-5 sentences of text and a clear photograph or illustration to add interest. All information is presented so that the youngest school-age children will understand and stay interested. There is a nice map with simple details and an inset showing where the detail map appears on the globe, again appropriate for grades K-3.

The back contains a very brief 1-page glossary, list of books for further information, websites and a very brief index. All of these would serve well as introductions to these features in books for early learners.

I give this book 5 stars used as an introduction for K-3 students approximately. The photos and text are clear and concise, visually interesting, not overwhelming at all. There are shelves and shelves of Egypt books in just about every library I have ever visited, but many are geared towards more middle school and up. It is very nice to see an updated intro book with modern photos and illustrations for the youngest set.  This is really especially suited to a first pass through a 4-year history cycle if you are classical homeschoolers. 

I received an electronic copy of this book free through Netgalley for an honest review.

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