Roscoe Cooper, Carolyn Croll. The Great Pyramid: An Interactive Book. Santa Fe: BridgeWater Books, 1997. 10 pp. $18.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-8167-4390-2.
Reviewed by Alexandra O'Brien (University of Chicago)
Published on H-AfrTeach (May, 1999)
This attractive book illustrates stages in the building of the Great Pyramid at Giza, as well as aspects of Egyptian religion and funerary beliefs. Each two-page spread includes a 3D representation: of the king in a sedan chair choosing the site for his tomb, the quarrying of the stone, the construction of the pyramid, the pyramid completed and the king's mummy in its sarcophagus.
Each spread also includes fold-out illustrations of pyramids (including comparisons with other famous and modern buildings to give a sense of scale), tools, "Imhotep's secret scroll" of architectural plans, pharaoh's boat, and a mummy (explaining how one was wrapped). Further pull-outs and flaps include information on Egyptian gods and goddesses and illustrate how large stones were pulled over wooden rollers. Two pockets hold pretend royal jewelry and a pyramid puzzle. The last 3D rendering of the king's mummy in its sarcophagus, visible through a clear plastic window on one side, is particularly delightful.
Despite the short length of the book, quite a surprising amount of information is included--all accurate (thanks to the consultant Diana Craig Patch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art) and easy to read.
Adults will be enchanted with this engagingly designed book, as will children (but we know who buys these pop-up books!). However, some younger children will find the book frustratingly fiddly, and I'm sure it wouldn't remain in "mint condition" for very long. Nevertheless The Great Pyramid is a thoughtful and engaging introduction to the world of ancient Egypt, though at the price, does not seem like great value considering the relatively small amount of information within it. Its delicate design makes it impractical for library or school use.
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Alexandra O'Brien. Review of Cooper, Roscoe; Croll, Carolyn, The Great Pyramid: An Interactive Book.
H-AfrTeach, H-Net Reviews.
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