Joann Jovinelly, Jason Netelkos. The Crafts and Culture of the Ancient Egyptians. New York: Rosen Publishing Group, 2002. 48 pp. $29.25 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-8239-3509-3.
Reviewed by Alexandra O'Brien (University of Chicago)
Published on H-AfrTeach (December, 2003)
This attractively illustrated book, one of a series on ancient cultures, provides a fun introduction to ancient Egyptian civilization for younger children. It is divided into two main sections, "The Culture" and "The Crafts." "The Culture" (first section, pp. 6 to 11) gives an introduction to Egyptian civilization and is broken down into the following sub-sections: "Daily Life," "Beliefs," "Warfare," "Language," and "Art." The main part of book, "The Crafts" (pp. 12 to 43), is divided into these sub-sections: "The Age of the Pyramids," "Writing and Literature," "Death and the Afterlife," "Mummification," "Lives of the Pharaohs," "Jewelry and the Decorative Arts," "Egyptians at Home," and "Leisure and Play." Each of these sub-sections provides a brief introduction to an aspect of ancient Egyptian culture, which is followed by a fun craft project. For example, the section "Writing and Literature" gives short descriptions of the job of a scribe, Egyptian hieroglyphs, and scarab amulets. The next pages provide instructions on how to make a scarab with modeling clay, paint it, and then make your own inscription on the underside. Other projects include making a (fake!) mummified cat, a royal headdress, and a snake game.
This book is well designed and illustrated. The summaries provided in each section are easy for younger children to understand and should pique their interest in the topic. Each project is clearly set out on a double page spread and there are clear materials lists and instructions. The projects should be enjoyed by any child--who would not want to make their own cat mummy? The only downsides are, firstly, the disappointing map chosen to illustrate page 5, which is reproduced from a much older publication when a more modern, clearer map, would be more helpful. Secondly, the price, given that there are only 48 pages, $30.00 seems like a lot to pay.
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Alexandra O'Brien. Review of Jovinelly, Joann; Netelkos, Jason, The Crafts and Culture of the Ancient Egyptians.
H-AfrTeach, H-Net Reviews.
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