Debbie Glade reviews two books that offer creative ways to introduce your children to geography, cultures and ancient history.
There’s no denying that there’s something mysteriously exciting about hieroglyphics, pharaohs, pyramids and buried treasures. Perhaps that’s why I never met a child who was not fascinated by Ancient Egypt. Ancient Egypt: Tales of Gods and Pharaohs ($16.99, Candlewick Press, ages 6 and up) is a very unique and creative book. Author/illustrator Marcia Williams retells nine Ancient Egyptian tales using the format of a comic book. But don’t be mistaken – unlike a regular comic book, this is a very sturdy, well-crafted hardcover book with vibrant illustrations using the quintessential Egyptian colors and high quality paper. Dialogue goes on inside the comic frames, while stories are told in bits beneath each frame. The dialogue is often funny, and oh so entertaining. The best part is that young readers will learn a lot about Egyptian culture and discoveries, without having to study a boring textbook. Your child will love the dialogue and the illustrations. There’s a lot to look at here and a lot to learn too.
Tales from India: Stories of Creation and the Cosmos ($19.99, Templar Books, ages 9 and up) is a big (88 pages), beautiful book, filled with Hindu tales and colorful, one-of-a-kind illustrations by award-winning illustrator, Amanda Hall. Written by award-winning author, Jamila Gavin, this books takes readers on a journey though creation, natural disasters, evil kings, powerful romances, unsung heroes and so much more. Think of it as a sophisticated book of Indian mythology. The stories are ideal for advanced readers and for upper elementary and middle school classrooms. They can easily be read out loud for the entire class to enjoy and can easily spark some creativity for doing social studies projects.