Hieroglyphs From A To Z by Peter Der Manuelian

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Hieroglyphs From A To Z by Peter Der Manuelian

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Category: Children's Non-Fiction
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath
Reviewed by Keith Dudhnath
Summary: A simple introduction to hieroglyphs for children. It's not a must-read, and some of the early rhymes are a little clunky, but there's a lot to appreciate, particularly for budding Egyptologists.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 48 Date: September 2009
Publisher: Pomegranate Kids
ISBN: 978-0764953064

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This look at hieroglyphs comes with stencils, so that children can write out their own coded messages. It's a simple introduction for any budding Egyptologists, and has a lot of additional information about Ancient Egypt to keep them interested.

There's lots to appreciate in Hieroglyphs From A To Z, but there are some negatives that need to be ticked off first. The basic implied premise - that you can translate directly from Ancient Egyptian to English by simple substitution - might cause a little confusion for some readers. The more detailed explanation of how hieroglyphs work at the end clarifies things, but children will have formed their assumptions by the time they get this far. Presenting the A to Z is, of course, the simplest way to get across the nature of hieroglyphs to the young audience, it encourages them to play, and it's fine for names, but it never sits entirely comfortably.

Sticking with the nit-picking, the rhymes introducing the book aren't the strongest. When the A to Z gets into full flow, the rhymes work much better. However, at this point, the additional information in the footnotes is fascinating, so stopping and starting with the rhymes becomes frustrating. Chalking up fascinating information as a negative isn't entirely fair, so let's even things up a bit: these facts on every page are perfectly pitched at the young audience. They're not dry facts that have to be remembered, but they do build up to give a good introduction to the Ancient Egyptian way of life.

The artwork is, as you'd expect, gorgeous. It's simple, yet stylish, and each page has a beautiful Egyptian border pattern. The hieroglyphs themselves are clear and easy to understand, copy and stencil.

Hieroglyphs From A To Z is an interesting read, perhaps to borrow from the library. For young and eager Egyptologists, it's a simple reference book that they'll enjoy and will have a welcome place on their bookshelf.

My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.

Dinosaurs (Henry's House) by Philip Ardagh and Mike Gordon has a sister book about the Ancient Egyptians. If you treat hieroglyphs as a simple code, then you'll love Mysterious Messages - A History of Codes and Ciphers by Gary Blackwood. If they're lapping up everything to do with Egypt, they'll love the fiction offerings of Eye of the Moon by Dianne Hofmeyr and Orphan of the Sun by Gill Harvey. For A to Zs, younger readers will love When I Dream Of ABC by Henry Fisher, whilst older readers will be blown away by The Dangerous Alphabet by Neil Gaiman and Gris Grimly.

Buy Hieroglyphs From A To Z by Peter Der Manuelian at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Hieroglyphs From A To Z by Peter Der Manuelian at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Hieroglyphs From A To Z by Peter Der Manuelian at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Hieroglyphs From A To Z by Peter Der Manuelian at Amazon.com.

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