Monday, 17 February 2014

Usborne "See Inside" Series - See Inside Ancient Egypt by Rob Lloyd Jones and David Hancock (Usborne Books)

See Inside Ancient Egypt

Written by Rob Lloyd Jones

Illustrated by David Hancock

Published by Usborne Books

We've often mused aloud why 'lift the flap' books are often designed for younger children (almost babies), when they're actually a very good way of engaging children Charlotte's age with a subject. Particularly a historical one.

Charlotte loves anything to do with Ancient Egypt. I'm never quite sure whether it's the splendour of their architecture, their amazing technological achievements or their rich vibrant history - or whether that secretly it's just because she likes scary mummies. We often visit our local museums to check out their fantastic collection of Egyptian artifacts (and yes, creepy mummies) so finding this Usborne book completely intact in the library was a real treat (lift the flap books are often completely ruined when we get to them and borrow them, alas not all kids look after books like Charlotte does).

Delving deep into ancient Egyptian lifestyles, and examining a typical day in an Egyptian settlement and city, this book is full of intricate illustrations and plain uncomplicated descriptions of the many aspects of ancient Egypt's culture. Flaps offer a 'zoomed in' view of some of the scenes, for instance being able to lift a flap to gaze into a nobleman's house, or lift a flap to find out who the cheeky monkey is that's stealing fruit from the market (answer: it is actually a cheeky monkey!)

Fabulous and colourful, this is the sort of book that Usborne do so well - and it's the sort of book we'd like to see more of for the 5-9 age group. Flaps don't have to mean 'dumbed down' and they definitely do not in this case. Wonderful stuff.

Charlotte's best bit: A rather unfortunate event at the dockside with two very naughty Egyptian boys and some baskets of fruit. Someone's in trouble!

This is the sort of history range that we'd love to see others taking their cues from. Informative, interesting, chock-full of detail and a real treat to use.