Friday 21 October 2016

ReadItDaddy's First Book of the Week - Week Ending 21st October 2016 - "The Pharaoh's Fate" by Camille Gautier, Stephane Vernet and Margaux Carpentier (B Small Publishing)

This week's first book of the week made us both utter a hugely awed "Whoah!" when we flipped open the covers...
As we've said many times, Charlotte is a history nut with a particular penchant for Egyptian history. Though we've never 'book-met' a bad example of a book dealing with Ancient Egypt, we're always on the look-out for books that introduce the subject in a whole new way.

In "The Pharaoh's Fate" you turn history detective, and there's a grand mystery to solve that could save the life of Rameses II, the Pharaoh in question. Four distinctly nefarious characters are suspects in a plot to do away with the hallowed leader and in a brilliant mix of puzzling, clue-gathering and storytelling - expertly mixed with tons of facts and figures about Ancient Egypt, you're in for a rollicking roller-coaster ride from the moment you open the book.

Budding history detectives will love the way the book slowly builds up its plot, and through exploration and uniquely 'tabbed' pages, and a modicum of the book mechanic that made those cool old "Choose your own adventure" books I loved as a kid so brilliant, "Pharaoh's Fate" draws you into this fascinating subject, immersing you in Egyptian culture, architecture and history so completely that at times you'll almost feel like you're really there.

The four suspects are brilliantly characterised to keep you guessing. The real star of the show, the book itself, is so gorgeously presented that it's easily one of the most impressive books we've seen to introduce children to such a fantastically engrossing subject. Just look at the page spreads...!

The ancient Egyptian city of Thebes, setting for a grand mystery!
It's not difficult to see why this caught so many people's attention at the Bologna Book Fair, and why it's so fantastic that it's finally getting translated into English for a whole new audience to discover and enjoy.

The Royal Palace. Phew, I bet birthdays were a bit busy for the Pharaoh with all those wives and kids!
Once again it's that rare example of a book that works equally brilliantly at home or in school, particularly if your school is covering Ancient Egypt as a history subject and you want a book that doesn't just dish up dry facts in a linear fashion. Encouraging children to solve a mystery, learning and enjoying their historical journey as they go, is pretty much a stroke of genius.

"The Pharaoh's Fate" is out now, published by B Small Publishing and you can find out more on their website:

Charlotte's favourite bit: She was really wowed by this and couldn't get enough of dipping into the book, solving the ancient riddles and puzzles to find the culprit, and exploring the grand splendour of Ancient Thebes. Brilliant!!

Daddy's favourite bit: What a breathtakingly brilliant and original way to serve up a hugely immersive, original and fun slice of history. "The Pharaoh's Fate" is the sort of book that we'd love to see winning a truckload of awards so we're definitely giving it our highest accolade and a well deserved Book of the Week win!

(Kindly sent to us for review by B Small Publishing)

"The Pharaoh's Fate"

Written by Camille Gautier and Stephane Vernet

Illustrated by Margaux Carpentier

Published by B Small Publishing

Publication Date: 1st October 2016