________________ CM . . . . Volume V Number 5 . . . . October 30, 1998

cover Step Into....Ancient Egypt (Step into Series).

Philip Steele.
London, UK: Lorenz Books [Distributed in Canada by Raincoast Books], 1997.
64 pp., hardcover, $12.95.
ISBN 1-85967-525-5.

Subject Headings:
Egypt-Antiquities-Juvenile literature.
Egypt-Civilization-To 332 B.C.-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3 - 7 / Ages 8 - 12.
Review by Gail Hamilton.

**** /4


Both Egyptian men and women wore cosmetics. Their make-up included green eyeshadow made from a mineral called malachite and black eyeliner made from galena, a type of lead. Lipsticks and blusher were made from red ochre, and the early Egyptians also liked tattoos. Most Egyptian men were clean shaven. Priests also shaved their heads and the short haircut of the pharaoh was always kept covered in public. Wigs were worn by men and women, even by those who had plenty of hair of their own. Grey hair was dyed and there were various remedies for baldness. One was a lotion made from a donkey's hoof, dog's paw, date stones and oil!
image History comes alive as the culture and daily life of ancient Egypt are explored in this fascinating book, reminiscent of the "Eyewitness" series in its format, layout and size. A double- page spread is devoted to each of 19 topics, ranging from famous pharaohs and pyramid builders to Egyptian lifestyle - food, dress, homes, music, dance and education. Children will find the sections on funerals, mummies and coffins particularly interesting. What comes across very strongly throughout the book is the inventiveness and creativity of the ancient Egyptians and their remarkable contributions in the areas of science and technology. Without benefit of sophisticated, modern-day tools, the people were able to produce lasting monuments, artifacts and works of art which are still prized today.

      Text is simply written in language that kids will find easy to comprehend. The text's only weakness - and it is a minor one, at that - is that it does not give the pronunciation of Egyptian names, places or other unfamiliar vocabulary. A table of contents, glossary and index are included.

      Over 200 photographs, as well as cross-sections, historical maps and pictorial timelines enhance the text. Fifteen projects, such as how to make a lotus tile, canopic jar or a shaduf [watering machine] are also included, with detailed, step-by-step instructions and accompanying photos. Layout of the book is attractive, with unifying bands of traditional Egyptian patterns appearing across the top and bottom of each page.

      Anyone who has ever been intrigued by the mystique of ancient Egypt will love this book.

      Also by the same author - Step Into Ancient Rome.

Highly recommended.

Gail Hamilton is a teacher-librarian at Bird's Hill School East St. Paul, Manitoba.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364