Four original non-fiction books on Ancient Egypt


The topic of Ancient Egypt is one that intrigues me and IT IS a popular choice in primary schools. For this blog post I wanted to highlight some slightly different book on Ancient Egypt. I have focused my choice on ones that text wise are accessible to year 3 and year 4 students, but they will also appeal to older children. 

Meet the Ancient Egyptians - James Davies

The bright, bold and clearly presented style of this book grabbed my attention. This will both capture children’s attention and keep them reading. What I wasn’t expecting is how jam packed with information this small format paperback book is, but with everything laid out in a really accessible way, giving a comprehensive overview of Ancient Egypt. 

There is a map and timeline (at end) and black banners clearly identify the topic covered on each double paged spread, making it easy to skim through the pages to find a topic of interest.

It begins with an almost narrative like introduction to the Nile. Then goes on to cover daily life, including the clothes people wear, and the strange pets they have. Then it explores Pharaohs , gods and goodness, magic and medicine, pyramids and how they bury their dead and what happens in the afterlife. 

The Egyptians: Hide and Seek History - by Jonny Marx and Chaaya Prabhat

A gorgeous colourful lift the flap book on Ancient Egypt. That covers a range of topics, from the archaeologists who study ancient things, pyramids and mummies, and life on the Nile. I loved how the flaps help the reader explore the layers to a sarcophagus and that when you lift the flap of the boat on the Nile it tells you about ports and trading goods. The approach lets the reader take in the bigger picture and then explore nuggets of interesting information in more detail. 

It covers less topics than James Davie’s books, but would be great as engaging introduction to the topic and for children to enjoy together. With 80 flaps to encourage exploring and interaction. 

King Tutankhamun Tells Al l by Chris Nation and Guilherme Karston

The perspective of this book is clever, it is told by the boy King Tutankhamun himself. 

This gives the book a chatty and sometimes humorous edge. The points on each page are broken into bite sized chunks helping to engage the reader. It breaks up well the different aspects to the Kings story, including how he became a boy king, theories on why he’d died early and how Howard Carter discovered the body in a secret tomb. 

Written from the perspective of the boy King, you get some great fun insights into what they had for spiritual security in the after life and ‘dinning with the dead’. There is lots to explore and enjoy in this book. 

If I have one niggle it is that the font its chosen whilst clear is a little curly, which may make it more of a challenge to read for some less confident readers. However, it’s another book that would be great for kids to read together.

Mummies unwrapped by Tom Froese (British Museum, published by Nosy Crow)

My daughter was fascinated by the mummification process when she studied Ancient Egypt in year 4  so a book devoted to this topic got my attention.  This book takes you the entire process of mummification, including information on the embalmers, how the organs are removed and the rebuilding of of the mummy, topics which often aren’t covered in more general texts.

Colourful illustrations help bring the civilisation of Ancient Egypt and is practice of mummification of its dead to life for the readers. With some useful information boxes. However, please note the text level of this book is more difficult than the other three and in longer chunks in places, making it more suitable for year4/5 when reading alone. 


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