Treasury of Egyptian Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Monsters & Mortals

Donna Jo Napoli, illus. by Christina Balit. National Geographic, $24.95 (192p) ISBN 978-1-4263-1380-6

In this excellent companion volume to Treasury of Greek Mythology, Napoli and Balit introduce a panoply of Egyptian gods, goddesses, and other characters, while placing them in the context of Egyptian history, culture, and social mores. Balit’s captivating illustrations mimic the decorative art styles of ancient Egyptians, with manicured lines, prominent use of gold, and detailed patterns. Napoli’s gripping and candid prose informs while offering the immediacy of a contemporary fantasy novel: “Wrath made Sekhmet blood-crazed. She was vengeance incarnate. Death seemed attracted to her.” Sidebars provide additional insights into the lives of ancient Egyptians and other topics, from a brief description of papyrus-making to the rights of Egyptian women under ancient law. These mythological beings emerge as fully formed characters through equally powerful storytelling and images. Ages 8–12. (Oct.)