cover image Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt

Daniel Cohen. Doubleday Books for Young Readers, $9.95 (45pp) ISBN 978-0-385-24586-9

This attractive volume consists of short essays on the art, religion, history, geography, agriculture and way of life of the ancient Egyptians. The book is written in a friendly though slightly pedagogical tone, with an emphasis on familiarly dramatic aspects of ancient Egyptian culture. Entries such as ``Picture Writing,'' which defines the basics of hieroglyphics as well as offering a truncated history of the Rosetta Stone, or ``The Mummies,'' describing the embalming and preservation of the dead, make for brisk reading. The atmospheric watercolor illustrations, too, aim only for the dramatic jugular with bold colors, broad composition and strong lines. As a basic introduction to the land and society, this is perhaps more entertaining than last season's Exploring the Past: Ancient Egypt by George Hartand, illustrated by Stephen Biesty, but offers less in the way of both detail and a cohesive, panoramic view of its subject. Ages 7-11. (Mar.)