Thursday, November 4, 2010

Book Review for Mummy Mazes: A Monumental Book by Elizabeth Carpenter

Mummy Mazes: A Monumental Book by Elizabeth Carpenter

(Workman Publishing, November 4, 2010)
ISBN 10: 0761160744
ISBN 13: 978-0761160748
36 Pages
Ages 9-12
Fiction/Children’s Books/Mazes/Ancient Egypt

Mummy Mazes is an amazing amalgamation of history, meticulously designed mazes, and archeology.

Mummy Mazes is an oversized book that takes the reader on an exciting expedition along with Professor Archie Ologist to uncover the history and mystery surrounding ancient Egypt.

Readers will have to crawl through dark and eerie passageways to find false doors that lead to hidden chambers and long-lost tombs filled with Egyptian treasure. They must sift through the sands of the pyramids and drift precariously through the Nile, learning and exploring as they go.

Readers will learn about astronomy, various symbols of importance, and about arcane information such as why Egyptians wore such luxurious wigs. The book also features facts about mummies and monuments, ancient Gods, and the meaning of a pharaoh mask. A plethora of information fills each and every page, tantalizing the reader into wanting to know more.

What makes this book unique is the layout. Each page is poster sized at 12 x 17½ inches, folding neatly in half into a convenient, portable size that will fit in any bag. The pages tear out so when the reader has completed the mazes, they can decorate and color them. On each page is a picture of a monument, artifact, or Egyptian object. Inside each object, and sometimes around the pages in other areas, are intricately designed mazes that whisk the reader all over the page in search of the right path.

Hieroglyphs also abound. These symbols are used in many ways. There are three passages near the start and about three at the finish areas to challenge the reader to figure out which is the correct hieroglyph to begin their journey into the maze —and to finish it. The hieroglyph at the correct endpoint, along with its page number, is used in the back of the book to decode a secret mummy’s message using a cartouche translator.

And just in case it is needed, the back of the book also contains the answers to all of the wonderful mazes.

Overall, this book was well researched and designed to incorporate many educational skills, including a plethora of fun elements that will captivate the reader while satisfying their love of solving mazes. This book is perfect for children the ages of 9–12.

With its tremendous amount of information, Mummy Mazes satisfies the social studies requirement for the national U.S. elementary school curriculum. Author Elizabeth Carpenter is also the author of Dinomazes and is the founder of Mazeology.

Reviewer Renee Hand is the award-winning author of The Crypto-Capers series for children. Look for her new release in the Crypto-Capers Series: Book 4: The Chest of Mystery.

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