AUTHOR: Laura Buller
ILLUSTRATOR: Rich Cando
PUBLISHER: DK Publishing
PAGES: 64 pages
COLOR: Full Color
ISBN 13: 978-0-7566-2941-0
Who were the ancient Egyptians and what were their lives like? HISTORY DUDES: ANCIENT EGYPTIANS tells all while dropping a modern scratch on these really cool dudes with a 21st Century slang. Kids will love learning about agriculture, architecture, customs and festivals, fashion, government, writings, religion, myths, burial rites, pyramids, battles, and economy. There’s nothing better than having fun while learning.
These dudes have their problems as well. Writer Laura Buller, in her attempt toward kid-speak let her hair down a bit too much and cursed a couple of times.
“By November, the waters have retreated, leaving a layer of silt (a rich mud). Now it’s time to get to work. Damn” (page 7).
On page 21 she writes: “Doctors even deal with dental problems. This dude has the toothache from hell.”
There are also a few direct references to the drinking of alcohol, beer and wine. In one case the workers on the pyramid joke about needing a cold beer after work. Most schools have strong anti-alcohol programs and so teachers, principals or parents may object to the references to drinking.
There were also a couple of typographical errors. One involves the female goddess Sekhmet who is referred to as a “him” (page 39). The other is where a sentence ends prematurely:
“She rules as regent – the name for a dude who takes over when the real ruler can’t rule, for some” (page 55).
My Rating: Ages 10 and older
Publisher’s Rating: Ages 8-12
All Ages Reads: No review
Comics in the Classroom: No review
I recommend this book for ages 10 and older, mostly because of the amount of reading involved and the vocabulary used. Kids younger than that may get frustrated with the reading level and need help in understanding it.
IN THE CLASSROOM
This is chock full of information on the life of the ancient Egyptians and could be used in many ways by children doing research on Egyptians. It would also be a great starting point to entice a reluctant reader to find out more. The full color illustrations and great presentation should make the search for information fun.
As for the grammatical mistakes, those seem to be a fact of life and can be found in many modern works of literature. I am all for making a game out of finding those mistakes. Students can learn from that as well as they can from being lectured about the need for proper grammar and spelling.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: When I originally wrote this review, I gave it a "Recommended with Reservations" because of the profanity. After two years, I decided to change that recommendation to "Recommended".)