The Great Pyramid

Papercutz. (Magical History Tour: Bk. 1). Jan. 2021. 48p. Tr $6.99. ISBN 9781545806333.
Gr 2-4–A pair of white children, Annie and Nico, explore the history, geography, and cultural influence of the pyramid of Cheops over the centuries in this blend of fact and fiction. Annie describes Nico’s plastic brick tower as the “eighth wonder of the world,” then turns tour guide to explain the history of the pyramid and its effect on all who studied it. The kids travel through time, observing the pyramid during its construction, completion, and wear and tear from explorers, tourists, and raiders. The book offers a balanced context of the pyramids’ ancient roots and shifting meaning to many cultures, including the Egyptians, Greek, and French. Annie is an adept guide, expounding on Herodotus the historian’s methods, hieroglyphics, Cheops’s descendants, and the enormous human labor that made the pyramids possible. Meanwhile, Nico serves as a reader surrogate, remarking on how gloomy and cold Cheops’s sarcophagus seems and musing about mummies. The cartoon art evokes classic comic books, like “Tintin.” Back matter concerns historical figures, the Giza Plateau, a time line, and descriptions of the other six Wonders of the World.
VERDICT This efficient and fast-moving tour of the pyramid of Cheops is packed with great information. An excellent start to an entertaining nonfiction series.

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