Whatever books you and your family are exploring for your summer Egypt adventure, your appreciation can be extended and deepened through these resources…
Learn more myths (younger kids):
Egyptian Gods and Goddesses by Harvey Barker
Though this collection is labeled an “easy reader”–and would be accessible to young readers in kindergarten through grade 3– it’s also a pretty helpful resource for anyone starting to investigate the Egyptian gods and goddesses. If you’re doing a read-aloud of The Red Pyramid, as we suggested in our recommended books for an Egyptian family reading adventure, this is a wonderful accompanying text to illustrate the gods and goddesses introduced there, like Horace, Thoth, Osiris, Re, Isis, Anubis, and more. There’s also an introduction to the complex afterlife and fascination with death and the Underworld in the Ancient Egyptian culture. The illustrations are particularly helpful, executed in watercolor with decorative borders, hieroglyphics, and line drawings.
Learn more myths (older kids):
Tales of Ancient Egypt by Roger Lancelyn Green
This collection is a Puffins Classic edition, written for adolescents and young adults. It’s a great resource to either read aloud to younger family members, or to keep on hand to complement the references that you’ll come across in the novels set in Ancient Egypt. Some of these stories may be completely new to you, yet seem familiar; you’ll notice similarities to other cultures’ myths and legends. It’s fun to compare them to Greek mythology, Norse Mythology, and even some Bible stories. The tales are divided into 3 sections: Gods, Magic, and Adventure. The stories are written well, and with an accessible tone that appeals to a wide range of ages.
Read about hieroglyphics:
Seeker of Knowledge: The Man Who Deciphered Egyptian Hieroglyphs by James Rumford
Jean Francios Chamollion was the early 19th-century amateur scholar who deciphered hieroglyphs for the first time. Even as a young child, he was fascinated by Egyptian writing and was determined to unlock the secrets of the language. The incredible true story tells of his years of work on his own–as well as meeting important figures like Napoleon, who shared his passion for Egypt. The watercolor paintings are terrific, as are the small embedded hieroglyphs through the text. The margins are filled with examples of Egyptian words and their hidden meanings. It’s a beautifully illustrated picture book that will intrigue readers–and make them want to know more about hieroglyphs.
Egyptian hieroglyph blocks from Uncle Goose: fun for the little ones to play and build with, and for the teens, tweens and adults to create messages, read, and even form intricate puzzles. An easy-to-read guide booklet comes with this handcrafted set of wooden blocks. And it’s even made with fair labor in the USA! (These are a big hit in our family, from the toddlers on up through the grownups who found ourselves playing with them long past the kids bedtime…)
Explore a Pyramid (without a the plane fare):
Pyramid by David Macaulay
The details of the ancient pyramids’ construction is brilliantly drawn and described in Macaulay’s pen-and-ink illustrated text. Answers all the questions of young readers (and their parents) on with pyramids have their special shape, who created them–and why. A combination of architecture, history, the special magic of Ancient Egyptian mythology, and human drama. Younger children will focus on the illustrations and detailed drawings; older readers will love the informational intellectual speculation. If your family has enjoyed Macaulay’s other favorites like Castle and Underground, this book is a must!
Learning Sites (Even more Egyptology information and projects!)
This site on Ancient Egypt was created by students studying at the University of Richmond, and was the best website of resources we found. It’s full of information on the land, language, Gods, pharaohs, writing, and pyramids. It includes a tour of the tombs, lists of information on the major Gods, as well as photographs of different tombs and mummies. It’s a great starting place for basic information.
The British Museum Guide to Ancient Egypt is a gorgeous site, which includes images from their collection as well as rich information and resources.