By Andrea Byrnes. Published on In Brief, Egyptological. 16th June 2014
Egyptian Things to Make and Do
By Emily Bone. Designed and illustrated by Josephine Thompson
Usborne Activities. ISBN 9781409538929. 32 pages.
Not suitable for children under 36 months.
It is probably very clear from the title (and if not, from the images) that this is a review of a book designed for children. It is an activity book, with a set of projects for children to make with the assistance of adults. The projects are colourful and imaginative, and many would form the basis of a fancy dress outfit. Others are just fun things for children to make.
The materials are all things that would be found in a classroom, or could be easily bought from a stationers and most big supermarkets: Glue, paints, tissue paper, pencils, cardboard, foil, paperclips, beads, sequins, glitter, kitchen towels, brown paper, card, ribbon, and straws are all employed in different projects. Paintbrushes and scissors will also be required.
The projects, in the order in which they appear in the book, are: scarab beetle, dancers paper-chain, Nefertiti collage, Pharaoh’s headdress, mummy, stand-up camels, Egyptian cuff, painted beetles, falcon necklace, pyramids at sunset, canopic jars, mummy case, cracked wax tomb picture, Egyptian gold puppets and pyramid gift boxes. 250 stickers (black on gold) are included in the middle of the book, and can be used in the projects but can also be used for anything else a child’s imagination might produce.
The projects will probably require adult supervision. They all require scissors, and glue is usually involved. The instructions are clear, but they will probably require an adult to assist with the nuts and bolts of how to assemble individual pieces.
The only downside of the book that I can see is that it requires at least some ability to draw. The shapes required are simple, but they do need to be rendered with some accuracy if they are to look like the projects in the book. Some are very easy because simple geometric guidelines are supplied. Others are far more difficult to imitate – like the face of Nefertiti. There are no stencils or images to trace, so these do have to be done by hand.
Rather than write more about the book, which is designed to be visually appealing, I have added some scanned pages to give readers and idea of its contents.
It is a lovely book, full of great projects any child inspired by Ancient Egypt, and ideal for any family member or friend who wants to share their love of Egypt with children. Teachers might also find its ideas of use for engaging young children with Egypt’s material past.