Read Like an Egyptian

Anything we can do as parents and educators to get our kids interested in reading is well worth our time.

I’ve mentioned before I’m in the process of purging things from our household. I’ve found books are the hardest to dispose of. I love books! I love to hold them. I love to read them. I love the unique words and emotions authors use to tell their stories. And I love the special memories I have of each book.

My daughter has left many of her books behind – books that are taking up valuable space on our bookshelves. I was pulling them off the shelves, deciding what to do with them, when I came across books from her Egyptian phase.

I remember it well. We were living in Connecticut at the time and took a trip into New York City to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her favorite galleries were those with Egyptian art. Before leaving, we checked out the Museum Shop. Oh, how those shops pull you in, but it turned out to be a fabulous way to get my daughter interested in nonfiction books. The first book she chose was Mummies Made in Egypt by Aliki.

 When we got home she asked if I had more pictures of Egypt. I lugged out my old art history book from college. She spent hours going through it. Somewhere along the line she picked up Seeker of Knowledge The Man who Deciphered Egyptian Hieroglyphs by James Rumford and Fun with Hieroglyphs by Catharine Roehrig, containing 24 rubber stamps and a hieroglyph guidebook.

On another trip to the museum, she added Egyptian Mummies by Carol Andrews and Egyptian Life by Miriam Stead to her collection. As a teacher, I was thrilled to see her interest soar as she stamped out messages from the hieroglyph stamps and poured over her collection of books.

As I paged through the books in my hand, special memories of my daughter’s youth swept over me. I put the books back up on the shelf and gave up purging for another day.

More books about Egypt:

How the Sphinx Got to the Museum by Jessie Hartland (Blue Apple Books, 2010), Pharaoh’s Boat by David L. Weitzman (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2009), You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Pyramid Builder by Jacqueline Morley and David Salariya (Children’s Press, 2004), You Wouldn’t Want to Be an Egyptian Mummy by David Stewart and David Salariya (Franklin Watts, 2000)

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