Children's Literature - Sheilah Egan
The cover may lead readers to think that this is a horror story, but it is actually a study of mummies from various cultures and circumstancessome are made by occurrences in nature and others are the result of human practices. Mummies have been found all over the world; some are over 5,000 years old. Chapter 2 discusses the fame and popularity of Egyptian mummies. They have gained the attention of authors and moviemakers, perhaps because so many of them have survived the ravages of time and tomb robbers. Many Egyptian mummies were buried with great treasures and the necessities for a comfortable life in the "next" land. Krensky does discuss various attitudes toward death in different cultures. The pages with white print on black or very dark backgrounds are difficult to read. Some of the side bar information is presented in yellow letters, which is also hard to read, but more disturbing is the fact that at least one section is printed in almost the same size type face thus confusing the reader's eye as to the sequential order of the text. While covering embalming, the author covers some Egyptian mythology and techniques of creating mummies. Every page shows actual photographs or drawings that make understanding the text easier. Many gristly details of mummification and the lore of mummies will appeal to anyone interested in mummy trivia. For example, in Maine in the 1800's brown wrapping paper was made from mummy wrappings. Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) told in his book The Innocents Abroad that mummies were burned as fuel in the fireboxes of steam trains. Photographs from a number of mummy movies connect the lore to modern times and bring out the legends, curses, andthreats associated with mummies. The back matter includes source notes, a selected bibliography, further reading and web sites, movie credits, an index, and photo acknowledgements.
School Library Journal
Garish covers (large on toothy fierceness) herald these additions to the series. All three present a historical overview of the featured creature and look at them as depicted in folklore, literature, film, and the media. Bigfoot and Dragons also examine the probability of these creatures' existence. A glossary of "mysterious animals" is offered in Bigfoot . The chatty, occasionally flip texts ("Egyptian priests are hard to please," for example) are larded with photos and other illustrations (often with a nice ick! factor). The titles are adequate for cryptozoology fans, but readers might have more fun with some of the books listed for further reading or, with an ample supply of hot buttered popcorn, watching a couple of the movies.
Patricia ManningCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.