LONGLIST REVIEW: Pharaoh's Fate

The fate of Pharaoh Ramesses II is in your hands.

In 'Pharaoh’s Fate', a plot has been discovered that threatens the live of Ramesses II, which in turn places the whole of Egypt in great danger. By collecting clues, discovering details and questioning subjects the kingdom can be saved. The clues will take you from the Valley of the Queens to the hustle and bustle of the town centre of Thebes. From there, the clues will guide you to the Pharaoh’s Temple and on to the vibrant Opet Festival. Finally, you will arrive at the heart of the Royal Palace of the Pharaoh himself. In each location, details will be revealed about not only the guilty party responsible for the fate of the Pharaoh but about the sights, smells and customs of ancient Egypt. Will your investigation help you to discover the name of the traitor before it’s too late?

'Pharaoh’s Fate' is a bright and engaging look into the lives of the ancient Egyptians. The presentation of the information as a mystery tour helps the reader to immerse themselves in the lives of the venerated Pharaoh Kings and the people they ruled over as they search the text for clues. Readers can choose where to go on their adventure using the tabbed pages. They will discover how a body was embalmed before being placed in a sarcophagus in the Valley of the Queens and then, if they can stomach it, find out what could be bought in an Egyptian market place from ancient Breweries and Bakeries. The simple illustrations and page layouts present information clearly and fact boxes are easy to read and understand. Labelled illustrations help to draw the eye across the page and small details keep the reader engaged.

This fabulous book combines factual information and a fictional plot to assassinate the Pharaoh, which both work well together to really engage the reader. It would be particularly suited to lower KS2 classes and would be the perfect Egyptian guide for a class theme.

Here are a few ideas that could be used in the classroom, based on the book:

  1. Design and make some simple Egyptian Costumes or Amulets using the ideas in the book.
  2. Make a map of Egypt that you can walk around (in a hall or playground) with models of the prominent places you might visit- temples, festivals, tombs.
  3. Design a sarcophagus or death mask.
  4. Write in Hieroglyphics.
  5. Set up an Egyptian market when you make things to barter and exchange.
  6. Write your own recipe for a 'poison' and list the ingredients you will need to buy from the apothecary.
  7. Investigate the Egyptian Gods and sacred animals. Choose one and write a report about them.
  8. Design your own Egyptian temple or Pharaoh’s Palace and then describe the features of one of the rooms.
  9. Create your own musical Opet Festival procession. Investigate the elements of the Egyptian festival- the birds, animals, boats, dancers and priests. What did they look like? Why were they important? Make head-dresses and write about what has been discovered about each festival character.
  10. Explore the wildlife living in the Nile river in ancient Egyptian times. Do the same animals live there now?
  11. Prepare a banquet for the Pharaoh. Write your own recipe for something that that would have been eaten in ancient Egypt and then make it.
  12. Make a board game fit for a Pharaoh and write out the rules for playing it.

 

Pharaoh’s Fate by  C. Gautier and S. Vernet, illustrated by M. Carpentier

 B Small Publishing    ISBN: 9781909767980