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Kids Discover: Ancient Egypt app review

ancient egypt menuLong-running children’s nonfiction magazine Kids Discover has made an admirable jump to digital — twenty-one of their issues on natural and social sciences are currently available as apps. I took a look at the digital version of volume 11: Ancient Egypt (Joe Zeff Design, 2013).

The app offers eight content chapters: “The Gift of the Nile;” “Mighty Pharaoh;” “Daily Life;” “Cliff Carvings;” “Gods, Priests, and Temples;” “Leaving Their Mark;” “Pyramid Builders;” and “Mummy Makers and the Afterlife.” As in the magazine itself, each chapter begins with an introductory paragraph, then offers a browsable selection of related facts. These tidbits of information are arranged with plenty of breathing room alongside illustrations, crisp photographs, and colorful Q&A sidebars.

ancient egypt gods

A handful of animations — including 3D renderings of a pyramid, the Sphinx, and Tutankhamen’s famous funerary mask — allow users to get up close and personal to the locations and artifacts described in the text; unobtrusive music and well-placed sound effects also accentuate the content. (One unfortunate choice on the sound-effect front: a Hollywood monster-worthy moan when a sarcophagus opens to reveal a mummy).

An activities section with a maze, memory game, and coloring pages; a short quiz; and recommended reading and websites round out the app. This well-conceived and engaging digital edition provides users with a brief, broad overview of Ancient Egypt and may inspire them to seek out more information. A few free resources are available on Kids Discover‘s website.

Available for iPad (requires iOS 6.0 or later); $3.99. Recommended for intermediate users. Also available in print; $4.99.

Katie Bircher About Katie Bircher

Katie Bircher, associate editor at The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MA in children's literature from Simmons College. She served as chair of the 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award committee. Follow Katie on Twitter @lyraelle.

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