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Review: Magical History Tour: The Great Pyramid, The Great Wall of China

Magical History Tour Volume 1: The Great Pyramid

Magical History Tour Volume 1: The Great Pyramid
Magical History Tour Volume 2: The Great Wall of China
Written by Fabrice Erre, illustrated by Sylvain Savoia
Papercutz, $6.99
Grades 2-3

Coming at the end of January are the first two volumes of a new history-based graphic novel line. The unusual format of the Magical History Tours is a great choice for its audience. The small, affordable hardcovers are perfect for tucking in a bag for on-the-go reading and surviving multiple reads.

In each, Annie tells her little brother Nico about the subject of the book. She provides facts and figures, stuffed into over forty pages of content. The first book, The Great Pyramid, not only covers that edifice but also includes information on Egyptian culture, other pyramids, the building process, and the other Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Comics is a terrific format for history education. Inserting our kid narrators into historical images and imaginings makes all the detail and facts more interesting. Overall, it’s a quick, packed, whirlwind tour through the subject. Additionally, background pages include a map, a few facts on key historical figures, and a timeline.

Magical History Tour Volume 1: The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China covers “the longest structure ever built”. The book doesn’t shy away from unpleasant details, mentioning the millions of people who died during the two thousand years it took to be built.

In this volume, Annie gives Nico a brief overview of Chinese dynasties amid a history of trading and war. For instance, the wall served multiple purposes over its lifespan, including protection and business.

It’s interesting that each book notes that the structures were rediscovered in more modern times by foreigners, those from outside the home country. Perhaps this is a result of the books’ origins in France.

Four more volumes in the series will be out in 2021, including ones on The Crusades and Albert Einstein.

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Johanna About Johanna

Johanna Draper Carlson has been reviewing comics for over 20 years. She manages ComicsWorthReading.com, the longest-running independent review site online that covers all genres of comic books, graphic novels, and manga. She has an MA in popular culture, studying online fandom, and was previously, among many other things, webmaster for DC Comics. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

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