Magical History Tour Volume 1: The Great Pyramid and Magical History Tour Volume 2: The Great Wall of China are the first two volumes of a new history-based graphic novel line from Papercutz. 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 learning and surviving multiple reads. Both are written by Fabrice Erre and illustrated by Sylvain Savoia.
In each installment, 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.
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. 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.
(The publisher provided review copies. Review originally posted at Good Comics for Kids.)