Magical History Tour Vol. 1 & Vol. 2
Publisher: Papercutz
Release Date: January 2021
Price: $6.99
Creators: Fabrice Erre (writer); Sylvain Savoia (artist)
Format: 48 pgs., Full Color, 5.25” x 6.75”, Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-5458-0633-3 (Vol. 1) and 978-1-5458-0634-0 (Vol. 2)
Age Rating: All Ages
ICv2 Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

These books are the English translation of a pair of French graphic history stories for kids.  The format is simple, as the apparently-older Annie teaches younger Nico about different places and events.  Each book has a framing story of normal modern activities which is barely necessary, but provides a few bits of humor.

In these two volumes, they explore ancient Egypt and the overall history of China, while nominally focused on the structures which are part of the titles. In fact, though, each provides a broader overview of history, rather than simply focusing on the structure.  For instance, the Pyramid volume discusses everything from the Rosetta Stone to one of the scientific studies of the interior of the Great Pyramid, while the Great Wall book talks about dragons, Mongols and modern political factions.

The artwork is very cartoony, but in a way that will appeal to kids, and there are enough hooks in the stories told that readers will find lots of things to look up elsewhere, if they choose.  Each book also contains a time line, to keep things in order and in historical perspective.

There will be at least four more books in this series, and if these two are typical of the quality, they will serve as good, if superficial, books on the topics.  Nothing you could use to write a report, but a quick overview that would let a reader know if they want to read more on the subject.

--Nick Smith: Library Technician, Community Services, for the Pasadena Public Library in California.