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Ancient To 499 Ad: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about Ancient to 499 AD?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to Ancient to 499 AD. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about Ancient to 499 AD.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about Ancient to 499 AD, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland to popular sellers like The Odyssey.

We hope this list of kids books about Ancient to 499 AD can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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Top 10 Books About Ancient To 499 Ad

#1
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Billy Stuart and the Sea of a Thousand Dangers
Written by Alain M. Bergeron & illustrated by Sampar
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

What was supposed to be a relaxing ocean crossing for Billy Stuart and his friends after their adventures on the island of Crete quickly transforms into a veritable odyssey. A violent storm throws them off their maritime course and leads to a downpour of events with potentially tragic consequences: mutiny, vicious monster attacks, siren songs and more. The dire situation doesn’t get any better when they finally make it to shore. A thousand dangers make the Zintrepids’ every waking moment seem like a nightmare. And is Billy Stuart still on the trail of his grandfather, the explorer Virgil Stuart who has traveled through time? Or are the Zintrepids forever lost in an unknown age and strange place?

This is the third book in the Billy Stuart series.

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#2
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My Weird School Fast Facts: Mummies, Myths, and Mysteries
Written by Dan Gutman & illustrated by Jim Paillot and Dan Gutman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Think fast with A.J. and Andrea from My Weird School! Did you know that ancient Egyptians treated infections by putting moldy bread on them? Did you know that ancient Roman workers would stomp around barefoot in big tubs filled with urine to clean their clothes? Learn more weird-but-true ancient history facts with A.J. and Andrea from Dan Gutman’s bestselling My Weird School series. This highly illustrated series of nonfiction books features hundreds of hysterical facts, plus lots of photos and illustrations. Whether you’re a kid who wants to learn more about ancient history or simply someone who wants to know what came out of the very first vending machine, this is the book for you! With more than 23 million books sold, the My Weird School series really gets kids reading!

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#3
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The Fabled Life of Aesop
Written by Ian Lendler & illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Honoring the path of a slave, this dramatic picture-book biography and concise anthology of Aesop’s most child-friendly fables tells how a child born into slavery in ancient Greece found a way to speak out against injustice by using the skill and wit of his storytelling—storytelling that has survived for 2,500 years. Stunningly illustrated by two-time Caldecott Honor winner Pamela Zagarenski.

The Tortoise and the Hare. The Boy Who Cried Wolf. The Fox and the Crow. Each of Aesop’s stories has a lesson to tell, but Aesop’s true-life story is perhaps the most inspiring tale of them all.

Gracefully revealing the genesis of his tales, this true story of Aesop shows how fables not only liberated him from captivity but spread wisdom over a millennium. This is the only children’s book biography about him.

Includes thirteen illustrated fables:  The Lion and the Mouse, The Goose and the Golden Egg, The Fox and the Crow, Town Mouse and Country Mouse, The Ant and the Grasshopper, The Dog and the Wolf, The Lion and the Statue, The Tortoise and the Hare, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, The North Wind and the Sun, The Fox and the Grapes, The Dog and the Wolf, The Lion and the Boar.

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#4
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The Egyptian Cinderella
Written & illustrated by Shirley Climo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This Egyptian spin on the classic Cinderella tale was initially recorded in the first century by a Roman historian and is retold here by folklorist Shirley Climo.

Poor Rhodopis! She has nothing—no mother or father, and no friends. She is a slave, from the far-off country of Greece. Only the beautiful rose-red slippers her master gives her can make Rhodopis smile.

So when a falcon swoops down and snatches one of the slippers away, Rhodopis is heartbroken. For how is she to know that the slipper will land in the lap of the great Pharaoh himself? And who would ever guess that the Pharaoh has promised to find the slipper’s owner and make her queen of all Egypt?

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#5
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Helga Makes a Name for Herself
Written by Megan Maynor & illustrated by Eda Kaban
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A hilarious and empowering picture book about a small but strong Viking girl who is determined to be a warrior and make a name for herself. 

Filled with humor and heart, this clever picture book about perseverance and following your dreams stars Helga, a small but mighty (and loud) Viking. Helga, along with her sidekick, Wolvie, wants to be a warrior just like her favorite hero, Ingrid the Axe. But she is a farmer’s daughter and the only battles she fights are pretend. So when Ingrid the Axe comes to town looking for new recruits, Helga jumps at the chance. She and Wolvie find the competition to be fierce. But Helga is fierce too, and single-minded in her desire to make a name for herself. After all she is a WARRIOOORRRR!

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#6
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T. Rex Time Machine: Dinos in De-Nile
Written & illustrated by Jared Chapman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Two T. Rexes are whisked away by their time machine to ancient Egypt, where King Tut mistakes them for Sobek, god of the Nile. They are treated to glorious feasts and magnificent tours. But when the aliens land—they’re in the middle of constructing the pyramids—and expose the supposed gods as mere dinosaurs, everyone’s mad. Will the dinosaurs escape? This laugh-out-loud romp through time and space is perfect for storytime, bedtime, read-alouds, and guaranteed giggles!

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#7
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Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland
Written & illustrated by Tomie dePaola
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

An illustrated tribute to the Irish patron saint from the best-selling author of Quiet, Strega Nona, and many others.

Beloved children’s book author-illustrator Tomie dePaola recounts the life of Saint Patrick—from his noble birth in Britain, to his captivity in Ireland, to the visions which led him to return and found the first Christian church in Ireland.

With his signature bold illustrations and engaging prose, Tomie dePaola recounts a number of legends about the Saint—including the well-known story of how he drove the snakes from Ireland, and his association with the shamrock.

This timeless picture book is a perfect introduction to these important Irish legends, and an ideal St. Patrick’s Day gift— perfect for sharing with your family.

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#8
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Addison Cooke and the Ring of Destiny
Written by Jonathan W. Stokes
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In the tradition of Indiana Jones and The Goonies, the next installment of this comedic adventure series sends young Addison and his friends on the run from fortune hunters linked to an ancient Cooke clan curse. Soon after the disappearance of his aunt Delia and uncle Nigel outside the tomb of notorious Mongolian leader Genghis Khan, amateur archeologist Addison Cooke, his sister Molly, and their best friends Raj and Eddie, embark on another globe-trotting adventure. When a mysterious package arrives on Addison’s doorstep, criminals and fortune-hunters from around the world are suddenly hunting the Cooke family. Addison and team will travel to London, Paris, Istanbul, and beyond, on the run for their lives to unravel the mystery of the package, find out what really happened to Aunt Delia and Uncle Nigel, and come face-to-face with the terrifying Vrolock Malazar. But Addison and the team find there are dangerous secrets about his aunt and uncle’s pasts and hidden truths about the Cooke clan that must be uncovered. Addison Cooke and the Ring of Destiny is full of nonstop laughs and heart-pounding action, perfect for fans of James Patterson’s Treasure Hunters series, Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series, and Peter Lerangis’s Seven Wonders series.

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#9
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Ra the Mighty: The Great Tomb Robbery
Written by A. B. Greenfield & illustrated by Sarah Horne
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

A smug royal cat turned detective and his dung beetle sidekick are on the case when a precious tomb gets ransacked in the Valley of the Kings.

Ra the Mighty adores his duties as Pharaoh’s cat: naps by the pool and plenty of snacks. Being lazy is so much fun. But when a royal tomb gets robbed, Ra and his hardworking friend Khepri must team up to restore justice. The clues point to a young boy whom Ra admires. Will the Great Detective play favorites, or will he uncover the truth? Mystery awaits!

More than thirty wacky illustrations with fun historical details bring these oddball characters to life, along with a glossary, pronunciation guide, and detailed author’s note about ancient Egypt. Fans of Bad Kitty will love Ra’s witty voice and arrogant antics. Pair with companion, Ra the Mighty: Cat Detective.

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#10
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The Colors of Ancient Egypt
Written & illustrated by Amy Mullen
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

The yellow belly of a toothy green crocodile. An orange reed boat on the blue Nile. The gold in Nefertiti’s headdress. These are just a few of the sweetly simple designs in this board book that will help little ones learn their colors while dipping a toe into the history and culture of ancient Egypt.

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Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Ancient To 499 Ad and...

Books About Ancient To 499 Ad and History

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My Weird School Fast Facts: Mummies, Myths, and Mysteries
Written by Dan Gutman & illustrated by Jim Paillot and Dan Gutman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Think fast with A.J. and Andrea from My Weird School! Did you know that ancient Egyptians treated infections by putting moldy bread on them? Did you know that ancient Roman workers would stomp around barefoot in big tubs filled with urine to clean their clothes? Learn more weird-but-true ancient history facts with A.J. and Andrea from Dan Gutman’s bestselling My Weird School series. This highly illustrated series of nonfiction books features hundreds of hysterical facts, plus lots of photos and illustrations. Whether you’re a kid who wants to learn more about ancient history or simply someone who wants to know what came out of the very first vending machine, this is the book for you! With more than 23 million books sold, the My Weird School series really gets kids reading!

Buy book
$16.89
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$14.36
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$16.89
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Add to list
T. Rex Time Machine: Dinos in De-Nile
Written & illustrated by Jared Chapman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Two T. Rexes are whisked away by their time machine to ancient Egypt, where King Tut mistakes them for Sobek, god of the Nile. They are treated to glorious feasts and magnificent tours. But when the aliens land—they’re in the middle of constructing the pyramids—and expose the supposed gods as mere dinosaurs, everyone’s mad. Will the dinosaurs escape? This laugh-out-loud romp through time and space is perfect for storytime, bedtime, read-alouds, and guaranteed giggles!

Buy book
$16.99
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$14.44
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$10.19
Used $2.00
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Add to list
The Colors of Ancient Egypt
Written & illustrated by Amy Mullen
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

The yellow belly of a toothy green crocodile. An orange reed boat on the blue Nile. The gold in Nefertiti’s headdress. These are just a few of the sweetly simple designs in this board book that will help little ones learn their colors while dipping a toe into the history and culture of ancient Egypt.

Buy book
$10.95
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$10.95
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Honorable Mentions
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  1. Spot the Mistake: Lands of Long Ago - Would an Inca warrior have ridden a camel? Would a Viking have listened to his radio? Test your knowledge of history and spot 20 mistakes in every scene from ancient civilisations, then turn to the back where you’ll find the answers and more fun facts.

  2. Julius Zebra: Entangled with the Egyptians! - Julius Zebra is in ancient Egypt on his third madcap adventure. Will he and his friends make it out alive, or will they all end up entombed in a pyramid forever? After being shipwrecked on the shores of Egypt, Julius Zebra can’t believe his luck: he’s been mistaken for a Horse God and given the royal treatment. Preened and pampered, Julius and his friends are treated to a lavish party and ferried down the River Nile. But when hapless antelope Felix accidentally stumbles upon the Tomb of Cleopatra, he steals a gem for his rock collection, unknowingly bringing a pharaoh’s curse down upon the group. With the Egyptians beginning to realize that Julius is not quite what they thought he was, the zebra gladiator and his friends are soon fighting for their lives in a series of hilarious hijinks.

  3. Hieroglyphs - Children can create hieroglypic messages and “works of art” while learning about the pictograms of Ancient Egypt. Full-color illustrations highlight information about the symbols that have been found on mummy cases, scrolls, and tomb walls.

  4. Who Was King Tut? - Highlights the life of the boy pharaoh, describes the process by which his body and his tomb were prepared for the afterlife, and describes the search and excavation of his tomb in 1922.

Books About Ancient To 499 Ad and Greek And Roman Mythology

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Billy Stuart and the Sea of a Thousand Dangers
Written by Alain M. Bergeron & illustrated by Sampar
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

What was supposed to be a relaxing ocean crossing for Billy Stuart and his friends after their adventures on the island of Crete quickly transforms into a veritable odyssey. A violent storm throws them off their maritime course and leads to a downpour of events with potentially tragic consequences: mutiny, vicious monster attacks, siren songs and more. The dire situation doesn’t get any better when they finally make it to shore. A thousand dangers make the Zintrepids’ every waking moment seem like a nightmare. And is Billy Stuart still on the trail of his grandfather, the explorer Virgil Stuart who has traveled through time? Or are the Zintrepids forever lost in an unknown age and strange place?

This is the third book in the Billy Stuart series.

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Zeus and the Dreadful Dragon
Written by Tracey West & illustrated by Craig Phillips
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Zeus and his friends try to free Briar, Kottos, and Gyes from Tartarus so they can finally beat Cronus once and for all in this Heroes in Training adventure. The fourteen Olympians and Ron are headed toward Olympus. Ron is telling them the rumors that the Titans have all escaped Tartarus and are gearing up with Cronus for a final battle with the Olympians. When they reach the sea, Oceanus attacks them by surprise. They are almost washed away by a tidal wave when mysterious woman appears and saves them. It is Gaia, the wife of Uranus—and grandmother to Zeus and most of the Olympians. Gaia is on the side of the Olympians, partly because she believes that they will be better for the planet than Cronus, but also because she is angry with her son. He has imprisoned his three brothers: Briar, Kottos, and Gyes. She says if the Olympians free them from Tartarus, they will help the Olympians defeat Cronus. But can the three brothers be trusted? And can the Olympians defeat Cronus once and for all?

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D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

An introduction to the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece.

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  1. The Classic Treasury of Aesop's Fables - Get in step with the colorful animals that race, waddle, and leap through these pages! From a fast-footed monkey to a two-timing fox, each creature has a story to tell and a moral to teach. These famous tales tickle the imagination and teach simple truths, ones that children and adults face every day. Inside are twenty classic fables, including The Tortoise and the Hare, The Goose Who Laid the Golden Eggs, and The City Mouse and the Country Mouse. Passed from generation to generation, Aesop’s best-loved fables are presented here with beautiful illustrations that bring these naughty, bold, brave, and lovable creatures to life.

  2. Zeus's Eagle - Will Demon’s latest quest bring down the wrath of Zeus? Demon’s life on Mount Olympus has never been busier. Thanks to the awful heroes down on Earth, he has a whole slew of injured beasts to care for. And worse still, the goddess Psyche wants Demon to “borrow” Zeus’s prized eagle for an urgent mission. But is her task worth the risk of offending the king of the gods?

  3. Centaur School - Demon has always counted on his magical medicine box to help him cure the sick beasts on Mount Olympus. But Chiron, his new healing master, insists Demon learn to find the cures on his own. Demon’s new skills are soon put to the test when he must save an ailing phoenix–or face the wrath of its fiery guards!

  4. Dragon Healer - When the god of war leaves his smelly, unhappy battle dragon with Demon, he must figure out a way to cure the beast without his magic medicine box.

Books About Ancient To 499 Ad and Ancient Civilizations

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Helga Makes a Name for Herself
Written by Megan Maynor & illustrated by Eda Kaban
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A hilarious and empowering picture book about a small but strong Viking girl who is determined to be a warrior and make a name for herself. 

Filled with humor and heart, this clever picture book about perseverance and following your dreams stars Helga, a small but mighty (and loud) Viking. Helga, along with her sidekick, Wolvie, wants to be a warrior just like her favorite hero, Ingrid the Axe. But she is a farmer’s daughter and the only battles she fights are pretend. So when Ingrid the Axe comes to town looking for new recruits, Helga jumps at the chance. She and Wolvie find the competition to be fierce. But Helga is fierce too, and single-minded in her desire to make a name for herself. After all she is a WARRIOOORRRR!

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Addison Cooke and the Ring of Destiny
Written by Jonathan W. Stokes
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In the tradition of Indiana Jones and The Goonies, the next installment of this comedic adventure series sends young Addison and his friends on the run from fortune hunters linked to an ancient Cooke clan curse. Soon after the disappearance of his aunt Delia and uncle Nigel outside the tomb of notorious Mongolian leader Genghis Khan, amateur archeologist Addison Cooke, his sister Molly, and their best friends Raj and Eddie, embark on another globe-trotting adventure. When a mysterious package arrives on Addison’s doorstep, criminals and fortune-hunters from around the world are suddenly hunting the Cooke family. Addison and team will travel to London, Paris, Istanbul, and beyond, on the run for their lives to unravel the mystery of the package, find out what really happened to Aunt Delia and Uncle Nigel, and come face-to-face with the terrifying Vrolock Malazar. But Addison and the team find there are dangerous secrets about his aunt and uncle’s pasts and hidden truths about the Cooke clan that must be uncovered. Addison Cooke and the Ring of Destiny is full of nonstop laughs and heart-pounding action, perfect for fans of James Patterson’s Treasure Hunters series, Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series, and Peter Lerangis’s Seven Wonders series.

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Julius Zebra: Battle with the Britons!
Written & illustrated by Gary Northfield
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Think you know Julius Zebra? Think again! The handsome, fast-talking gladiatorial champion is sent on a zany new adventure – to Britannia! Before Julius Zebra can have his freedom, Emperor Hadrian sends him on one last mission. As the newly named People’s Champion, Julius must travel with his friends to a distant land to remind its people of the might of the Roman Empire. It’ll be just like a vacation! But when the motley menagerie of gladiators arrives in cold, wet Britannia, they don’t quite receive the welcome they were expecting. In fact, the Britons seem to hate the Romans. And the longer Julius and his friends stay in Britannia, the more they realize that they have a lot more in common with the Britons than they thought. After all, they’re all under Hadrian’s rule. But what can a ragtag group of fighting animals do about it?

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. The Bronze Bow - He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. –From the Song of David (2 Samuel 22:35). The Bronze Bow, written by Elizabeth George Speare (author of The Witch of Blackbird Pond) won the Newbery Medal in 1962. This gripping, action-packed novel tells the story of eighteen-year-old Daniel bar Jamin—a fierce, hotheaded young man bent on revenging his father’s death by forcing the Romans from his land of Israel. Daniel’s palpable hatred for Romans wanes only when he starts to hear the gentle lessons of the traveling carpenter, Jesus of Nazareth. A fast-paced, suspenseful, vividly wrought tale of friendship, loyalty, the idea of home, community . . . and ultimately, as Jesus says to Daniel on page 224: “Can’t you see, Daniel, it is hate that is the enemy? Not men. Hate does not die with killing. It only springs up a hundredfold. The only thing stronger than hate is love.” A powerful, relevant read in turbulent times.

  2. Day of the Dragon King - Who would burn books? Jack and Annie find out when the Magic Tree House whisks them back to ancient China. There, a powerful emperor called the Dragon King has ordered that all books be burned. Will Jack and Annie be able to save at least one book? Or will they be captured by the emperor’s soldiers?

  3. Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos - Theodosia Throckmorton has her hands full at the Museum of Legends and Antiquities in London. Her father may be head curator, but it is Theo—and only Theo—who is able to see all the black magic and ancient curses that still cling to the artifacts in the museum. When Theo’s mother returns from her latest archaeological dig bearing the Heart of Egypt—a legendary amulet belonging to an ancient tomb—Theo learns that it comes inscribed with a curse so black and vile that it threatens to crumble the British Empire from within and start a war too terrible to imagine. Intent on returning the malevolent artifact to its rightful place, Theo devises a daring plan to put things right. But even with the help of her younger brother, a wily street urchin, and the secret society known as the Brotherhood of the Chosen Keepers, it won’t be easy . . . she quickly finds herself pursued down dark alleys, across an ocean, through the bustling crowds of Cairo, and straight into the heart of an ancient mystery. Theo will have to call upon everything she’s ever learned in order to prevent the rising chaos from destroying her country—and herself!

  4. Viking Ships At Sunrise - “Beware of Vikings!” warns Morgan. Then Jack and Annie are whisked back to ancient Ireland. They land on a cliff on a misty island. How will they find the story they are looking for? It will take a Viking invasion, the help of a jolly monk, and a lot of courage for Jack and Annie to succeed in Viking Ships at Sunrise.

Books About Ancient To 499 Ad and Cats

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Ra the Mighty: The Great Tomb Robbery
Written by A. B. Greenfield & illustrated by Sarah Horne
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

A smug royal cat turned detective and his dung beetle sidekick are on the case when a precious tomb gets ransacked in the Valley of the Kings.

Ra the Mighty adores his duties as Pharaoh’s cat: naps by the pool and plenty of snacks. Being lazy is so much fun. But when a royal tomb gets robbed, Ra and his hardworking friend Khepri must team up to restore justice. The clues point to a young boy whom Ra admires. Will the Great Detective play favorites, or will he uncover the truth? Mystery awaits!

More than thirty wacky illustrations with fun historical details bring these oddball characters to life, along with a glossary, pronunciation guide, and detailed author’s note about ancient Egypt. Fans of Bad Kitty will love Ra’s witty voice and arrogant antics. Pair with companion, Ra the Mighty: Cat Detective.

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Skippyjon Jones in Mummy Trouble
Written & illustrated by Judy Schachner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

El Skippito is back! His doggy pals want to visit the Under Mundo—the underworld—where mummitos rest in peas. But they need El Skippito’s brains and courage to answer the riddle of the Finx and enter the mummy’s tomb. Our hero is up to the task, and he’s in for another whirlwind adventure.

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Theodosia and the Last Pharaoh
Written by R. L. LaFevers & illustrated by Yoko Tanaka
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In this fourth book in the series, Theodosia sets off to Egypt to return the Emerald Tablet—embedded with the knowledge of some of the ancient world’s most guarded secrets. Accompanied by her cat, Isis (smuggled along in a basket), Theo plans to return the artifact, then explore the mysteries surrounding her own birth and oh, yes— help her mother dig up treasures on her archeological expedition.

But nothing ever works out as planned, especially when a precious treasure appears suddenly, and then just as suddenly disappears . . . When the Serpents of Chaos get involved, Theo finds she’s digging up a lot more than she expected!

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  1. Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris - Theodosia Throckmorton is in a fix. Allowed to attend a reception given by one of the directors of her parents’ museum, she stumbles across Mr. Tetley of the British Museum—in most unusual circumstances! Since Theo has last seen him in a showdown in an ancient Egyptian tomb, his reappearance could mean only one thing: the Serpents of Chaos are back.
    Once again Theodosia will have to take on secret societies, evil curses, and dark magic too sinister to imagine, especially if it falls into the wrong hands. Blocked at every turn, Theodosia will have to rely on her own skill and cunning—along with a little help from the most unexpected places.

  2. Skippy jones and mummy trouble - El Skippito is back! His doggy pals want to visit the Under Mundo—the underworld—where mummitos rest in peas. But they need El Skippito’s brains and courage to answer the riddle of the Finx and enter the mummy’s tomb. Our hero is up to the task, and he’s in for another whirlwind adventure.

  3. Mummy Cat - “Mummy Cat prowls his pyramid home, longing for his beloved owner. As he roams the tomb, lavish murals above his head display scenes of the cat with his young Egyptian queen. Hidden hieroglyphs deepen the tale and are explained in an informative author’snote”–

  4. The Cat Who Went to Heaven - A Newberry Medal Winner This timeless fable has been a classic since its first publication in 1930, and this beautifully reillustrated edition brings the magic and wonder of the tale to a new generation of readers. In ancient Japan, a struggling artist is angered when his housekeeper brings home a tiny white cat he can barely afford to feed. But when the village’s head priest commissions a painting of the Buddha for a healthy sum, the artist softens toward the animal he believes has brought him luck. According to legend, the proud and haughty cat was denied the Buddha’s blessing for refusing to accept his teachings and pay him homage. So when the artist, moved by compassion for his pet, includes the cat in his painting, the priest rejects the work and decrees that it must be destroyed. It seems the artist’s life is ruined as well—until he is rewarded for his act of love by a Buddhist miracle.

Want to see books about cats?

Books About Ancient To 499 Ad and Culture

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The Fabled Life of Aesop
Written by Ian Lendler & illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Honoring the path of a slave, this dramatic picture-book biography and concise anthology of Aesop’s most child-friendly fables tells how a child born into slavery in ancient Greece found a way to speak out against injustice by using the skill and wit of his storytelling—storytelling that has survived for 2,500 years. Stunningly illustrated by two-time Caldecott Honor winner Pamela Zagarenski.

The Tortoise and the Hare. The Boy Who Cried Wolf. The Fox and the Crow. Each of Aesop’s stories has a lesson to tell, but Aesop’s true-life story is perhaps the most inspiring tale of them all.

Gracefully revealing the genesis of his tales, this true story of Aesop shows how fables not only liberated him from captivity but spread wisdom over a millennium. This is the only children’s book biography about him.

Includes thirteen illustrated fables:  The Lion and the Mouse, The Goose and the Golden Egg, The Fox and the Crow, Town Mouse and Country Mouse, The Ant and the Grasshopper, The Dog and the Wolf, The Lion and the Statue, The Tortoise and the Hare, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, The North Wind and the Sun, The Fox and the Grapes, The Dog and the Wolf, The Lion and the Boar.

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Echo Echo
Written by Marilyn Singer & illustrated by Josee Masse
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

A new book of unique reversible poems based on Greek myths from the creator of Mirror Mirror

What happens when you hold up a mirror to poems about Greek myths? You get a brand-new perspective on the classics! And that is just what happens in Echo Echo, the newest collection of reverso poems from Marilyn Singer. Read one way, each poem tells the story of a familiar myth; but when read in reverse, the poems reveal a new point of view! Readers will delight in uncovering the dual points of view in well-known legends, including the stories of Pandora’s box, King Midas and his golden touch, Perseus and Medusa, Pygmalion, Icarus and Daedalus, Demeter and Persephone, and Echo and Narcissus.

These cunning verses combine with beautiful illustrations to create a collection of fourteen reverso poems to treasure.

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Steeds of the Gods
Written by Lucy Coats & illustrated by Brett Bean
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

Demon is getting used to his role as the official Beast Keeper to the gods on Mount Olympus. The gods are getting used to him, too–until Helios and Poseidon decide to involve him in a feud! The two gods are planning a race to see which of their steeds are the fastest. Both vengeful gods have requested Demon’s help, but he can choose only one.

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. Frozen Man - Recounts the discovery of a man’s remains found frozen in the Alps, and describes how scientists determined that he had died five thousand years earlier

  2. Hound of Hades - Having proven himself capable of caring for the mythical creatures that dwell on Olympus, eleven-year-old Demon is summoned by the great god Hades to the Underworld to tend to Cerberus, the three-headed dog Guardian of the Underworld, which has been beaten by Demon’s nemesis, Heracles.

  3. Tales of the Greek Heroes (Puffin Pixels) - Embrace your inner geek with Puffin Pixels Puffin Pixels is a collection of classics featuring pixelated, 8-bit video game cover artwork in the Minecraft style. Some of the oldest and most famous stories in the world–the adventures of Perseus, the labors of Heracles, the voyage of Jason and the Argonauts, are vividly retold in this single, connected narrative of the Heroic Age, from the coming of the Immortals to the first fall of Troy. With fresh dialogue and a brisk pace, the myths of this version are enthrallingly vivid.

  4. The Fox and the Crow - In this timeless Aesop’s fable, a fox and a crow vie for a piece of bread. This breathtakingly beautiful picture book adapted by Manasi Subramaniam with dark humor is an exploration of this tale. The artist Culpeo S. Fox makes each page stand alone like a brilliant painting; when the pages come together, they tell us the story like never before.

Books About Ancient To 499 Ad and Egypt

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The Egyptian Cinderella
Written & illustrated by Shirley Climo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This Egyptian spin on the classic Cinderella tale was initially recorded in the first century by a Roman historian and is retold here by folklorist Shirley Climo.

Poor Rhodopis! She has nothing—no mother or father, and no friends. She is a slave, from the far-off country of Greece. Only the beautiful rose-red slippers her master gives her can make Rhodopis smile.

So when a falcon swoops down and snatches one of the slippers away, Rhodopis is heartbroken. For how is she to know that the slipper will land in the lap of the great Pharaoh himself? And who would ever guess that the Pharaoh has promised to find the slipper’s owner and make her queen of all Egypt?

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Mystery of the Egyptian Scroll
Written & illustrated by Scott Peters
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

You, who have dug deep and sifted hard for a story to read, have unearthed an ancient treasure: a mystery from the dusty ages, when a boy could be a hero and fight for the good of all . . . Zet and Kat are in charge, now that their father’s off fighting in Pharaoh’s army. But times are hard. Sales are dead at their family pottery stall. When Zet learns of a reward to capture a thief, he’s determined to win it. At first, the clues seem easy to track. Then he begins to fear things have gone too far. The chase leads them into forbidden temples whispering with the voices of ancient gods, into a web that threatens to crush their family forever. Praise for Scott Peters’ books: HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY: Steve Donoghue says: “Peters is such a natural and gifted storyteller” MIDDLE GRADE FICTION FINDER: Laurie Cameron says: “I recommend this historical novel”

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Of numbers and stars
Written by D. Anne Love & illustrated by Pam Paparone
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Presents the life of a Egyptian woman who lived in fifth century Alexandria and became a respected scholar in mathematics and philosophy.

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. Cleopatra VII, Daughter of the Nile - Written in a diary-style format, this work presents the experiences and feelings of the young queen-to-be while providing informative facts about her homelife, family and royal enviroment. 90,000 first printing.

  2. We're Sailing Down the Nile - Climb aboard the river boat! We re sailing down the Nile. We ll visit Abu Simbel in just a little while.

  3. Mummies in the Morning - Jack and his younger sister take a trip in their tree house back to ancient Egypt, where they help a queen’s mummy continue her voyage to the Next Life.

  4. Pharaoh's Boat - Presents the story of a boat of ancient Egypt that was build in the shadow of the Great Pyramid of Giza by the shipbuilders of their time to serve the pharaoh, Cheops, on his journey through the underworld.

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