Seeker of Knowledge : The Man Who Deciphered Egyptian Hieroglyphs

Overview

To a child, the future is a magnificent dream. For Jean-Francois Champollion, the dream was to sail up the Nile in Egypt and uncover the secrets of the past. In 1802, when Champollion was eleven years old, he vowed to be the first person to read Egypt's ancient hieroglyphs. He faced great challenges over the next twenty years as he searched for the elusive key to the mysterious writing -- and the fulfillment of his dreams.
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2003 Hard cover Turtleback School & Library ed. This is library binding-Absolutely brand new(gift quality)! ! -No international shipping available[CH-L] Glued binding. 32 p. ... Contains: Illustrations. Audience: Children/juvenile. Read more Show Less

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Overview

To a child, the future is a magnificent dream. For Jean-Francois Champollion, the dream was to sail up the Nile in Egypt and uncover the secrets of the past. In 1802, when Champollion was eleven years old, he vowed to be the first person to read Egypt's ancient hieroglyphs. He faced great challenges over the next twenty years as he searched for the elusive key to the mysterious writing -- and the fulfillment of his dreams.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A tale of heroic perseverance and discovery, Rumford's (The Cloudmakers) picture book biography of Jean-Fran ois Champollion, the early-19th-century amateur scholar who first deciphered hieroglyphs, will fire the imagination. Elegant watercolors offer pivotal views of the determined young Frenchman, from his initial boyhood interest in Egypt through the years of solo study while teaching school in Grenoble, to his meeting with Napoleon, with whom he shared a passion for Egypt ("Napoleon dreamed of glory. Jean-Fran ois dreamed of discovery"), his eventual breakthrough in 1822 and, finally, his expedition up the Nile. As adept with his pen as he is with his watercolor brush, Rumford etches his lucid prose with lyrical descriptions ("The rushing sound of the pharaoh's name, as if carried on wings across the centuries, filled the room"). Occasional hieroglyphs (suggesting "meet," "sailed," "dog," "celebrated" and so on) are inserted in the text but are too simplistic to intrigue readers. Much more effectively, the margins are peppered with examples of Egyptian words and their hidden meanings: "There is a long-necked, far-seeing giraffe in `predict,' " for instance, and "There are strongly woven sandals firmly planted on the ground in `never give up.' " An afterword provides further information, and a chart of a couple dozen hieroglyphic words offers a glimpse of the translation process. Ages 5-9. (Apr.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
An introduction to Jean-Francois Champillion, the French scholar who provided the first clues to unlocking the mystery of the Rosetta Stone serves also as a fine introduction to Egyptology. Rumford faces each page of text with illustrations of Champillion from his childhood interest in hierglphys through his near-disastrous talk with Napoleon to his triumphant linking of a cartouche which encircled the name of the Egyptian god of writing. By including glyphs in the text as well as round it, Rumford involves young readers in the complicated meaning of hieroglyphs which may represent letters, or sounds, or nuance. For instance, double sandals planted firmly on the ground represent "never give up" while a cane shape represents the letter "s." Back matter gives further information and a box gives a sample of how one might translate some hieroglyphs. For a much younger audience than Carol Donoughue's excellent The Mystery of the Hieroglyphs (Oxford 1999), this book is especially well-suited for classroom use in the middle elementary grades studying Egyptian civilization. 2000, Houghton Mifflin, Ages 8 to 11, $15.00. Reviewer: Susan Hepler—Children's Literature
School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-This picture-book biography tells the intriguing story of the man who deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphs. As a child, Jean-Fran ois Champollion learned that no one could read Egyptian writing and determined that he would be the one to do so. By age 16, he had learned all the known ancient languages and was eager to work with scholars who were attempting to translate the hieroglyphs with the help of the Rosetta Stone. Though they turned him down, he doggedly pursued his passion on his own and at age 30, had a sudden breakthrough. While studying the name of a Pharaoh copied from a temple wall, he discovered that the characters were not just related to meaning, but also to sounds. Though the key to unlocking the secret may not be completely clear to children, Champollion's fascination with hieroglyphs and the realization of his dream will capture their interest and perhaps whet their curiosity for further study. Framed watercolor paintings done in soft blues, purples, and sunlit pinks evoke a sense of mystery compatible with the suspense of the scholar's discovery process. Small hieroglyphs are embedded in the text. Those with less-obvious meanings seem distracting at first reading. More effective are the larger, captioned ones in the margins that make the picture-meaning connection clear ("There is a long-necked, far-seeing giraffe in `predict'"). Overall, an engaging introduction to a timeless topic.-Adele Greenlee, Bethel College, St. Paul, MN Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780613608350
  • Publisher: Turtleback Books: A Division of Sanval
  • Publication date: 7/1/2003
  • Pages: 32
  • Product dimensions: 10.78 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.39 (d)

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