As six children sail down the Nile River, they visit seven sites including the Valley of the Kings, Al-Faiyum Oasis, Cairo, and the Great Pyramid of Giza. The immensity of temple statues, the activity of the marketplace, and the difference between farmland and Cairo's skyline come alive in the printed collaged papers on painted backgrounds in naive style. The mediums and layout emphasize the warm colors of the Egyptian desert in contrast with the cool colors of the river, sky, and vegetation. Following the story, the destinations are highlighted on a map and described in two sentences each, leaving out important details. The author misses an opportunity to introduce the term "felucca" for the Egyptian sailboat and never states that the Nile is the world's longest river or explains why it flows north. Appended pages summarize the periods of ancient Egyptian history, social classes, mummies and pyramids, the mighty floods, and "Egyptian Scripts." Despite a spread devoted to ancient gods and goddesses, it never becomes clear why each page of the story includes a box featuring a god and his/her symbol. Despite some flaws in the overall package, the rhyming verses of the children's journey and the accompanying illustrations do create a simple introduction to Egyptian sites.
Julie R. RanelliCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.