STARRED REVIEW
October 23, 2017

A first day of school in Egypt

By Katy Beebe, illustrated by Sally Wern Comport

Both a compelling story and an intimate look at ancient life, Nile Crossing shines with the ancient Egyptian canon—hieroglyphics, the Nile and scarab beetles—and will fill multiple roles in any library.

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Both a compelling story and an intimate look at ancient life, Nile Crossing shines with the ancient Egyptian canon—hieroglyphics, the Nile and scarab beetles—and will fill multiple roles in any library.

Against the backdrop of Egypt’s lush Nile River and the bustling city of Thebes, author Katy Beebe introduces readers to Khepri, a serious, curious and introspective child on his way to school for the first time. Using the Egyptian language of hieroglyphics to illuminate Khepri’s story, Sally Wern Comport’s illustrations feel like hieroglyphics come to life: vibrant and detailed, yet resonating with the style of ancient Egypt. As though painting on papyrus, Comport uses color and texture to create the dense night, the lush vibrancy of the Nile, the warmth of Khepri’s home, the hum of Thebes.

For those interested in ancient Egyptian culture and life, Nile Crossing provides an insider’s view. Imbued within the tale and the artwork are the Nile River’s vital role, the significance of the gods and the value of the land and family. While it seems Khepri’s story ends too soon, readers will be delighted to find passages about ancient schools, papyrus and ink, as well as the first hieroglyphic lesson he learns. A glossary of terms and titles for further reading round out this brilliant book.

Well-researched and passionately created, Nile Crossing might be one of the most fascinating, educational and unique books of the year. Beebe writes about her lifelong fascination with ancient Egypt; this book could very well launch a new generation of Egyptologists.

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Nile Crossing

Nile Crossing

By Katy Beebe, illustrated by Sally Wern Comport
Eerdmans
ISBN 9780802854254

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