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Nile Crossing



written by
Katy Beebe
illustrated by
Sally Wern Comport

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Com
Imprint
Eerdmans
ISBN
9780802854254
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None
$15.30   $12.75
SEE MEMBER PRICE
QTY
Out of stock

JLG Category

Easy Reading Plus

Khepri lives in ancient Egypt, happily fishing alongside his father in the waters of the Nile. But today, Khepri will have to replace his fishing pole with the reed pens of a scribe: it's his first day of school. Information about writing and about school in Ancient Egypt. Further reading. Author's note. Illustrator's note. Glossary. Full-color illustrations.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

34

Trim Size

11 1/2" x 10 1/4"

Dewey

E

AR

4.9: points 0.5

Lexile

AD960L

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Oct 2017

Book Genres


Topics

First day of school. Anxiety. Ancient Egypt. History of Egypt to 332 B.C. Fathers and sons. Nile River.

Standard MARC Records

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

The Horn Book Magazine, School Library Journal*

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
Readers will gain a whole new perspective on the first day of school when they read about a fisherman’s son in ancient Egypt on his first day. Khepri and his father leave their quiet village before dawn to sail down the Nile to the busy city of Thebes, where the boy will learn to be a scribe. “I walk close beside my father. He puts a reassuring hand on my shoulder, and the words we do not say fill the hush of dawn.” Once they arrive and his father hugs him goodbye, Khepri is left alone to face his fears. “As I stand outside the courtyard, I hear the other boys talking and laughing inside. My new pen case is strange in my hand. Already I miss the feel of the net and the weight of a good catch.” The narrative ends before his school day begins, but a few pages of notes offer more information about his first day as well as about school in ancient Egypt in general. After a new friend teaches him to write his name, he says, “Good . . . Now you just have to learn about seven hundred more signs, how they go together in a thousand different ways, and all the sacred texts. Not a bad start, as the serpent said when he swallowed the toe of the hippopotamus.” Endpapers tell Khepri’s story in hieroglyphs, and the beautifully rendered illustrations, in shades of blue, green, yellow, and orange, were created digitally with pastels and acrylics. Meticulously researched, the pictures effectively capture the setting and characters’ dress as well as the mood on this momentous morning. VERDICT Quiet but beautifully written, this is a great informational read-aloud about starting school, ancient Egypt, and hieroglyphics.—Barbara Auerbach, formerly at New York City Public Schools

Horn Book

In ancient Egypt, a boy named Khepri sets off with his father in the dark with “My Lord Thoth, the moon” shining overhead. Khepri narrates their journey with lyrical observations in sentences broken up like lines of poetry: “Our crossing is too long and too short, / and when we step into the cool mud on the other side, / I want to stay and to go.” After their boat ride down the Nile, they arrive at Thebes through an imposing gate, the blue Nile with its fish, birds, and plants on the left side of the spread contrasting with the formal and stylized drawings on the gate and the sand-colored ancient city environment on the right. They arrive at their destination, and Khepri’s father hands him some special reeds: “but these reeds are not for fishing. / These reeds are pens for writing.” An appended double-page spread extends the boy’s fictitious story and explains more about ancient Egyptian life, including a selection of further reading. Illustrator Comport’s note describes her research for the book using photographs and textiles, the results of which are clearly seen in pictures that combine the two-dimensionality of ancient Egyptian art with more naturalistic techniques to show the Nile and Khepri’s emotions in a splendid panoply of rich colors. The warmth of the father-son relationship and the familiar feelings of strangeness that any child experiences at the beginning of school will help today’s readers relate to a character from very long ago. susan dove lempke

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
Readers will gain a whole new perspective on the first day of school when they read about a fisherman’s son in ancient Egypt on his first day. Khepri and his father leave their quiet village before dawn to sail down the Nile to the busy city of Thebes, where the boy will learn to be a scribe. “I walk close beside my father. He puts a reassuring hand on my shoulder, and the words we do not say fill the hush of dawn.” Once they arrive and his father hugs him goodbye, Khepri is left alone to face his fears. “As I stand outside the courtyard, I hear the other boys talking and laughing inside. My new pen case is strange in my hand. Already I miss the feel of the net and the weight of a good catch.” The narrative ends before his school day begins, but a few pages of notes offer more information about his first day as well as about school in ancient Egypt in general. After a new friend teaches him to write his name, he says, “Good . . . Now you just have to learn about seven hundred more signs, how they go together in a thousand different ways, and all the sacred texts. Not a bad start, as the serpent said when he swallowed the toe of the hippopotamus.” Endpapers tell Khepri’s story in hieroglyphs, and the beautifully rendered illustrations, in shades of blue, green, yellow, and orange, were created digitally with pastels and acrylics. Meticulously researched, the pictures effectively capture the setting and characters’ dress as well as the mood on this momentous morning. VERDICT Quiet but beautifully written, this is a great informational read-aloud about starting school, ancient Egypt, and hieroglyphics.—Barbara Auerbach, formerly at New York City Public Schools

Horn Book

In ancient Egypt, a boy named Khepri sets off with his father in the dark with “My Lord Thoth, the moon” shining overhead. Khepri narrates their journey with lyrical observations in sentences broken up like lines of poetry: “Our crossing is too long and too short, / and when we step into the cool mud on the other side, / I want to stay and to go.” After their boat ride down the Nile, they arrive at Thebes through an imposing gate, the blue Nile with its fish, birds, and plants on the left side of the spread contrasting with the formal and stylized drawings on the gate and the sand-colored ancient city environment on the right. They arrive at their destination, and Khepri’s father hands him some special reeds: “but these reeds are not for fishing. / These reeds are pens for writing.” An appended double-page spread extends the boy’s fictitious story and explains more about ancient Egyptian life, including a selection of further reading. Illustrator Comport’s note describes her research for the book using photographs and textiles, the results of which are clearly seen in pictures that combine the two-dimensionality of ancient Egyptian art with more naturalistic techniques to show the Nile and Khepri’s emotions in a splendid panoply of rich colors. The warmth of the father-son relationship and the familiar feelings of strangeness that any child experiences at the beginning of school will help today’s readers relate to a character from very long ago. susan dove lempke

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