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Pharaoh's Boat Hardcover – May 18, 2009


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Pharaoh's Boat + The Great Pyramid: The story of the farmers, the god-king and the most astonding structure ever built (Wonders of the World Book) + The True Story of Noah's Ark (with audio CD and pull-out spread)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 1170L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (May 18, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 054705341X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547053417
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 11.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"[Weitzman] weaves the history, texts, mythology, and customs of ancient Egypt into an effective narrative, drawing readers in . . . The paintings’ earth tones, accentuated by bright greens and blues, are both appropriate for the subject matter and pleasing to the eye; the boat becomes more complete with each turn of the page . . . Pharaoh’s Boat offers a unique glimpse into a common activity in ordinary ancient Egyptian life (boat building) instead of being just another book about mummies and pyramids."--School Library Journal, starred review

“Weitzman . . . gracefully merges past and present as he describes the intricate steps of how the boat was first built—and rebuilt, so many thousands of years later. The flat illustrations in warm earth tones mirror ancient Egyptian reliefs; each panel shows stages of construction and tools in action. The author carefully labels every part, allowing readers to follow along as the boat is pieced together. Culminating in an expansive gatefold, the pharaoh’s boat stretches wide. Both ship and story are a mastery of precise craftsmanship.”--Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Although Weitzman is perhaps best known for his work in black and white, the coloring in this book is as elegant as the line work, the pictures subtly using different styles to distinguish the two time periods. A map is appended; endpapers illustrating the panoply of Egyptian life will beckon readers in."--Horn Book

"Part mystery, part ancient history, this handsome book takes readers back in time . . . Skillful illustrations, many in the style of hieroglyphics, some in contemporary settings, demand attention. The typeface is small, but readers will be so intrigued it won’t deter them from this fascinating mix of archaeology and technology."--Booklist, starred review

"This will be a standout selection amid the glut of mummy books, and no self-respecting young Egypt enthusiast will want to miss it. "--Bulletin

About the Author

David Weitzman is the author and illustrator of OLD IRONSIDES, POURING IRON, SUPERPOWER, and his latest, THE PHARAOH'S BOAT. He lives in the mountains of northern California.

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Customer Reviews

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Having been to see this very boat in the museum at the Pyramid in Egypt I can vouch for this book's accuracy.
Margaret A. Turnbull
The reader will be thrilled when, toward the end of the book, the pages swing out to a four-page spread to show what one of these boats look like in its entirety.
D. Fowler
I find the fact that shipbuilding techniques have remained largely unchanged in more than 4000 years to be simply amazing.
Arabella Ark

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Will Riddle on March 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Ok, normal homeschooling mom here... not avid shipbuilder or Egypt fan like the other reviewers here, or anything important.

I was excited to pick up this book because it was new enough not to have made it into all my homeschooling catalogs yet. I was planning an Ancient Egypt unit and was sure that it was going to be a hit. The book was enjoyable, but slightly disappointing. It is a great book for boat engineering, not a fun Egyptian story.

The Pros: the illustrations are probably the best part. My boys in particular loved looking at the boats with all their details. They counted the sailors on the ships, asked questions about the building, and enjoyed the Egyptian artistic style. Truly, the book goes into incredible detail about the shipbuilding process--almost like a David Macaulay book except in color--so it will delight any boat fan.

Cons: it is incredibly boring. While this book looks like a children's story, it is NOT. There's no story really. My preschooler was gone before the fifth page. Each page and illustration is basically the same--the boat, the boat, and the boat again. Then, the story of the shipbuilding scholar begins, and that confused my little kids a lot. They thought they were just reading about the past but then the restorer of the boat, an Arabic historian, is suddenly drawn into the story. My older kids seemed to understand this transition fine, but then the text was still above their heads. Or else they just weren't interested enough. They didn't have enough engineering knowledge or attention to enjoy it more than once through.

So in my opinion, this is not a book for kids under third grade, really, unless you have an unusual shipbuilding aficionado.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By avid reader on May 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Egypt is every child's favorite subject, (second only to dinosaurs!), and this rich, beautifully - and FULLY! (check out the endpapers of planting and harvesting along the banks of the Nile!) illustrated book is also fascinatingly written, telling the double story of the building of the boat for the Pharoah in 4,000 years ago, and its excavation and re-construction by a native Egyptian archeologist 50 years ago. What a treat, and it's for all ages, really.

By the way, David Weitzman has a whole opus of great kid's books on early technologies. His website is weitzmanbooks.com.
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Format: Hardcover
Cheops, an Egyptian Pharaoh, had to prepare for his own death, like many before him. He built a magnificent pyramid that held "2,300,000 stone blocks" and was almost "five hundred feet high." The tomb was ready, but there was something else that needed to be built. His son Djedefre, who succeeded him to the throne, felt that something was missing in order to insure his "father's safe passage into the afterlife," so he set his men to work. Cheops needed two ships to take him to the other world and they must be magnificent to prove his stature here on Earth. The dead had to cross a body of water to get to the other side and they would have to be good ones.

During a 1954 excavation workers ran up against something very unusual when they were "clearing away tons of windblown sand and rubble" near the Great Pyramid at Giza. It was a wall, but what was it hiding? In the two pits lined with limestone blocks were Cheops' ships, each made of "decay-resistant cedar" that could "survive for thousands of years." This is the story of how the Egyptians constructed his ships and how thousands of years later Hag Ahmed Youssef Mustafa would excavate and reconstruct them. It would be like a puzzle, could Hag Ahmed discover the ancient Egyptian shipbuilding secrets and bring them back to life? Reconstructing a 1,224 piece puzzle without a picture would be a horrendous task!

This is a marvelous story about the Cheop's funerary ships that will fascinate many different types of readers, especially those with an interest in Egyptian antiquities and archaeology. The reader will be thrilled when, toward the end of the book, the pages swing out to a four-page spread to show what one of these boats look like in its entirety.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Arabella Ark on October 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
A review I read in Kidlitosphere and agree wholeheartedly with follows:
Nonfiction Monday - Pharaoh's Boat
When I was 13 I began reading Agatha Christie novels. Around the time I read Death on the Nile, my uncle (and godfather) was living and working in the Middle East for Kodak. I still treasure the picture I have of him sitting on a camel in front of the pyramids at Giza. Together, these two things (the book and the picture) started my life-long love affair with all things Egyptian.

Today I regularly spend time in elementary classrooms in Virginia where young children (second graders) learn about the contributions of ancient Chinese and Egyptian civilizations and how they have influenced the present world in terms of architecture, inventions, the calendar, and written language. I'm thrilled to report I have a new book to share with them.
Pharaoh's Boat, written and illustrated by David Weitzman, tells the story of a miraculous find near the south face of the Great Pyramid at Giza and how it was ultimately reconstructed. The book begins with a Prologue that hints at a mystery beneath the sand. With a turn of the page readers are transported back to ancient Egypt to the time of Cheops death. While Cheops had prepared for his own death by building a pyramid to house everything he would need in the afterlife, there was still a task that remained to be done upon his death.
Djedefre, Cheops's son, succeeded his father as pharaoh, and his first concerns were the rituals that would assure his father's safe passage into the afterlife. He ordered the construction of two magnificent ships: one to guide Cheops safely through the dark, perilous underworld of night, and the other to carry him up across the sky to embark on his eternal journey with the sun.
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