From School Library Journal
Grade 4-6-Broida's overview of the Israelites, Phoenicians, and Philistines focuses on their history, food, clothing, written language, occupations, religious beliefs, and architecture. The stories of the Bible (Old Testament) are related throughout and students may have a hard time differentiating between what archaeologists have interpreted and what has been taken solely from biblical texts. When describing what we "know" about Philistine military dress, the author notes that while we do not know exactly what the giant Goliath wore, "all we really know is that his clothes must have been extra-extra large!" This conversational tone does make for livelier reading, but it is often pointless. Interestingly enough, there is no citation for the Bible in the bibliography. Included are several activities and recipes for each group. The projects are fairly simple, using common materials, and the illustrations will help children interpret the narrative directions. A number of black-and-white photographs and simple maps are included. Admittedly there is little for children about these ancient cultures, but Jonathan N. Tubb's Bible Lands (DK, 2000) is a better introduction. Students could then use Broida's book to further their knowledge on these peoples.Genevieve Gallagher, Orange County Public Library, VA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 4-7. The author of Ancient Egyptians and Their Neighbors
(1999) offers a companion volume about the Iron Age peoples who lived in Judah, as Israel, Phoenicia, and Philistia were known during the Iron Age. Beginning with a time line comparing important events in the three cultures, Broida explains what B. C. E
and C. E
. mean and provides some general background about each group. Later sections elaborate on the individual civilizations, describing history, architecture, clothing, language and writing, work, food, and religion. The author also provides directions for 35 child-friendly projects, ranging from stomping grapes into juice to making a model ship. Broida's reliance on archaeological finds and written historical records rather than religious traditions and biases makes for a stronger book. Frequent sidebars and black-and-white drawings, diagrams, photographs, and charts help to clarify and extend the information. With lists of books, articles, and Web sites, this will be a welcome addition to world history classes and a boon to religious-school teachers looking for new activities. Kay WeismanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved