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Under the hot Egyptian sun, ancient shipwrights chopped, pounded and strained. The death of the pharaoh Cheops required two magnificent ships be built to guide him across the eternal “winding waterway” of sky. More than 4,000 years later, in 1954, an Egyptologist makes an astonishing discovery. Peering through a tiny excavation hole, he glimpses a fragment of wood—one of the pharaoh’s boats. Expert restoration specialist Ahmed Youssef Moustafa is given the task of reconstructing the boat, all 1,224 pieces. Weitzman, no stranger to transportation design (A Subway for New York, 2005, etc.), 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. (acknowledgements, afterword, map) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 18, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-547-05341-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2009

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The whimsy is slight—the story is not—and both its interest and its vocabulary are for the youngest members of this age...

Beverly Cleary has written all kinds of books (the most successful ones about the irrepressible Henry Huggins) but this is her first fantasy.

Actually it's plain clothes fantasy grounded in the everyday—except for the original conceit of a mouse who can talk and ride a motorcycle. A toy motorcycle, which belongs to Keith, a youngster, who comes to the hotel where Ralph lives with his family; Ralph and Keith become friends, Keith gives him a peanut butter sandwich, but finally Ralph loses the motorcycle—it goes out with the dirty linen. Both feel dreadfully; it was their favorite toy; but after Keith gets sick, and Ralph manages to find an aspirin for him in a nearby room, and the motorcycle is returned, it is left with Ralph....

The whimsy is slight—the story is not—and both its interest and its vocabulary are for the youngest members of this age group. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 1965

ISBN: 0380709244

Page Count: 180

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1965

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A pleasing new picture book looks at George Washington’s career through an agricultural lens. Sprinkling excerpts from his letters and diaries throughout to allow its subject to speak in his own voice, the narrative makes a convincing case for Washington’s place as the nation’s First Farmer. His innovations, in addition to applying the scientific method to compost, include a combination plow-tiller-harrow, the popularization of the mule and a two-level barn that put horses to work at threshing grain in any weather. Thomas integrates Washington’s military and political adventures into her account, making clear that it was his frustration as a farmer that caused him to join the revolutionary cause. Lane’s oil illustrations, while sometimes stiff, appropriately portray a man who was happiest when working the land. Backmatter includes a timeline, author’s notes on both Mount Vernon and Washington the slaveholder, resources for further exploration and a bibliography. (Picture book/biography. 8-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-59078-460-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2008

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