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PHARAOH’S BOAT by David Weitzman Kirkus Star


by David Weitzman & illustrated by David Weitzman

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: May 18th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-547-05341-7

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)