THE STAR-BEARER by Dianne Hofmeyr


A Creation Myth from Ancient Egypt
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 10
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Using an ancient Egyptian creation myth from Heliopolis, and inspired by, but not bound to, Egyptian motifs, Hofmeyr and Daly offer a lovely pourquoi for the universe. In the beginning darkness, a lotus flower opened and Atum cast light into the world from its heart. Soon he blew across his hands and made Shu, the god of air, and Tefnut, the goddess of rain. These two teased and played, and their children were Geb, the god of earth, and Nut, the goddess of sky. Atum grew angry at Geb and Nut's closeness, and finally Shu had to keep them apart. Geb's struggle made hills and volcanoes and Tefnut's tears the plants; Nut was lifted high in an arch over Geb and Atum sprinkled her with stars so Geb could see her in the darkness. The children of Nut became the gods Osiris and others, and Atum retired to the sun, guided by Nut each day. The illustrations use line with great elegance, as Geb's body metamorphoses into hills and hillocks. Nut the sky turns from milky moonstone to deep lapis, and myriad blues and sweet greens set off the figures, for whom Egyptian conventions of hair, adornment, and skin tones are used. The language is complex enough so that this is best used as a read-aloud, and may go nicely with Tamara Bower's The Shipwrecked Sailor, another Egyptian story that speaks across millennia. (Picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: March 22nd, 2000
ISBN: 0-374-37481-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2001


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