MUMMIES OF THE PHARAOHS

EXPLORING THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS

An introduction to ancient Egypt and the Pharaohs buried in the Valley of the Kings. The authors begin with how archaeologist Howard Carter found the tomb of King Tut, then move back 3,000 years to the time of Thutmosis I, who built the first tomb in the Valley of the Kings. Finally they describe the building of the tomb of a later Pharaoh, Ramses II. The backward-forward narration is not always easy to follow, and the authors attribute emotions to the Pharaohs without citation. For example, “Thutmosis III was furious [with Hatshepsut]. He was especially annoyed that she planned to be buried in KV 20, the tomb of her father.” Since both these people lived 3,500 years ago, speculation on who was furious or annoyed should be used with extreme caution. And the tangled intrigue of Egyptian royalty is not easily sorted out in so brief a work. Throughout, though, there are spectacular photographs of ancient Egyptian artifacts, monuments, tomb paintings, jewels, and death masks that will appeal to young viewers. The photographs of the exposed mummies of Ramses II, King Tut, and Seti I are compelling. More useful for the hauntingly beautiful photos than the text. (brief bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-7922-7223-4

Page Count: 64

Publisher: National Geographic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2001

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VAQUEROS

AMERICA’S FIRST COWBOYS

Logically pointing out that the American cowboy archetype didn’t spring up from nowhere, Sandler, author of Cowboys (1994) and other volumes in the superficial, if luxuriously illustrated, “Library of Congress Book” series, looks back over 400 years of cattle tending in North America. His coverage ranges from the livestock carried on Columbus’s second voyage to today’s herding-by-helicopter operations. Here, too, the generous array of dramatic early prints, paintings, and photos are more likely to capture readers’ imaginations than the generality-ridden text. But among his vague comments about the characters, values, and culture passed by Mexican vaqueros to later arrivals from the Eastern US, Sadler intersperses nods to the gauchos, llaneros, and other South American “cowmen,” plus the paniolos of Hawaii, and the renowned African-American cowboys. He also decries the role film and popular literature have played in suppressing the vaqueros’ place in the history of the American West. He tackles an uncommon topic, and will broaden the historical perspective of many young cowboy fans, but his glance at modern vaqueros seems to stop at this country’s borders. Young readers will get a far more detailed, vivid picture of vaquero life and work from the cowboy classics in his annotated bibliography. (Notes, glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2001

ISBN: 0-8050-6019-7

Page Count: 116

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2000

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THANKSGIVING

THE TRUE STORY

After surveying “competing claims” for the first Thanksgiving from 1541 on, in Texas, Florida, Maine, Virginia and Massachusetts, Colman decides in favor of the 1621 event with the English colonists and Wampanoag as the first “because the 1621 event was more like the Thanksgiving that we celebrate today.” She demonstrates, however, that the “Pilgrim and Indian” story is really not the antecedent of Thanksgiving as we celebrate it today. Rather, two very old traditions—harvest festivals and days of thanksgiving for special events—were the origin, and this interesting volume traces how the custom of proclaiming a general day of thanksgiving took hold. Yet, since many Thanksgiving celebrations in towns and schools are still rooted in the “Pilgrim and Indian” story, which the author calls “true and important,” but which many Native Americans find objectionable, a more in-depth discussion of it is warranted here. The solid bibliography does include some fine resources, such as 1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving (2001) by Catherine O’Neill Grace and Margaret M. Bruchac. (author’s note, chronology, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-8050-8229-6

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2008

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