WHO BUILT THE PYRAMID? by Meredith Hooper


Age Range: 6 - 10


An unusual blend of fiction and nonfiction celebrates the individuals whose collective efforts built a pyramid 4,000 years ago. From Senwosret, the king who commanded its construction, through Imhotep, the priest who determined its placement, and Nakht, one of the laborers who actually wrestled the stones into place, to Wah, the water carrier—and Sasobek, the tomb robber who raided it—each man answers the question, “Who built the pyramid?” with brief poetic lines that capture each contribution. Nesumontu, the stonemason, says, “With my sharp eye and steady hand. / I’m a stonemason, like my father before me. / I cut and shaped the casing stones / to fit tight together on the outside of the pyramid. / You couldn’t slide a hair between them! / I built the pyramid.” One full-bleed, double-page spread highlights each contributor’s efforts, the stylized, blocky human figures in terra-cotta, against terra-cotta sand, white stone, and turquoise sky. Eight pages of concise, clear prose accompanied by photographs and diagrams follow these poetic presentations to explain “what happened next” and to explore in greater detail the building, robbing, and excavation of the pyramid. While this extended author’s note indicates that at least four of the characters introduced in the main body of the work were actual historical figures, it does not indicate that the artisans and laborers presented are fictional representations based on historic extrapolation. This information is buried with the copyright information, where most children will not encounter it. This detail aside, Hooper (Antarctic Journal, 2001, etc.) and newcomer Heighway-Bury, have concocted a sophisticated yet easily appreciated offering for budding Egyptophiles. (index) (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-7636-0786-X
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2001


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