April 24, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Nile Crossing by Katy Beebe | SLJ Review

Get the latest SLJ reviews every month, subscribe today and save up to 35%.

redstarBEEBE, Katy. Nile Crossing. illus. by Sally Wern Comport. 34p. Eerdmans. Oct. 2017. Tr $18. ISBN 9780802854254.

Gr 2-5 –Readers will gain a whole new perspective on the first day of school when they read about a fisherman’s son in ancient Egypt on his first day. Khepri and his father leave their quiet village before dawn to sail down the Nile to the busy city of Thebes, where the boy will learn to be a scribe. “I walk close beside my father. He puts a reassuring hand on my shoulder, and the words we do not say fill the hush of dawn.” Once they arrive and his father hugs him goodbye, Khepri is left alone to face his fears. “As I stand outside the courtyard, I hear the other boys talking and laughing inside. My new pen case is strange in my hand. Already I miss the feel of the net and the weight of a good catch.” The narrative ends before his school day begins, but a few pages of notes offer more information about his first day as well as about school in ancient Egypt in general. After a new friend teaches him to write his name, he says, “Good…Now you just have to learn about seven hundred more signs, how they go together in a thousand different ways, and all the sacred texts. Not a bad start, as the serpent said when he swallowed the toe of the hippopotamus.” Endpapers tell Khepri’s story in hieroglyphs, and the beautifully rendered illustrations, in shades of blue, green, yellow, and orange, were created digitally with pastels and acrylics. Meticulously researched, the pictures effectively capture the setting and characters’ dress as well as the mood on this momentous morning. VERDICT Quiet but beautifully written, this is a great informational read-aloud about starting school, ancient Egypt, and hieroglyphics.–Barbara Auerbach, formerly at New York City Public Schools

This review was published in the School Library Journal November 2017 issue.

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind