The new National Geographic Treasury of Egyptian Mythology is a stunning tableau of Egyptian myths, including those of pharaohs, queens, the boisterous Sun God Ra, and legendary creatures like the Sphinx. The lyrical storytelling of award-winning author Donna Jo Napoli dramatizes the timeless tales of ancient Egypt in the year when Angelina Jolie will make Cleopatra a multimedia star. And just like the popular National Geographic Treasury of Greek Mythology, the stories in this book will be beautifully illustrated to bring ancient characters vividly to life.
The stories are embellished with sidebars that provide historical, cultural, and geographic context and a mapping feature that adds to the fun and fascination. Resource notes and ample back matter direct readers to discover more about ancient Egypt. With its attractive design and beautiful narrative, this accessible treasury stands out from all other mythology titles in the marketplace.
About the Author
DONNA JO NAPOLI is professor of linguistics at Swarthmore College, mother of five, grandmother of two, and the author of more than seventy books for children and young adults. While her undergraduate major was mathematics and her graduate work was in linguistics, she has a profound love of mythology, folklore, and fairy tales. Her website is donnajonapoli.com
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The artwork presented within this tome is impeccable to say the least. The colors thrive on the pages and burst forth with life. However, that seems to be the only thing going in this books favor. My only qualm with the art is that it is extremely white washed. If you are going to talk about Egypt, let's get things right. Especially, if this is going to be a book for children; as they need to have some variance and truth. At that young of an age, they need to see Egypt as it really is. Let's lay some foundation here. According to Ancient Egyptian beliefs, the world began from the waters of Nun; that is absolute nothing/chaos. The Ogdoad, consisting of eight deities in four male-female sets are as follows: Nu and Naunet; Kuk and Kauket; Huh and Hauhet; and Amun and Amaunet each represented the primordial concepts. That is the primordial waters, air, hidden powers, darkness and obscurity, eternity and infinity, invisibility, and air. As these forces shifted and became unbalanced, a celestial bird, either Bennu (Phoenix) or Ibis (as the deity Thoth) laid the egg upon a mound in which Ra was born. To clarify, there were gods in existence before Ra was even a creational thought! The literature within almost appalls me. The amount of research dedicated to this is minimal to say the least. I'll begin by stating that the Ancient Egyptians were a polytheistic culture. This book makes the folly of attempting to convert a polytheistic society into a monotheistic, western one. It is beyond irritating that I can't seem to read this without feeling that there is some form of biblical implication or translation within. Within the Introductory segment (Page 7) the very last sentence reads, "Perhaps the Egyptians, then, really believed in only one god- the sun god- who could take many forms." This would prove to be inaccurate as there were at least eight if not nine (because of Thoth) deities who existed prior to Ra's creation. The Ancient Egyptians had complex rituals for each god/goddess in their own independence. These deities were seen as separate and complex. Not just a simple aspect of a single deity. The history, for instance, behind Horus and Set is too complex to just say that one is good and the other bad. (You can gather some of Ancient Egypt's beliefs and rituals through Alchemical studies, as Alchemy originated in Ancient Egypt and China.) Furthermore, while the god's epithets seem like a creative attempt to differentiate between your book and others, I hate to say but Ra is not the "God of Radiance". He is the God of the Sun. The Sun and Radiance are not synonymous. Set/Sutekh is not the Envious God. He is the God of the Desert, Storms, Discord, and Foreign Lands. If the author had taken consideration, she might have noted in her research that Set was a deity who was actually worshipped along side Ra for many years. Special areas of Ancient Egypt were dedicated just to him, the Sun God's best lieutenant. I also don't appreciate how Ms. Napoli depicts Set as wholly evil or jealous. It is true that he did some questionable things but why was there no mention of him at the prow of the sun barque- defending Ra from Apep? He was a mediating force rather than an evil one. Apep was evil. I think the author should have done more research and the artist should pay more attention to the culture-style in which they are drawing/coloring. Not everyone in Egypt is going to be pasty white, like myself. It's almost offensive.