Cover image for Voices of ancient Egypt
Voices of ancient Egypt
Winters, Kay.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : National Geographic Society, [2003]

Physical Description:
32 pages : color illustrations ; 32 cm
Individual craftsmen, artists, and laborers describe the work that they do in Egypt during the time of the Old Kingdom, and the historical note places them in context.
The scribe -- The farmer -- The pyramid builder -- The herdsman -- The birdnetter -- The washer of clothes -- The weaver -- The goldsmith -- The embalmer -- The dancer -- The carpenter -- The sailor -- The marshman -- Historical note.
Reading Level:
780 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.5 0.5 73102.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 4.5 3 Quiz: 36512 Guided reading level: O.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DT61 .W58 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
DT61 .W58 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
DT61 .W58 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Beautiful full-color illustrations and poems tell the stories of different occupations in ancient Egypt, from the farmer to the pyramid builder, from the goldsmith to the embalmer. Based on the latest historical research, Voices of Ancient Egypt conveys a dramatic sense of everyday life in this multicultural civilization.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Author Notes

Kay Winters was captivated by Egypt during visits as a language arts consultant in the American International Schools in Cairo and Alexandria. This author of numerous children's books now lives in Quakertown, PA.

Barry Moser is an award-winning artist, illustrator, book designer and publisher. His work graces the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the British Museum collections.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 3-6, younger for reading aloud. Evocative words and an arresting design bring a long-gone civilization to life. Each two-page spread introduces an essential cog in the Egyptian wheel: a portrait of a scribe, or a pyramid builder, or a dancer, taking up almost a whole page, faces a lyrical yet sturdy first-person introduction. The scribe says, I study day and night, / learn law, literature, and mathematics, / copy retold tales. / . . . others bear lashes to build tombs / . . . weave cloth in airless rooms, / I unlock secrets in ancient scrolls. Great care has been taken with format. The spreads are seamless; the backgrounds are the color of sand. The words, which stand out against the pages, black marks in the middle of a desert, are simply decorated by a hieroglyph that represents the worker's job. Moser's robust workers, with complexions that reflect the landscape, sometimes appear alone against the background, but they are always engaged in their work. An informative historical note offers more information about each occupation, and a bibliography is appended, but it might have been nice to learn about Moser's artistic sources. A fine choice for social studies classes, where the book can be used for reader's theater. --Ilene Cooper Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Those who contributed to the way of life in the pharaohs' time proudly describe their work in the poems in Voices of Ancient Egypt by Kay Winters, illus. by Barry Moser. From the Scribe, who "unlock[s] secrets in ancient scrolls," to the Weaver, who "create[s] cloth fit for gods," and the Goldsmith, whose work "glitters almost as bright as our sun god Re," these portraits of dedicated craftsmen have resonance today, even as their words re-create a civilization of long ago. Endnotes provide additional factual details. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-This book presents the voices of 13 individuals in various Old Kingdom occupations, ranging from scribe to herdsman. Winters uses first-person, free-verse poems to describe the workers' duties and places in society. Her verse is rich with informative detail: "I am a washer of clothes./Brother to the crocodile,/I spend my days in water./I soak the clothes, beat them with a wooden stave,/then wrap them around a stick/to wring out the wet." The author gives voice to the birdnetter and marshman, whom other authors neglect or lump together under headings such as "Peasants." Women are represented in the occupations of farmer, dancer, and weaver. Moser provides visual context for the selections with delicately textured watercolors. Clothing, tools, and landscapes are imagined with such faithful attention to historical detail that readers will learn as much from the illustrations as from the text. The figures, rendered in warm brown hues, embody the grace and serene strength often associated with ancient Egyptian culture. Together, text and art lend dignity to each laborer's efforts, working from the assumption that stonecutters and sailors alike took pride in their contributions to Pharaoh's kingdom. A lovely browsing title, Voices also contains valuable information for students. The historical notes and bibliography will prove especially helpful for reports.-Eve Ortega, Cypress Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.