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Secrets Of The Sphinx

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James Cross Giblin, this year's winner of the Sibert Medal, has written a stunning exploration of one of history's most mysterious structures. The Great Sphinx is one of the largest sculptures in the world. Six stories high and a city block wide, it has stood guard over the pyramids of Egypt's Giza Plateau for 4,500 years. Who built the Sphinx and why? And how did primitive James Cross Giblin, this year's winner of the Sibert Medal, has written a stunning exploration of one of history's most mysterious structures. The Great Sphinx is one of the largest sculptures in the world. Six stories high and a city block wide, it has stood guard over the pyramids of Egypt's Giza Plateau for 4,500 years. Who built the Sphinx and why? And how did primitive sculptors manage to carve such a towering monument? In search of answers, James Cross Giblin takes readers back to a time before written history and traces the trail of clues left behind by the ancient Egyptians. As he explores various theories, Giblin seamlessly incorporates fascinating information on the pyramids, the Rosetta Stone, Atlantis, and more.


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James Cross Giblin, this year's winner of the Sibert Medal, has written a stunning exploration of one of history's most mysterious structures. The Great Sphinx is one of the largest sculptures in the world. Six stories high and a city block wide, it has stood guard over the pyramids of Egypt's Giza Plateau for 4,500 years. Who built the Sphinx and why? And how did primitive James Cross Giblin, this year's winner of the Sibert Medal, has written a stunning exploration of one of history's most mysterious structures. The Great Sphinx is one of the largest sculptures in the world. Six stories high and a city block wide, it has stood guard over the pyramids of Egypt's Giza Plateau for 4,500 years. Who built the Sphinx and why? And how did primitive sculptors manage to carve such a towering monument? In search of answers, James Cross Giblin takes readers back to a time before written history and traces the trail of clues left behind by the ancient Egyptians. As he explores various theories, Giblin seamlessly incorporates fascinating information on the pyramids, the Rosetta Stone, Atlantis, and more.

30 review for Secrets Of The Sphinx

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michael Fitzgerald

    Refreshingly free of sidebars, bulleted lists, pull-out definitions, etc., this book is presented in a format that gives plenty of room for the lovely illustrations - a variety of layouts are used, including some two-page spreads. I appreciated that the Greek legend of Oedipus and the sphinx was included at the very end, noting that this is "a different kind of sphinx," as I'm sure many kids would get this confused with the Egyptian one. I felt too much attention was given to the crackpot Atlanti Refreshingly free of sidebars, bulleted lists, pull-out definitions, etc., this book is presented in a format that gives plenty of room for the lovely illustrations - a variety of layouts are used, including some two-page spreads. I appreciated that the Greek legend of Oedipus and the sphinx was included at the very end, noting that this is "a different kind of sphinx," as I'm sure many kids would get this confused with the Egyptian one. I felt too much attention was given to the crackpot Atlantis theories of Edgar Cayce - basically 8 pages worth (out of 48). The book does not endorse these views at all, but the mere extent seemed overkill.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Julianne Doucet

    Secrets of the Sphinx by James Cross Giblin is a fantastic picture book that brings to life ancient Egyptian culture in a magical way that sparks the curiosity and imagination of the reader. The Great Sphinx in Egypt is a massive and impressive piece of work and what’s even more impressive is that it was built before the world had the tools that we have now. The author tells what we do know about the society that built this great monument but then goes on to discuss what we don’t know, which is Secrets of the Sphinx by James Cross Giblin is a fantastic picture book that brings to life ancient Egyptian culture in a magical way that sparks the curiosity and imagination of the reader. The Great Sphinx in Egypt is a massive and impressive piece of work and what’s even more impressive is that it was built before the world had the tools that we have now. The author tells what we do know about the society that built this great monument but then goes on to discuss what we don’t know, which is a lot. The reader is forced to use their imagination to picture this world so different from our own. The author does a great job at going back and forth between informing the reader and telling a story; which I believe is a great way to keep young readers turning the page. Moreover, the illustrations in this book are vivid and truly bring to life what we know about Ancient Egyptian culture which reinforces and expands upon the text in many ways.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ella Gordon

    This book would definitely not be an easy read for most students. Most of the pages are filled with text. That being said this book does an excellent job of incorporating images that correspond with the text and the illustrations are beautiful. The illustrations are also a unique and useful perspective in a very interesting way from an art perspective. I think that this book would be an excellent resource for older elementary students doing a report on Egyptian culture and specifically the Spinx This book would definitely not be an easy read for most students. Most of the pages are filled with text. That being said this book does an excellent job of incorporating images that correspond with the text and the illustrations are beautiful. The illustrations are also a unique and useful perspective in a very interesting way from an art perspective. I think that this book would be an excellent resource for older elementary students doing a report on Egyptian culture and specifically the Spinx.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    This is a good text for any young reader interested in ancient Egypt or Egyptology. The text is well written using appropriate vocabulary for the target audience, defining necessary terms contextually or parenthetically. Although the title of the book is Secrets of the Sphinx, Giblin goes beyond the sphinx to provide historical context as well as several theories about the building of the statue. Giblin’s text clearly delineates between fact and theory and presents multiple views on several Sphi This is a good text for any young reader interested in ancient Egypt or Egyptology. The text is well written using appropriate vocabulary for the target audience, defining necessary terms contextually or parenthetically. Although the title of the book is Secrets of the Sphinx, Giblin goes beyond the sphinx to provide historical context as well as several theories about the building of the statue. Giblin’s text clearly delineates between fact and theory and presents multiple views on several Sphinx controversies including who build it, when it was built and interpretations of hieroglyphs on and near the Sphinx. Giblin ends the text with several helpful items including a list of unanswered questions about the Sphinx, a timeline, the Greek legend of Oedipus which involves the Sphinx, his source notes and bibliography, and an index. Ibatoulline’s illustrations are artistic interpretations of archeological and historical information. The illustrations are attractive and serve to enhance and interpret the text. It is slightly disappointing that there are no actual photographs of the Sphinx, especially in the section which talks about the encroachment of modern Cairo and damage done to the Sphinx by pollution.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Becky B

    A look at the history of the Sphinx statue in Egypt and archeological clues as to its history. This was informative and I did learn some interesting things through it. The illustrations are also well done. It seemed a little uneven, though. I found it hard to believe that Giblin is convinced the Egyptians always treated their slaves well. He mentions archeological evidence he has for this but makes no mention of ancient literature that talks about this. Also, he spent an inordinate amount of time A look at the history of the Sphinx statue in Egypt and archeological clues as to its history. This was informative and I did learn some interesting things through it. The illustrations are also well done. It seemed a little uneven, though. I found it hard to believe that Giblin is convinced the Egyptians always treated their slaves well. He mentions archeological evidence he has for this but makes no mention of ancient literature that talks about this. Also, he spent an inordinate amount of time on the Cayce followers and the Atlantis mythology and how it relates to the sphinx supposedly, which seemed odd because everything else he mentions has solid archeological/historical evidence and that doesn't. I also found it strange looking through the bibliography that though this wasn't published till 2004, the newest resources he cited were from 1998. Why the six year gap? Was there nothing of note published about ancient Egypt in those six years? Or did it take him that long to find a publisher and then he didn't do any further research to update it? Overall, it is an ok resource but it could definitely have been better. Notes on content: Injuries in construction and death of pharohs are obviously talked about.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    This was a great exploration of what is known about the Sphinx. Unfortunately, Giblin spends too much time on the Cayce nuts who are convinced there is a passageway under the sphinx, thanks to something Edgar said, which concept Giblin dismisses. However, the rest of the book is excellent. I especially liked the explanation of how the Sphinx has been restored because of damage from age alone, Islamic fundamentalists (they've been around for a while, like other religions' fundamentalists), smog a This was a great exploration of what is known about the Sphinx. Unfortunately, Giblin spends too much time on the Cayce nuts who are convinced there is a passageway under the sphinx, thanks to something Edgar said, which concept Giblin dismisses. However, the rest of the book is excellent. I especially liked the explanation of how the Sphinx has been restored because of damage from age alone, Islamic fundamentalists (they've been around for a while, like other religions' fundamentalists), smog and pollution, as well as the expansion of the city of Cairo. I had no idea until I saw one of the photos Giblin included that the Sphinx was so close to Cairo, within walking distance apparently! The quick section telling how the sphinx influenced other cultures and how was pretty interesting too. Of course, the Greek sphinx with her famous riddle was mentioned there (what creature walks on 4 legs in the morning, 2 in the afternoon, 3 in the evening? Answer: man). Very good photos enhance the excellent text.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Shellie

    Actually I checked this book out because of the illustrator, but I don't want a shelf for that. The illustrator is Bagram Ibatoulline I fell in love with the illustrations from "Crow Call" so when I turned that book back to the library I asked the librarian to quick help me find other books illustrated by him. He is definitely both good and versatile. As for the book, well its a child's history of the Sphinx, not detailed and for the most part void of politics. It was actually well done and informa Actually I checked this book out because of the illustrator, but I don't want a shelf for that. The illustrator is Bagram Ibatoulline I fell in love with the illustrations from "Crow Call" so when I turned that book back to the library I asked the librarian to quick help me find other books illustrated by him. He is definitely both good and versatile. As for the book, well its a child's history of the Sphinx, not detailed and for the most part void of politics. It was actually well done and informative; a good place for a youngster to start learning.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Heather Edrington

    I don't think my fourth graders would be interested in this book for anything more than the pictures. The book is full of small text and I think it would be more than they would want to sit and read unless they were very interested in the topic. I would, however, be a good addition to a classroom that studies Ancient Egypt. I don't think my fourth graders would be interested in this book for anything more than the pictures. The book is full of small text and I think it would be more than they would want to sit and read unless they were very interested in the topic. I would, however, be a good addition to a classroom that studies Ancient Egypt.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    This is a really good book. I bought it because I am a big fan of Bagram Ibatoulline (the illustrator). True to form the pictures are gorgeous. But I read the whole book and it's enormously informative. It's thorough. I now know a whole lot more about the Sphinx--it's history and it's present and future as well. It was a pleasure. This is a really good book. I bought it because I am a big fan of Bagram Ibatoulline (the illustrator). True to form the pictures are gorgeous. But I read the whole book and it's enormously informative. It's thorough. I now know a whole lot more about the Sphinx--it's history and it's present and future as well. It was a pleasure.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Makayla

    This book has inspired me to write a new series bassed in Egypt!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Teri

    Really would like to pick this up when we begin studying ancient Egypt.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    This book makes me wish I taught elementary students. This is a great book to learn about Egypt.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Luann

    A relatively short book for James Cross Giblin, but fascinating nonetheless. Also, great illustrations.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Amy (DemonKittie)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Christie

  16. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  17. 4 out of 5

    Claire

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  19. 4 out of 5

    Grace Martin

  20. 4 out of 5

    Danzig

  21. 5 out of 5

    Krista the Krazy Kataloguer

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ellys Lim

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kayla

  24. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

  27. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

  28. 4 out of 5

    Yinzadi

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mary

  30. 5 out of 5

    Pinky

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