This is an exceptional book for children from ages 4 to 10 or 12. It was written with such love, and read with such tenderness, that the listener is drawn into it like wrapping oneself in a warm towel. Rarely have I heard the kind of heart that this book contains, and my 3 kids love it! We listen to books in the car every day (literally) and this is always the one they ask for first.
I like the fact that the theology is solid. Yes, the author imagines some aspects of daily life and inserts some dialog, but nothing that is counter to authentic Scripture. The important points of each biography are included, true to Scripture. And the author ties each chapter to the overarching message of the Bible, Jesus' creation of man, His love for us, and His salvation of us.
Suchet is clearly a gifted actor, but he's more. He takes his time with this reading, which allows the child to drink it in, savor it, and make discoveries in her own mind as she reads it. He lets it breathe, which makes it come to life. He does all this without plodding or "talking down" to the listener. And he obviously loves God, which makes his tender yet vibrant performance authentic.
I would not listen to it in one sitting. There is a lot to think about between stories. Time must be given for God to speak to children's tender hearts, without rushing to the next chapter.
If you're looking for a simple overview of Egyptian history, you should know that the first hour of the book is spent retelling myths about the gods: Rah, Isis, Osiris, Horus, Anubis, Seth, etc. These myths are certainly pertinent to the history and culture of Egypt -- and really interesting to hear -- but it's not what I expected. However, after about an hour, the book turns to history in terms of actual people. My homeschooled children, ages six, seven and eight, enjoyed listening to the two-hour-plus audiobook. At about an hour in, I asked if they wanted to finish the rest later or switch to music, and they all said they'd rather keep listening. It's not a little kids' book, though, and it will take a few listenings for my kids to absorb the bulk of the information. That's a good thing. As an adult, I found the level of detail to be just right for the novice. I can remember the dynasties and tell them apart, I know which came first and which Egyptian god had the head of a jackal (Anubis). For cultural literacy, it's a great place to start. You'll hold your own during conversations at cocktail parties and gallery openings, and you'll be able to answer questions from kids. It takes a historian with a strong grasp of his subject to create a book that tells the tale simply and memorably. If you want to drill down for more information -- on Seit I or Hatshepsut, for example -- there are other books containing more detail on various pharaohs and dynasties. But if you don't know where to start, start here. The mythology/history approach opens the door to learning about mythology in other ancient cultures, and how a culture's myths and objects of worship impact their worldview, government, values and traditions.
The narrator has a clear voice and speaks slowly enough for the listener to take in what he is saying. His volume is consistent. A good choice for this book.
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