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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Akia's Adventure: The Sequel to Pharaoh's Arrow is a historical adventure picture book for children written and illustrated by George Neeb. Akia had settled in quite nicely as one of the dancers in the limestone palace that housed the Pharaoh and his family. She had come to the city determined to wreak vengeance upon the man who had shot and killed her dad with his golden arrow, but had found it in her heart to forgive him instead. Akia was now the Pharaoh’s favorite dancer, and she was even more like a daughter to him. They played Senet together, and he took her on trips and adventures instead of his own children who were still too young. But the eldest prince was jealous of the time the Pharaoh spent with Akia. The Pharaoh’s wife was concerned by her son’s unhappiness and asked the Pharaoh to send Akia away, but he was adamant that Akia would remain a member of the household while he reigned. What could the Great Wife do about the situation? And would she succeed in exiling Akia from the royal household?
Neeb’s story is engrossing and suspenseful, and his characters are far better defined than those often encountered in a children’s book. The artwork is marvelous! Neeb’s illustrations make the Egyptian background of the story come to vivid and colorful life. His pictures have the look and feel of the period they are depicting, and they work perfectly with the story as it unfolds. Neeb does much more than tell an entertaining story, however; he includes a glossary of the hieroglyphics to be found in the book as well as giving a tutorial for readers who want to recreate their own images of ancient Egypt. He gives pointers on how to represent people as ancient Egyptian artists did and gives the basics on how to make your picture look as though it were painted on papyrus rather than paper. Teachers should have a field day sharing this book with their class and continuing the lesson by having children experiment with crayons using the techniques taught in the book. Akia's Adventure: The Sequel to Pharaoh's Arrow is most highly recommended.