Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Pharaoh's Arrow is an historical picture book written and illustrated by George Neeb. Akia and her father moved far from the River Nile after Akia’s mother was eaten by a crocodile. Her father was so wracked by grief that he never wanted to even see that river again, and he wanted to keep his daughter safe from harm. The two of them thrived in the oasis where they had settled. Akia was athletically gifted and she loved climbing the trees in the oasis and eating the dates and fruit that grew all around them, and her father tended their flocks of goats. One day, they saw an entourage of Egyptians in chariots. Akia wondered if the pharaoh was among them, and she asked her father if they could follow the hunters to see them more clearly. Her father reluctantly agreed, but then tragedy struck. The pharaoh was indeed part of the hunt, and, inexplicably, he shot one of his golden arrows which struck Akia’s father and killed him instantly. Akia was devastated at losing first her mother and then her father, and she determined that she would go to the capital and confront the pharaoh.
George Neeb’s historical picture book, Pharaoh's Arrow, is a gorgeously illustrated tale of a young girl’s life in ancient Egypt. The plot is a compelling one that will capture the imaginations of readers and listeners alike. Neeb’s illustrations, which he based on actual Egyptian artwork, are very impressive indeed. His use of traditional colors, authentic hieroglyphics and drawing styles is accomplished, and I found myself poring over each panel to absorb and appreciate every little detail. What an amazing way to introduce an ancient culture to young children! Pharaoh’s Arrow is most highly recommended.