Thursday, November 26, 2009

Kristin Butcher and the Touring Mummy

Earlier this week, Claire Eamer regaled us with her Canadian Children's Book Week adventures. Today I received an email from Kristin Butcher, who reported that her 10-day tour took her "from as far west as you can go in Canada to as far east as you can go." Here's what she had to say about her experience talking to kids about her latest book, Pharaohs and Foot Soldiers: One Hundred Ancient Egyptian Jobs You Might Have Desired or Dreaded:

The kids were enthralled with Pharaoh Phil and loved the embalming presentation. Of course, it didn't hurt that I always let one of them pull the brain out through the nose. It totally grossed out the teachers, but the kids thought it was great.

We covered all the jobs in the Afterlife chapter, from Cutter to Mourners. When I told the kids that the mourners threw dirt on themselves, they wanted to know if they threw it at each other too. Only kids would think of that. Today's young people are pretty knowledgeable, and there was always someone in the group who knew about the brain being extracted through the nose, as well as other sundry bits of information. It helped to keep the presentation moving—though not always in the direction I had envisioned.
Kristin also sent along some pictures from one of her presentations. Here are some of the tools and props she uses in her embalming demonstration, in which the class gets to help mummify "Pharaoh Phil."

And here's Kristin and Pharaoh Phil, pre-embalming:

I'll leave you with this close-up of Pharaoh Phil, who looks rather nonchalant about his approaching mummification:

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