________________ CM . . . . Volume XVI Number 38 . . . . June 4, 2010


Kings and Carpenters: One Hundred Bible Land Jobs You Might Have Praised or Panned. (Jobs in History).

Laurie Coulter. Illustrated by Martha Newbigging.
Toronto, ON: Annick Press, 2010.
96 pp., pbk. & hc., $16.95 (pbk.), $25.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55451-226-3 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-55451-227-0 (hc.).

Subject Headings:
Occupations-Israel-History-Juvenile literature.
Occupations-Palestine-History-Juvenile literature.
Iron age-Israel-History-Juvenile literature.
Iron age-Palestine-History-Juvenile literature.
Canaanites-Juvenile literature.

Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.

Review by Rosemary Hollett.

**** /4


Dung Fuel Maker

Unlike people of the future, you don’t waste animal waste. To make fuel for your family’s bread oven, or tabun, you mix farm animal dung with straw, shape the mixture into flat cakes, and dry the cakes in the sun. Don’t worry: not even the smoke from the fuel comes into contact with the bread. When the fuel is dry, you pile it against the outside wall of the pottery oven. Once your grandmother lights the dung, the pebble floor inside the oven will glow hot enough to bake the bread dough that’s been placed on top of it.

Kings and Carpenters is the fifth book in the “Jobs in History” series produced by Annick Press. Author Laurie Colter has written three of the five titles and has once again hit the mark with this entertaining, humorous yet informative look at life in “Old Testament” times. The book describes in some detail the work that both the aristocracy and commoners performed. The occupations in this diverse social system run the gamut from king to date picker, from city governor to pirate.

     The 100 careers featured here are divided into eleven categories. Students will be drawn (as I was) to explore such intriguing chapters as Fiery Jobs and Spicy, Scented Jobs. Readers will discover that several of the jobs described here are forerunners of work done today. Olive oil makers, inventory clerks and yogurt makers may still be found, but beetle carvers, necromancers and charioteers may be a little harder to find.

     The material is very well presented. The book begins with an extensive table of contents followed by a full introduction to Bible times. Information on geography and history, a time-line and maps will ignite student interest. A brief mention of writing forms is particularly intriguing as is the examination of work done by archeologists in the past and in the present. Concluding the job section is a short summary of the Bible lands today and the struggles of those living there. Recommended further reading and a full index complete the 96 paged volume.

     The illustrations by Martha Newbigging add life and color to the brief, witty descriptions. The cartoon-like presentation complements the tongue-in-cheek humour of the author’s text. Newbigging has illustrated all five of the “Jobs in History” series confirming the success of her work.

     Having reviewed Kings and Carpenters, I am now excited to add the other titles in the series to our library. I know my students will borrow the books again and again.

Highly Recommended.

Rosemary Hollett is the librarian at St. Emile School in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.