Isis and Osiris (Bilingual Multicultural Book) - Somali/English
Author: Dawn Casey
Illustrator: Nilesh Mistry
This myth is about Isis and Osiris, the most popular Egyptian deities. It tells the story of when beloved King Osiris is murdered by his jealous brother Set, who throws his casket into the Nile. It's up to Queen Isis to search Egypt for his body so his spirit can be set free. Osiris goes on to become ruler of the Land of the Dead, where Egyptians longed to go after death. This classic tale teaches about Egyptian burial rites and how the first mummy was created.
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Isis and Osiris: An Ancient Egyptian Myth retells the legend of two of the most popular Egyptian gods. It is upon their story that Egyptian burial rites are based as well as the explanation for the annual flooding of the Nile.
In the story, Osiris and his wife Isis are Pharaoh and Queen of Egypt. During their reign, peace prevails, and they are beloved by all Ė except Osirisí brother Set.
The jealous Set secretly devises a plan to destroy Osiris forever. He has an exquisitely beautiful casket built to Osirisí dimensions, traps his brother inside, and has his followers fling the coffin into the Nile, killing Osiris. Set then seizes the throne.
When Isis realizes her husband is dead, she weeps bitterly and embarks upon a quest to find Osirisí body so it can receive the proper burial rites. During her quest she gives birth to her son Horus and gives him to the goddess of the delta for safekeeping. Isis continues her search, eventually finding the casket and her husbandís body. She returns to Egypt, hiding the casket in the delta while she rushes to see her son.
The wicked Set finds the coffin, and recognizing it, rips Osirisí body into pieces, scattering them over the length and breadth of Egypt. Discovering this, Isis weeps enough tears to flood the Nile. She then travels over all Egypt gathering the pieces together, and eventually swathing them in bandages and embalming them with ointment. Thus Egyptís first mummy was made.
The spirit of Osiris is released and passes into the Land of the Dead, where he becomes ruler for all eternity. After many years, Horus, now a young man, does battle with Set and vanquishes him. Horus, like Osiris before him, rules wisely and well.
This book, aided by its stylized and distinctive illustrations, manages to tell an important albeit grisly tale in a beautiful way. It is not recommended for very young or sensitive children, who may not be mature enough for its content.
- Maureen Barlow Pugh, Culture Connection Newsletter