“Deep within this maze of stone, / a creature wakes up, all alone.”
On this evening in Egypt, a cat that has been mummified and placed inside a pyramid awakens “for the first time in a hundred years.” Will he find what he is looking for? Ewert has created a compelling story that masterfully melds introductory information about the ancient Egyptian practice of mummification, its royalty, the people’s reverence of cats, and a look at hieroglyphics. As the cat explores the tomb, he fondly remembers his owner, Hatshepsut, and all they did together. Brown expertly employs a mix of media to create illustrations in a palette of soft browns with pops of blue, yellow, and orange hues. Paintings on the pyramid’s walls depict not only the cat and the queen’s relationship, but also the perils of being an Egyptian ruler. The mummy cat wanders, lonely. “This cold, golden coffin—is this all he gets? / Where is the girl he can never forget?” Readers will smile as the page turn reveals the mummy queen beginning to emerge from her sarcophagus. For those who would like to learn more, the backmatter includes succinct yet helpful notes on “Mummies, Cats, Queens, and Hieroglyphs.” A seek-and-find feature with sets of hieroglyphs invites further investigation as well.
Elegantly designed for young fans of ancient Egypt, this sweet ghost story of a pet’s love for its owner transcends time. (Picture book. 5-9)