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Mummified? We Dig It! Review Bab Sharkey and the Animal Mummies: The Weird Beard

May 8, 2018

Twelve-year-old Bab Sharkey is living with his mum, an archaeologist on a dig site in Egypt – something that most kids could only dream of!

Thrown out of school because he is smarter than the teachers, Bab loves spending time with his over protective mum (she wraps him in bubble wrap each day for added protection!) but he really misses having someone his own age to hang around with.

Bab fills his time sneaking out at night, finding ancient Egyptian artefacts, reading and helping his mum look for the Pharaoh’s Beard – her life’s quest. That is, until he rather surprisingly discovers two mummified animals lying dead on the sand.

Bab and his mum drag them back to camp, but in the middle of the night – ka-thunk, clicka-clacka, clicka-slam – in a hurricane of bandages and decaying flesh Prong (a mummified ibis) and Scaler (a mummified fish) awake. If that’s not astounding enough, they have with them a box and in it is the Pharaoh’s Beard!

Things get even weirder (yes, it is possible!) when the beard proceeds to jump out of the box and throw itself at Bab’s chin where it firmly attaches itself.

Once it becomes clear that the beard is not coming off any time soon and a glowing city and pyramid appear out the window there is no escaping the fact that Bab is expected to live up to his new-found position of Pharaoh of Mumphis.

You might be thinking it would be quite nice to live like a Pharaoh and wield your power over Egypt, even if your subjects are decaying animals. However, the last Pharaoh (confusingly called the Unpharaoh) plans to return from the dead to take back the beard and she isn’t very friendly!

Tapping into the love that kids have for Egypt and mummies along with the love of gross things like a brain sucking machine, Bab Sharkey is perfect for the 8+ reader.  The book is also filled with illustrations that set the tone for this quirky plot and will have the kids in fits of laughter – think someone with mini corns stuffed up their nose. 

Authors Andrew Hansen of The Chaser and his wife, illustrator Jessica Roberts, don’t stop there. After reading the book, parents and children can visit the website where there are companion songs, discussion points and an activity guide. This highly creative duo have just put hours of fun into the hands of kids everywhere!

Purchase a copy of Bab Sharkey and the Animal Mummies: The Weird Beard
Learn more about Bab Sharkey 

Andrew Hansen is a comedian, actor and musician, best known as a member of Australian comedy group The Chaser, whose TV shows include Media Circus, The Hamster Wheel, The Chaser’s War on Everything and CNNNAndrew’s radio work includes shows on Triple M as well as composing and starring in the musical comedy series and album The Blow ParadeOn stage Andrew composed and starred in the musical Dead Caesar, did two national tours with The Chaser and two national tours of two-hander comedy shows with Chris Taylor. In print he wrote for the humorous fortnightly  newspaper The Chaser, eleven Chaser Annuals and The Chaser QuarterlyHe has contributed short stories to Best Australian Comedy Writing and Journey Through HumourHis debut children’s book Bab Sharkey and the Animal Mummies: The Weird Beardwas released in 2018 by Walker Books Australia.

 Jessica Roberts writes, draws and films stories. She has a Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design, and a Foundation Diploma in film studies. Originally from Kyneton, Victoria, Jessica grew up surrounded by an odd collection of pets,including dogs, quails, chickens, sheep, goats, rabbits and a donkey. Her stories often involve animals and she uses her childhood memories of growing up in the country as a bank of ideas for storytelling. A trip to Egypt in 2009 inspired the idea for her first book, Bab Sharkey and the Animal Mummies: The Weird Beard, was released in 2018 by Walker Books Australia

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