The Chaser’s Andrew Hansen and his wife, designer Jessica Roberts, have signed a two-book deal with book publisher Walker Books. The series will be the couple’s first children’s books.
Aimed at middle-grade readers, Hansen and Roberts’s first foray into children’s publishing is a funny adventure story about mummified animals set in an ancient city lost in the Egyptian desert. The first book will be titled Bab Sharkey and the Animal Mummies: The Weird Beard.
The story follows Bab, a lonely 12-year-old boy who unexpectedly finds the friends he’s always needed: a pair of undead animals wrapped in bandages. Scaler the Fish Mummy and Prong the Ibis Mummy possess a long-lost magical artefact, the Pharaoh’s Beard. The Beard has strange powers and also allows Bab to visit Mumphis, the bizarre city of the Animal Mummies.
But it isn’t all beardy good times in Mumphis. The previous owner of the Beard was an ancient and not-very-nice sorceress called the Unpharaoh. Her unpleasant habits include hissing a lot and blasting lightning bolts out of her nostrils. With the aid of her scheming (and terribly vain) servant, Cainus the Jackal Mummy, the Unpharaoh returns from the Afterworld to seize control of Mumphis once again. Can Bab and his new Animal Mummy friends use their unique skills to defeat Cainus and banish the Unpharaoh back to the Afterworld?
‘We took a trip to Egypt in 2009, and were surprised to come across many mummified animals at the Cairo Museum,’ said the authors. ‘They were amazing and terrifying and we wondered what their stories were, and so the idea for Bab Sharkey and the Animal Mummies was born!’
Hansen and Roberts will co-author the books. Roberts will illustrate them. Expect the first book in early 2018.
About the Contributor
Anastasia Hadjidemetri is the former editor of The Booktopian and star of Booktopia's weekly YouTube show, Booked with Anastasia. A big reader and lover of books, Anastasia relishes the opportunity to bring you all the latest news from the world of books.