Mummy Cat

Book review by
Jan Carr, Common Sense Media
Mummy Cat Book Poster Image
Mummified pet searches for his queen in lively tomb tale.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Information about daily life in the royal court in ancient Egypt, their beliefs about the afterlife, and specifics about mummification. Introduction to hieroglyphs.

Positive Messages

Love and connection may survive death. Pets and friends are loyal.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The mummy cat misses the girl queen and wants to reconnect with her. In life, the two were inseparable, their connection strong.

Violence & Scariness

In the art, not the text, readers discover that the deaths of the Egyptian queen and her cat by scorpion sting were not an accident. Priests wrap dead bodies. The afterword describes mummification in graphic detail, noting that "the mummy's liver, lungs, and stomach all had to be removed and placed in their own special jars. (The brain, however, was not put in a jar. Typically, it was removed through the nostrils … and thrown away!)" 


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Marcus Ewert's Mummy Cat, cleverly illustrated by Lisa Brown, is a picture book for older kids interested in ancient cultures and ready to think about death and the afterlife. A mummified cat comes back to life in his pyramid and looks for the beloved queen, with whom he's entombed. There's information in both the story and an afterword about royal life in ancient Egypt, mummification, and beliefs about the afterlife. The murals on the wall tell a more detailed story of the life the cat and queen shared, complete with palace intrigue; a rival in the court planted the scorpion that killed them. This book is perfect for young Egyptologists, though some kids may shy from the tomb setting and mummy protagonist.

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What's the story?

The mummified pet of an Egyptian queen comes to life in their shared tomb and looks for the queen he loved. As the cat passes the detailed murals, he recalls the happy life the two shared, playing on a boat on the Nile and napping together by a pool, until a scorpion stung and killed them and priests wrapped their lifeless bodies. Will the MUMMY CAT find "the queen of his heart"?

Is it any good?

This highly original introduction to Egyptology offers an engaging fictional story told in lively rhyming text embedded in nonfiction detail. The murals on the walls, skillfully rendered in the style of Egyptian tomb art, illustrate the life the cat and his queen shared and show that the scorpion sting that killed them was not accidental. A four-page afterword describes the mummification process in some graphic detail and offers information about the real Queen Hatshepsut, the importance of cats in ancient Egypt, and hieroglyphs.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about ancient Egyptians and their beliefs about death and the afterlife. What did they believe? What do you believe?

  • How did the Egyptians mummify bodies? What do Americans do with bodies after death? 

  • Look carefully at the illustrations. Is there more story in the art than the text? Where did the scorpion come from? What do you think happened? 

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love picture books and history

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