REVIEW: Ra the Mighty: The Great Tomb Robbery by A. B. Greenfield, illustrated by Sarah Horne
A smug royal cat turned detective and his dung beetle sidekick are on the case when a precious tomb gets ransacked in the Valley of the Kings.
Ra the Mighty adores his duties as Pharaoh’s cat: naps by the pool and plenty of snacks. Being lazy is so much fun. But when a royal tomb gets robbed, Ra and his hardworking friend Khepri must team up to restore justice. The clues point to a young boy whom Ra admires. Will the Great Detective play favorites, or will he uncover the truth? Mystery awaits!
More than thirty wacky illustrations with fun historical details bring these oddball characters to life, along with a glossary, pronunciation guide, and detailed author’s note about ancient Egypt. Fans of Bad Kitty will love Ra’s witty voice and arrogant antics.
Dear Ms. Greenfield,
Sorry I missed the first installment, Ra the Mighty: Cat Detective, of this series but that didn’t stop me from enjoying Ra and his friends solve the tomb robbing mystery.
Ra – or to give him his full, majestic title Ra the Mighty, Lord of the Powerful Paw, Great Pharaoh’s Cat – is a feline who likes his little perks. Well, wouldn’t you like a fleet of servants to feed, brush, and pamper you? I thought so. As faithful companion to mighty Pharaoh, Ra does enjoy the finer things in life and especially wants to be sure that the special tomb that he will have for all eternity – with little clay servants, spiced food, fancy furnishings, and lovely tomb paintings of his favorite places – is being properly built. Along with his best friends Khepri and Miu (who know and love him despite his faults), Ra heads off to the Valley of the Kings where the three discover that something horrible has happened.
The tomb of Setnakht – ancestor if Pharaoh – and his beloved companion Pamiu – ancestor of Ra – have been ransacked and the humans are, in Ra’s opinion, dithering around doing nothing to solve the crime. Though Ra fears that looking for clues will cut into his snacking and sleeping time, he reluctantly agrees with Khepri that Something Must Be Done. And he is the cat to solve this mystery despite the jumped up seventh cousin of Miu who lives in the village and sneers at Ra as Fancypaws. But can the intrepid trio put together the clues and solve the dastardly robbery. Then get the humans to understand what they’ve found?
Ra is such a cat. No, really. He likes his comforts and basically thinks of himself first but when the lifestyle to which he is accustomed is threatened, he will bestir himself to straighten things out. He also gets a glimpse of how the other half lives – both cats and humans – and learns a lesson from his kitchen cat friend Miu about what is really more important – one’s tomb or how one treats people and animals in this life. He might not be the sharpest chisel in the tomb but he does have native intelligence when he stops to use it and is blessed with friends who rally around and help see justice done.
Everyday details of life in Egypt are cleverly worked into the story and there are enough clues given so that the culprit makes sense. Though the story is aimed towards young readers (grades 2-5/ages 7-10), I had fun reading it and looking at the illustrations of Ra and the animals and humans in his life. B