Friday, January 18, 2008

Book Review: Miss Behave And the Sacred Cats of Ancient Egypt

Miss Behave And The Sacred Cats Of Ancient Egypt
Writer and illustrator: Camille Lagarrigue
Publisher: Siamese, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-920143-09-1
Availability: Email Camille and/ check your local bookstore


When all the witches are summoned to Egypt for their annual conference Miss Behave's enemies - Miss Spell, Miss Fortune and Miss Take - see it as the perfect opportunity to turn her trip into a nightmare.


One of the signs that Baby likes a book I'm reviewing is that she treats it like her own book. She reads it more than once and every time I want to take a look at it, she has to go find it on her bookshelf.

Sometimes that makes for tense moments, especially when she takes the book to school to show to her friends/classmates.

"The people who give me books expect me to review them. If i don't then I become the shyster who tool their books under false pretences," I tell her.

Camille Lagarrigge's Miss Behave and the Sacred Cats Of Ancient Egypt is among the books that Baby and I fight about. Before I could say "book review" she had read the book a couple of times and was happily showing to a friend living next door.

The girls even started cutting out the very interesting clothing designs usually included in Miss Behave books.

For an author the fact that readers are so keen on a book is a wonderful compliment.

It means that the story and the characters resonate with them and they want to spend as much time in that world as possible.

Once I could fully appreciate this, I was happy to stand in line for my turn to read Miss Behave and the Sacred Cats Of Ancient Egypt.

So what do I think?

Miss Behave and the Sacred Cats of Ancient Egypt is a multi-layered book. On the surface you have an interesting adventure story of a young, unconventional witch who goes to Egypt to attend a conference.

Soon she finds herself in a pickle and has to ask for help from an old friend. Through that friend she experiences more adventure.

But when you look closely at the illustrations, new insight about the characters begins to emerge. You learn a bit of history, coupled with humorously absurd legends the author creates to give her characters and the story depth.

I was fascinated with the long conference agenda, which included broom licenses (for flying), flying lessons, child repellents and an exhibit of non-stick cauldrons.

It made me wonder how Miss Behave, who travels by bike, has previously done when using a broom.

All in all, Miss Behave and the Sacred Cats of Egypt is a wonderful read. I recommend more than on reading session for the kids, because each page is packed with text and visual information and it's far too easy to miss something while concentrating on the surface story. Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom - let your email find you!

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