RA The Mighty

I had a lot of fun illustrating A.B Greenfield’s Ra the Mighty: Cat Detective for Holiday House earlier this year. It publishes in the U.S in September. The kind publicity peeps at Holiday House have sent on an advance review.

The book is in hardback with a wraparound cover, specifically designed so that RA’s eye falls across the spine, so he can keep an eye on things from your bookcase.

Here’s the review:

GREENFIELD, A.B. Ra the Mighty: Cat Detective of Pharaoh’s Court. 216p. Holiday House. Sept. 2018. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780823440276.

Gr 2-5–Ra is Pharaoh’s cat: a position of great honor, privilege, and feline laziness. Set in ancient Egypt, this lightly humorous mystery follows Ra’s growth from self-centered lethargy to a true detective—with help from his friends. A precious amulet belonging to Pharaoh’s wife has been stolen, and a young servant girl named Tedimut was framed for the crime. A kitchen cat approaches Ra seeking justice. Ra reluctantly accepts the challenge, with some prodding from his scarab beetle friend Khepri. Time is running short though; Pharaoh declares the theft treasonous, which is tantamount to a death sentence for the thief. The story is enhanced by delightful black-and-white illustrations. Ra’s initial vanity is well balanced with the apparent steadfastness of his friendship with a dung-loving beetle. Proud and lazy as Ra may be, his unwavering loyalty to a vulnerable friend makes him a multidimensional character from the outset. An author’s note and list of sources help clarify fact and fiction. VERDICT A charming page-turner of a mystery; recommend to cat lovers and young Egyptologists.

–Sara White, Seminole County Public Library, Casselberry, FL


and one more from Kirkus:

Ra is Pharaoh’s Cat, exalted, proud, pampered, and very lazy.

He lives for naps and snacks and views physical activity with horror. His friend Khepri, a scarab beetle, tries to get him moving, but to no avail. When Miu, a lowly kitchen cat, begs him to use his knowledge of the palace’s secrets to help Tedimut, a young human girl falsely accused of stealing an amulet, he declines, appalled at the possibility of missing his next snack. Shamed into helping, he leads the way through the intricacies of the palace. They find Tedimut’s hiding place, and after hearing her story, Ra decides to be the lead detective, with Khepri as his sidekick, to find the real thief. They track clues throughout the palace and get help from Aat, the Great Wife’s leopard; Bebi, the pet baboon of Pharaoh’s mother; and others. Overheard conversations, palace intrigue, chases, and loads of red herrings come into play before they find the surprise culprit and solve the mystery. Greenfield’s tone is generally lighthearted, but there is an undertone concerning the nature of power. The exciting ancient setting, as well as the characters’ idiosyncratic personalities and their delightful repartee, will appeal to young readers. Horne’s pen-and-ink portraits, elongated and exaggerated, perfectly complement the seriocomic tone of the novel.

Fast-paced adventure with a lot of charm. (glossary of names, author’s note, source note, acknowledgements) (Historical fantasy/mystery. 8-11)