Bab Sharkey and the animal mummies: the prickly battle by Andrew Hansen

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Illus. by Jessica Roberts. Walker Books, 2020. ISBN: 9781760651190. 240pp.
(Age: 8+) Highly recommended. This is the fourth in a series of adorably crazy stories about a boy called Bab Sharkey who becomes the new Pharaoh of the lost city of Animal Mummies, after a magical Pharaoh's beard attaches itself to his chin (Book one: The weird beard). He becomes the ruler of a group of dead mummified creatures who become his friends despite their smell. After enduring the cruel Unpharaoh, who has seemingly passed into the afterlife, the kindly Bab is very welcome.
The author, Andrew Hansen, a standout comedian and writer for comedy shows such as The Chaser, has lots of funny asides and comments added in his story about Bab grappling with Unpharaoh now leading a large army of enslaved animal mummies to overthrow him.
Jessica Robert's illustrations add to the humour of the text. Spread throughout the novel they strangely illustrate the world Hansen creates, giving it a grounding that is easy to assimilate.
Jessica Roberts and husband Andrew Hansen have co-authored the series, inspired by a trip to Egypt where they saw a range of mummified animals including a fish and ibis, the creatures which make up Bab's friends, Scaler and Prong.
The Mummy files at the end of the book give a fascinating profile of the main characters and is followed by a brief biography of Andrew and Jessica, and advertisements for the other three novels in the series. Themes: Fantasy, History, Adventure.
Fran Knight