cover image Mummies at the Museum

Mummies at the Museum

Wong Herbert Yee. Holt/Ottaviano, $12.99 trade paper (112p) ISBN 978-1-62779-462

In this first book in the Hammy and Gerbee series, schoolmates Hammy the hamster and Gerbee the gerbil pursue a gleeful rivalry with Anna and Hanna, twin girl mice in their elementary school class. The girls know the right answers; the boys, not so much. In this comic’s early chapters, the four pupils settle in with their new teacher, Miss Capybara. Yee’s loose, scribbly line makes for adorable figures; Miss Cap’s whipped-cream hairdo and cat’s-eye glasses are particularly fetching. Victory and defeat are evenly distributed: Hammy and Gerbee fail to beat the twins at spelling (“B-A-N-A-N-N-A”) but succeed in using reverse psychology to get Anna to choose to the science museum for their field trip (“I sure hope Anna picks the art museum!”). The fast-paced later chapters see the class arrive at a mummy exhibition to view the tomb of Ratakomen. The enticing similarity between toilet paper and mummy wrap gives the boys an idea, but instead of disgracing themselves, they foil a crime. This is relaxed, congenial entertainment: Hammy and Gerbee are after easy laughs, and fans of broad humor will be satisfied. Ages 6–9. (Jan.)