Dan Metcalf, The Curse of the Cairo Cat: a Lottie Lipton adventure, Allen & Unwin, August 2015, 80pp., $12.99 (pbk), ISBN 978 1 4729 1178 0
Nine year old Lottie Lipton has lived in the grounds of the British Museum since she was four, cared for by her Great Uncle, Professor Bertram West. He is the Curator of Egyptology and when “The Golden Cat of Cairo’ statue arrives complete with curse and legend the real adventure begins. The Golden Cat goes missing and with the help of her uncle Bert and kindly caretaker, Reg, Lottie must find it. Sir Trevelyan Taylor, the head curator of the museum, threatens them all with eviction if the cat isn’t found within one hour. This leads to a game of hide and seek as Lottie with her old friends and the reader are given clues in the form of riddles and puzzles to be decoded until the mystery is solved.
Written as a chapter book and set in 1928 London, this Lottie Lipton Adventure is fun and intriguing. The black and white illustrations by Rachelle Pangarry are evocative and amusing. Children in the middle primary age group will enjoy solving the clues and following Lottie through the series of museum exhibits. There are interesting things to learn along the way about the various ancient civilizations to which the clues lead them. The glossary and fact section at the end, together with a maze and code to solve, add further interest. The end paper and back cover inform us of the next Lottie Lipton Adventure where the reader is sure to want to follow this intrepid investigator.
Reviewed by Grace Nolan