Egyptology takes a Halloween-friendly turn in this winning rhymed tale of a cat once owned by a girl-queen called Hat-shup-set. We meet him as a rather cute mummy, awake to check if “his loving friend” has come back. He wanders forlornly, looking at painted scenes of his life with the queen and her horrid death by scorpion bite. Brown’s tableaus are dynamic and lovely, with a sinister plot playing out in the background. There are hieroglyphics to decode, too, and a key at the end.
48 pp. Clarion/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. $16.99. (Picture book; ages 5 to 9)