illustrated by Jo Lindley
Brothers Renni and Mahu, aided by their friend Princess Balaal are off on adventures again. Renni has been working with his uncle decorating the interior of a tomb but the Pharaoh has decided alterations need to be made to the entranceway, so for a while Renni has nothing to do. Meanwhile floodwater has covered the land where Mahu grows his family's food. When it recedes, fertile black soil will be left for crops to flourish in, but for now Mahu has time on his hands. Balaal suggests they go on an a trip to Shedet, the city of Crocodiles, where the most sacred of the temple's crocodiles has died and is to be mummified.
A fun journey soon turns more dangerous when among other visitors the friends spot Paser, Pharaoh's evil vizier. He's bound to be up to no good, but the three are determined to stop him, helped by a very unusual ibis.
This second book in the Nile Adventures series, following on from The Heart Scarab, reintroduces us to Ancient Egypt, and to the two brothers, Renni and Malu, and their friend Balaal. Since their father died, Malu, as the eldest, has to provide for his family, growing crops and fishing. Renni is quieter and more artistic and works as an apprentice to his uncle, helping with the decoration of the Pharaoh's tomb. In her own country, Balaal is a princess but she's come to the Black Land, Egypt, to discover more about its people and way of life.
The Crocodile Curse is a book to entertain and educate. It takes the three friends to Shedet and its temples dedicated to Sobek, the crocodile-headed god, and while young readers will find themselves caught up in their adventures, the background is full of informative facts about the culture and life of Ancient Egypt. It's a perfect tie-in to school KS2 history projects, helping to bring the past to life. Jo Lindley's black and white illustrations are full of slithery crocodiles, magnificent temples, and of course the three friends helping young readers to picture the scenes.