Héloïse Mab is a super-talented French illustrator based in Bristol. She did the artwork for the front and back covers of my new book The Ancient Egypt Sleepover, which is now available for pre-order.

The front cover was inspired in part by the photo below, taken by photographer Benedict Johnson at one of the British Museum’s real sleepover events.

© Benedict Johnson, reproduced here with permission

Benedict’s photo shows three children beneath an imposing statue of the pharaoh Amenhotep III, one of two colossal busts in the British Museum’s collection. Now you can see why the head on the cover of the book only has one ear. It’s not a mistake!

Podkin Amenhotep One-Ear

You can see the Amenhotep III colossus in the British Museum’s collection here. That massive closed fist belonged to the same statue, and is listed in the collection here.

On the far left of Benedict’s photo are four seated and standing statues of the goddess Sekhmet from the mortuary temple of Amenhotep. She was the goddess of destruction and was usually depicted in the form of a lion. Sekhmet’s nicknames include ‘Mistress of Dread’, ‘Lady of Slaughter’ and ‘She Who Mauls’. Sounds like someone you’d want to keep happy, right?

© The Trustees of The British Museum

Amenhotep III wanted to keep Sekhmet happy, too. That’s why he had 365 seated statues of Sekhmet and 365 standing statues of Sekhmet put in his mortuary temple – people could sacrifice to a different one every day of the year. The four statues in the British Museum are listed in the online collection here.

Héloïse has included Sekhmet among the statues on the cover of THE ANCIENT EGYPT SLEEPOVER. As for the running boy in the centre, he is the main character in the story. His name is Muhammed, or Mo for short. Like the children in Benedict’s fab photo, Mo isn’t going to get much sleep at this sleepover!

THE ANCIENT EGYPT SLEEPOVER comes out in January 2022, published by Caboodle Books. Pre-order now.

Illustrator Héloïse Mab’s website

Photographer Benedict Johnson’s website

© Héloïse Mab

Published by

Stephen Davies

Children's author: picture books, chapter books and YA novels

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