The Chaser’s Andrew Hansen teams up with wife Jessica Roberts to sign a two-book deal with Walker Books Australia

Award-winning Australian comedian Andrew Hansen, best known for TV shows such as The Chaser’s War On Everything and CNNNN as well as co-authoring The Chaser Annuals, has teamed up with wife, designer Jessica Roberts, to create their very first children’s book to be published by the country’s leading children’s publisher, Walker Books Australia, in a two-book deal.

Aimed at middle-grade readers, Hansen and Roberts’s first foray into children’s publishing is a funny adventure story about mummified animals set in an ancient city lost in the Egyptian desert. Titled Bab Sharkey and the Animal Mummies: The Weird Beard, the first book is set to be published in early 2018.

Co-written by the husband and wife team and featuring illustrations by Roberts, Bab Sharkey and the Animal Mummies begins with Bab, a lonely 12-year-old boy who unexpectedly finds the friends he’s always needed: a pair of undead animals wrapped in bandages. Scaler the Fish Mummy and Prong the Ibis Mummy possess a long-lost magical artefact, the Pharaoh’s Beard. The Beard has strange powers and also allows Bab to visit Mumphis, the bizarre city of the Animal Mummies.

But it isn’t all beardy good times in Mumphis. The previous owner of the Beard was an ancient and not-very-nice sorceress called the Unpharaoh. Her unpleasant habits include hissing a lot and blasting lightning bolts out of her nostrils. With the aid of her scheming (and terribly vain) servant, Cainus the Jackal Mummy, the Unpharaoh returns from the Afterworld to seize control of Mumphis once again. Can Bab and his new Animal Mummy friends use their unique skills to defeat Cainus and banish the Unpharaoh back to the Afterworld?

Hansen and Roberts are thrilled to sign up with Walker Books Australia. The authors say, “We took a trip to Egypt in 2009, and were surprised to come across many mummified animals at the Cairo Museum. They were amazing and terrifying and we wondered what their stories were, and so the idea for Bab Sharkey and the Animal Mummies was born!”

Publisher of Walker Books Australia, Linsay Knight, is delighted to team up with both Andrew and Jess. Knight says, “From the moment Andrew and Jess first introduced us to Bab Sharkey and the gang, we were hooked and made it our mission to help bring this bandage-wrapped story to young readers everywhere. So look out world, you’re in for a treat!”

Andrew Hansen is a comedian, actor and musician, best known as a member of Australian comedy group The Chaser, whose TV shows include Media Circus, The Hamster Wheel, The Chaser’s War On Everything and CNNNN. Andrew’s radio work includes shows on Triple M as well as composing and starring in the musical comedy series and album The Blow Parade. On stage Andrew composed and starred in the musical Dead Caesar, did two national tours with The Chaser and two national tours of two-hander comedy shows with Chris Taylor. In print he wrote for the humorous fortnightly newspaper The Chaser, eleven Chaser Annuals and The Chaser Quarterly. He has contributed short stories to Best Australian Comedy Writing and Journey Through Humour. His debut children’s book, Bab Sharkey and the Animal Mummies: The Weird Beard, will be released in 2018 by Walker Books Australia.

Jessica Roberts writes, draws and films stories. She has a Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design, and a Foundation Diploma in film studies. Originally from Kyneton, Victoria, Jessica grew up surrounded by an odd collection of pets including dogs, quails, chickens, sheep, goats, rabbits and a donkey. Her stories often involve animals and she uses her childhood memories of growing up in the country as a bank of ideas for storytelling. She’s now a city slicker living in Sydney. A trip to Egypt in 2009 inspired the idea for her first book, Bab Sharkey and The Animal Mummies: The Weird Beard, to be released in 2018 by Walker Books Australia.

Walker Books Australia has been bringing the best of children’s publishing to Australia and New Zealand for over 20 years. The company is dedicated to publishing books of unwavering quality for children and young adults to read and treasure. Walker Books Australia is also passionate about the Australian Children’s book industry and is a haven for the most highly talented authors and illustrators, both emerging and award-winning. Walker Books Australia is proud to be the home of Black Dog Books, an award-winning imprint with a reputation for publishing some of Australia’s finest writers including Carole Wilkinson, Sue Lawson and Suzy Zail.


Last updated on 02/08/17 at 01:35:13
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