Cairo Jim And The Secret Sepulchre Of The Sphinx by Geoffrey McSkimming

Cairo Jim And The Secret Sepulchre Of The Sphinx by Geoffrey McSkimmingBlurb

A Tale Of Incalculable Inversion

When that well-known archaeologist and little-known poet, Cairo Jim, and his friends Doris the macaw, and Brenda the Wonder Camel, and Jocelyn Osgood make the ‘find of the century’, a new enemy on the scene sets out to discredit Jim and destroy his hard-won reputation…

My Perspective

Cairo Jim And The Secret Sepulchre Of The Sphinx, follows Cairo Jim, Doris and Brenda once again on the dig for an historical wonder. However they know not what they are looking for. And just when they thought their lives were forever at peace due to the demise of the evil Neptune Bone, Mr Impluvium, an evil and conniving man, turns up on the scene.

The story was again a silly yet well written children’s story. I do find that after awhile some of the silliness gets to me however I have to remember that it’s not written with my age group in mind. I loved these books as a kid and didn’t find the silliness over the top at all back then.

I really liked the storyline and the mystery throughout. Although some of it was obvious, not all of it was and there were some parts that really kept me guessing.

Again, the main characters are extremely likeable – Cairo Jim, Doris and Brenda – and Mr Impluvium the slimy villain everyone loves to hate. What he did in the book was pretty mean and nasty and you really feel for Cairo Jim and his friends.

Overall it was an enjoyable and light read that I would recommend for children and adults who like a silly adventure/mystery with a bit of history thrown in.

Cairo Jim On The Trail To Cha Cha Muchos by Geoffrey McSkimming

Cairo Jim On The Trail To Cha Cha Muchos by Geoffrey McSkimmingBlurb

Legend has it that somewhere in Peru, atop a towering, jungle-covered mountain, stand the ruins of ChaCha Muchos, the Lost City of Dancers. What happened there nearly five hundred years ago remains a mystery. Who were these people? And why, in the end, did the entire tribe dance itself into extinction?

When that well-known archaeologist and little-known poet, Cairo Jim, sets out to solve the mystery, he doesn’t know that he is not the only one on the trail to ChaCha Muchos…

My Perspective

Obviously after reading Eragon, I wanted to start reading Eldest straight away. However of course our Internet dropped out for half the day and I couldn’t borrow the eBook from my library.

I decided to read the first of the Cairo Jim books instead, as they aren’t super long so if the Internet came back up and I was able to download Eldest, I wouldn’t be embroiled in another book.

The story introduces us to Cairo Jim, well-known archaeologist and little-known poet, on his quest to discover Cha Cha Muchos: The Lost City of Dancers. Little does he know that the devious and slimy Neptune Bone, is also on a quest to discover this mystical place however not for the same upstanding reasons as Cairo Jim. Who will be the one to find it first and will Cairo Jim be able to stop the notorious Neptune Bone before it’s too late?

The story is aimed at older children however can be enjoyed by all ages. It was well written and easy to understand. The humour was very much aimed at older children and some of the text was a little bit over the top, however again, it was perfect for its target audience.

The characters were developed nicely for the length of the story and there wasn’t a lot of unnecessary background information that most children couldn’t give a rip about.

The story grabbed you from the start and there was enough mystery throughout to keep you on your toes. Some of the storyline was quite predictable however honestly the main plot kept me guessing right up until the very end. The fact that a children’s book was able to keep an adult guessing goes to show the ability of the author. There are a lot of adult novels out there that don’t live up to that standard.

Overall I really enjoyed reading the book (I’ve actually read it before when I was in primary school however much to my horror that was around fifteen years ago so as you can see, the story wasn’t quite fresh in my brain). I would definitely feel comfortable letting my children read this book and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to read a bit of a silly albeit well done mystery/adventure.

Enid Blyton Would Be Turning In Her Grave

As a child i loved the Faraway Tree series (i still do!). They would transport me into my wildest dreams, especially the Land of Goodies! A few weeks ago i was browsing through the book section at Vinnies and i came across The Folk of the Faraway Tree for $2. I was thrilled. I bought it and started reading the back of it, reminiscing on all the memories i had of one of my favourite books. However i was a little confused at first because the names weren’t right. Had i bought a rip off of the original Faraway Tree series? I got home and started researching it and no, i’d bought the same book, it was just a modernised version. Why would they need to modernise it? Obviously because in this day and age ‘Dick’ and ‘Fanny’ are no longer appropriate. Now they are ‘Rick’ and ‘Frannie’. Seriously?

The books were originally published in 1943, when many people had those names. Now that they’ve been turned into slang names for sex organs, so it’s not longer appropriate. You might think i am overreacting however think about it this way. They may only feel the need to change their names at the moment because ‘today’ those names aren’t appropriate. However if they feel okay to do that, where will it stop? In 50 – 100 years will Jo, Bessie and ‘Frannie’ be going to the land of Organics and Health Food because childhood obesity will be so bad that having the Land of Goodies will be encouraging the epidemic?

When i read those books as a child, Dick and Fanny weren’t in my vocabulary however i do remember my Mum explaining to me that they were “olden day” names. I accepted that instantly because there were a lot of different things in “the olden days” that i knew about. Obviously 1943 isn’t really the “olden days” but as a young child i could easily grasp that concept. And i understand that not everything in history is nice; for example the way non-whites, women, slaves and servants were treated, and that treatment of the sort is not appropriate nowadays. However does that mean that some of the greatest books in history we rewrite because of that? Or are only children’s books going to be ‘modernised’ because us adults understand. To be honest i think some children, given the chance, would understand and act a lot more maturely than a lot of adults i know. After all, who is your child’s greatest teacher?