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What Really Happened to Humpty? (Nursery-Rhyme Mysteries) Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 550L (What's this?)
  • Series: Nursery-Rhyme Mysteries
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge; New edition (February 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580891098
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580891097
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,260,540 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1–4—When Humpty falls off the wall, his brother Joe, a detective in Mother Gooseland, is convinced that he was pushed. Thus begins the unraveling of the mystery of who did the dastardly deed. All of the characters use cell phones and some drive cars in this long and complicated tale. There are a lot of egg jokes, and wordplay abounds. In the end, Little Miss Muffet and the Big Bad Wolf go off to jail for their crime. Now Joe Dumpty has more work to do as the Dish just ran away with the Spoon and Bo Peep's sheep are roaming. The illustrations are done in watercolor, with pen and ink. The drawings are various sizes and often there are multiple frames per page. Pictures are detailed, and many contain speech balloons. This is a text-heavy story that will tickle the funny bone of readers old enough to get the jokes.—Ieva Bates, Ann Arbor District Library, MI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Hard-boiled detective Joe Dumpty’s ovoid body is encased in a ’40s-era belted brown trench coat topped with a fedora, and his clipped statements will remind older readers of TV’s Joe Friday. Here, cleft-chinned Joe recounts how he cracked one of the toughest mysteries in Mother Gooseland: the assault with intent to spill the yolky interior of his older brother, Humpty. Joe tells how he examined the crime scene before the ambulance arrived (pulled by all the king’s horses and filled with all the king’s men). He recovers some evidence from under Miss Muffet’s tuffet, interviews the shell-shocked Humpty in the hospital, and follows the trail of evidence to one very huffy Big Bad Wolf, dressed to kill in gangster pinstripes. This enchanting send-up of old-time detective stories will have older readers in stitches, while younger readers will get caught up in the clever recombination of fairy-tale characters. The illustrations, done in watercolor and pen and ink, are as filled with puns and crowded with humorous detail as the story—even the typeface looks like it was pounded out by an old Remington typewriter. This CSI: Mother Goose is a winner. Grades 1-4. --Connie Fletcher

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Customer Reviews

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We found this book and it seemed like a good one and we weren't disappointed!
midmigurl
Few kids' books are as much fun to read the fifteenth time as the first; this one is as close as any.
G70
I like that it includes a variety of other nursery rhyme characters in the story.
Kelly Bronger

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The sub-title of this book, "from the files of a hard-boiled detective," immediately tells us this is going to be a comic take on a favorite nursery rhyme. It doesn't tell you that it's going to be laugh-out-loud funny. I'm stymied as to what age level to recommend this for - let's just say the family as adults will enjoy it every bit as much as young readers. Do bear in mind that the very young will probably miss much of the humor unless they're quick enough to remember Miss Muffet's relationship with the spider and Bo as in Bo Peep's quest for what was lost.

Joe Dumpty (the hard-boiled detective) is Humpty's brother and he doesn't believe for one minute that Humpty simply fell off the wall. Joe's convinced that he was pushed. The eye witness testimony of Miss Muffet almost convinces all that it was an unfortunate accident. Police Chief Goose thinks that a claim of intentional harm and detective work will just cause more trouble but finally relents enough to let Joe have until 5:00 o'clock that day to prove that it was a dastardly deed.

Joe is firmly convinced that he's right when he discovers something under Miss Muffet's tuffet. He sadly sees all the king's horses and all the king's men trundle his brother off to the hospital and then begins his investigation in earnest.

Let it simply be said that good triumphs and it's a great deal of fun seeing how it does. Stephen Axelsen's illustrations are boldly colorful, every bit as imaginative as the story itself.

Enjoy!

- Gail Cooke
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dienne TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 11, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"What Really Happened to Humpty?" is a pitch perfect blend of fairy tale meets detective story.

Joe Dumpty, Humpty's younger brother narrates a classic detective story as he investigates the circumstances following Humpty's fall from the wall. After all, he'd been sitting up there for ages with nary a wobble. And then the very week he becomes captain of the neighborhood watch he suddenly falls? What are the chances?

In true detective fashion, Joe interviews the residents of Mother Gooseland - Little Miss Muffet, Goldilocks, Old Mother Hubbard, Chicken Little, the Three Little Pigs - looking for witnesses and suspects while gathering clues along the way. Deducing from the cracks in the witnesses' stories, Joe pieces together the shell of a story, then waits for the main suspect to put in an appearance. Miss Muffet's Spider wraps up the case tidily and Police Chief Goose hauls the perpetrators off to jail. And they all live happily ever after (hey, it's a fairy tail - it's not like I spoiled the ending).

Joe's story, as told to Jean Frantz Ransom, is masterfully woven, intertwining the narratives of some of the best-known fairy tales to create a plausible narrative as to how Humpty Dumpty happened to fall off the wall. The humor is eggsellent, including several well placed (admittedly corny) puns. Steven Axelsen's cartoonish illustrations are the perfect compliment to the story, and really bring it alive. There's even a helpful map of Mother Gooseland.

My only objection is that Amazon's product description indicates that the book is for children ages 4 to 8, which I think is a little young. My own almost-four-year-old basically enjoyed the story, but she was a bit confused and a lot of the humor went over her head.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G70 VINE VOICE on March 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
If parents can appreciate the average Pixar "kids" movie for the referential humor embedded to keep them awake, then "What Really Happened to Humpty?" demonstrates a mastery of the art -- this is a kids' book, to be sure, and the set of five and six year olds I read it to certainly enjoyed it -- but most any adult will feel compelled to imitate the voice work which characterized '50's radio drama. At the same time, it is tough to keep in character on the first read, because some of the jokes really are laugh-out-loud funny.

Few kids' books are as much fun to read the fifteenth time as the first; this one is as close as any. It's one that kids can ask grandma or grandpa to read to them, and which everyone will enjoy!
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By Karen on July 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I used this book as an example for a children's message in my service for Trinity Sunday as a mystery. I usually have only grandkids of members and one family was in church that day, and I let them take it home and read it and they said all 4 kids read it and it was good. So it fill my purpose and the kids enjoyed it also!
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By Ruth Krumbein on May 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What can I say. I love the book...it was in perfect condition...I would rate the entire process as easy and perfect!
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