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
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*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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