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Who Pushed Humpty Dumpty?: And Other Notorious Nursery Tale Mysteries Hardcover – September 25, 2012
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"That’s the way the nursery rhyme crumbles in these humorous retellings, cast in the world of hard-boiled crime and private detectives."
The Huffington Post, August 6, 2012:
"The first children's book from the wildly creative Levinthal and I hope it won't be the last."
Booklist, September 15, 2012:
"Kids will certainly be familiar with all these stories, and Levinthal supplies just enough of a twist with each one to make them fresh again without necessarily reinventing any of them. What’ll really stop kids in their tracks, though, is Nickle’s acrylic artwork. His sophisticated touch is as equally suited to the dramatic, black-andwhite re-creations of the crimes as it is to the cheeky scenes of Binky gumshoeing about with various woodland creatures."
School Library Journal, September 2012:
"The tongue-in-cheek telling of tales will tickle the fancies of children familiar with the originals."
Top Customer Reviews
The book is more of a read-aloud for kids as young as 7. It's really geared more towards the 8-to-10 crowd. Not only is the text small (usually an easy way to guess a picture book's intended audience), but the whole thing's a satire. Satire goes right over the heads of most younger readers. But for those slightly older kids--and their parents--this book is a must-read.
Here's how Who Pushed Humpty Dumpty begins:
"There are eight million stories in the forest. This is one of them. It was a typical Sunday morning for the Bear family. They had gone out for a walk while their porridge was cooling. I was working the robbery detail out of the Pinecone Division. My name's Binky. I'm a cop."
As always, John Nickle's illustrations are just right. I especially like the page on which Officer Binky is taking notes from the three Bears. He's standing in front of a layered tower of bears--so all in one shape we have Binky (back to us) in front of Baby Bear, who's in front of taller Mrs. Bear, who's in front of taller Mr. Bear. All three bears are frowning and pointing one accusing clawed paw in the direction of the page on the other side of the spread. That page is divided in four. The first three frames contain the following clues: A strand of blond hair, an empty porridge bowl, blue cloth on a broken chair, and a rumpled quilt. The last frame shows Binky driving off. (He's barely tall enough to see over the steering wheel.Read more ›
No longer is Goldilocks a poor innocent victim, she is being hunted down by Mr. Binky an Officer in Pinecone Forest and he going to track down this wanted criminal.
On to his next case, where we have to keep in mind that just because a woman is a witch does not necessary mean that she is a bad person, that is unless she lives in a house of candy - ok maybe she was but Officer Binky has discovered that Hansel and Gretel acted in self defense.
David Levinthal and John Nickle have splendid fractured old nursery rhymes. Reinventing characters with devilishly funny outcomes made this book one that I have reread a couple of times.
Imagine Harry Wolf was not someone that cried for help unless he really needed it or that Humpty was a good egg and played in a band called All the Kings Horses and All the King's Men.
Called out to investigate, Officer Binky must now decide if Humpty was pushed or was it an accidental fall, there is little to go on since there was hardly any yolk at the scene. OK, that part made me laugh.
The book continues in this manner with Snow White and Jack in the Beanstalk. You will laugh you way through this book. I suggest that before you begin reading to your child, read though this on your own a couple of times so you can get all the giggling out and are ready to explain to your young ones what is so funny.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Some of the stories are better than others but the illustrations are GREAT!!Published 23 months ago by Terri L. Lane
I sent this book to my grandson in japan. I can imagine he and his mother and dad are rolling with laughs when sharing this book Five stars Wish gma Carol could read it to him in... Read morePublished on March 16, 2014 by Carolk
The 2nd grade children that I read this to greatly enjoyed this new take on many old nursery stories!!!! They liked the idea of solving the mysteries of each tale!Published on March 4, 2014 by Stampinmom
This is a darling book that is full of voice by the main character. The children love the connections to all of their favorite stories! A great read-aloud!Published on December 7, 2013 by kdgn
Mystery noir for nursery rhymes .... this title needs to have an audio narration made with a Humphrey Bogart or Robert Mitchum sound-alike. An absolute delight.Published on November 3, 2013 by SuSuz
I just like the idea of seeing the nursery rhymes or fairy tales or kids stories told from a different perspective. These stories are great for adults to read and get some laughs. Read morePublished on October 20, 2013 by Amazon Customer
Got this book and others for my nephew who is yet to young to read, but will one day enjoy it!!Published on August 17, 2013 by Lauren
I love this book. How it's written, the illustrations and who doesn't love a good detective!?! My 6 and 7 yr olds LOVE it!Published on July 4, 2013 by Ashley Caudill