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What Really Happened to Humpty?


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A scrambled mess . . . Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. Or--as his brother Detective Joe Dumpty thinks--was he pushed? This case isn't all it's cracked up to be. Suspects are plenty (as are the puns) in this scrambled story of nursery rhyme noir. Was it Little Miss Muffet? There's something not right about her tuffet. Or could it have been Chicken Little, who's always been a little cagey? Or was it the Big Bad Wolf, who's got a rap sheet as long as a moonless night? Joe's on the beat and determined to find the truth. Readers of all ages will delight in the word play and hilarious illustrations in this mystery of what really happened to Humpty Dumpty on that fateful day.


Clever wordplay marks Ransom's (What Do Your Parents Do? [When You're Not Home]) fast-paced, noir-styled offering. Detective Joe Dumpty unravels the real reason his brother, Humpty, took a spill, interviewing characters that hail from the pages of Mother Goose (she puts in an appearance, too). The puns, a little more subtle than in similar stories, are on target for the suggested audience, e.g., "I looked at my brother. He wasn't moving. Whoever did this was gonna fry!" Axelsen (the Piccolo and Annabelle series) provides plenty of humor with busy cartoon illustrations, many of them inset with boxed vignettes; Chicken Little and her offspring, for example, wear crash helmets and reside in a fortified bunker. The noir conventions add a layer of sophistication to the nursery-rhyme setting, ratcheting up the book's appeal for primary-grade readers.

--Publishers Weekly

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