Today I Read…Humpty Dumpty Climbs Again

Humpty Dumpty Climbs AgainToday I read Humpty Dumpty Climbs Again, written and illustrated by Dave Horowitz.

Humpty Dumpty used to love climbing–until he had that great fall and cracked himself wide open. The doctor told him to be more careful, but now Humpty is too afraid to climb, or do anything other than sit around in his underwear watching television. But then one day the King’s favourite horse gets stuck up a wall–who will be brave enough to go and rescue him?

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This is a lovely continuation of the nursery rhyme, beginning with someone finally being sensible enough to call a doctor to put Humpty Dumpty back together again–though did not one of the king’s horses or the king’s men have any first aid training? The Health and Safety committee is falling down on their job too, I’d say. There are some nice references to other nursery rhymes too, such as including the Dish and the Spoon, the laughing Little Dog, and the scary Spider. The illustrations are large, bright, simple, and add some funny, if immature, jokes that will entertain kids. For example, when Humpty is broken, one of the king’s men holds up a piece of Humpty and asks “What is this?” and the other king’s man says “I think it’s his butt.” The adults reading it will laugh at the king’s men bemoaning “Oh the humanity” when Milt the horse is stuck on the wall, and when Humpty promises never to climb without safety equipment or pants again. There’s also some nice details in Humpty’s house, with photographs on the wall of him climbing lots of different mountains.

This book is probably more for an adult to read to a child–all of the words are the same size and set in short paragraphs, and some of the vocabulary might be a bit difficult for a beginning reader. Most kids will recognize the different nursery rhymes referenced, so the adult reader can use those to draw connections between books, and to demonstrate how stories can continue outside of the single text–what happens next after “they all lived happily ever after.” It can also be used to point out that just because something bad happens is no reason to quit doing something you love–just be more careful in the future. And always wear pants. Pants are important.

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