What really happened to Humpty Dumpty? Was his fall an accident or was he pushed? Officer Binky is on the quest to solve this case and more in these nursery tales that have been rewritten as mysteries. With a voice reminiscent of Dragnet, Levinthal’s main character, Officer Binky, arrests Goldilocks, declares Hansel and Gretel innocent of murdering the wicked witch, and determines who actually pushed Humpty Dumpty off the wall.
Levinthal’s simple sentence structure offset the more complex twists to his tales, making this book a delight to read for the average elementary child yet engaging for the more gifted reader. Using the basic story structure of nursery rhymes, Levinthal created stories that are supported by Nickle’s illustrations. Nickle deftly captures the personalities of the characters through facial expressions, clothing, and placement in the everyday world. Illustrations vary, color versus sepia, dark versus light, yet Nickle uses these variations to support the differences in the nursery tale mysteries. While some might find the artwork a bit dark or cold, the images strongly support the stories while providing a fascinating wonderland of images.
CONNECTIONSThe study of variants is a fascinating way for readers to address skills that all good readers share: compare, contrast, character traits, and more. This is an excellent introduction to mysteries through its tongue-in-cheek approach, complete with a detective who is actually the smallest character in the book.
RELATED BOOKSOther nursery tale variants:
Willems, Mo. GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE DINOSAURS. ISBN 9780062104182
McNamara, Margaret. THE THREE LITTLE ALIENS AND THE BIG BAD ROBOT. ISBN 978-0375866890
By Christine J. Rayl