*When Jack and Jill fell down the hill, did Jack really lose his crown, or did someone make off with it? Detective Joe Dumpty, previously seen in 2009’s What REALLY Happened to Humpty?, is on the case in this witty companion book. Tipped off that a certain other nursery-rhyme Jack might be responsible for the crown’s disappearance, Joe sets out to interrogate suspects, and his noir-flavored narration is just as much fun this time around (“Between his bum foot and his scorched bottom, Jack wouldn’t have been nimble—or quick—enough to grab the crown this morning”). Axelsen’s illustrations are packed with humorous details and cleverly reimagined Mother Goose characters, and Ransom’s references to “test[ing] positive for magic beans,” among other gags, will amuse older readers.
–Publisher’s Weekly, *Starred Review
Noir whodunit in the land of Mother Goose. When Jack loses his crown after falling down that hill, who better to crack the case than hard-boiled Joe Dumpty, private eye? (Joe made his rep by solving the mystery surrounding his brother in What REALLY Happened to Humpty?, 2009.) Jill leaps over the yellow crime-scene tape to meet him at the hill. Jack’s eyes look like pinwheels as he tells Joe what he remembers; dizzy Jill can’t add much more. Spider goes over the crime scene with a fine-tooth comb…literally! Joe visits the Sprats, who are fighting; could it be about the crown? Jack B. Nimble is on crutches; he fell while practicing his candle-jumping. He’s an unlikely suspect. And in the house that Jack built, “Goldy” describes a suspicious encounter with the Muffin Man. Joe grills this sailor-suited gourmand, who implicates yet another Jack, the one who went up the beanstalk. While Joe visits this sulky Jack, Spider takes a trip up the beanstalk to talk to the giant. Between them, they solve the crime, and just in time. Joe and Spider can tackle their next case: The cow has jumped over the moon and hasn’t been seen since. The pun-packed yarn may go over the heads of younger readers, but their grown-ups will chuckle, and everyone will enjoy the impish twists on familiar images in Axelsen’s Photoshop illustrations. Genuinely clever.
Reviews for What REALLY Happened to Humpty?:
“This CSI: Mother Goose is a winner.” –Booklist, starred review
“This nursery-rhyme caper will please.” –Kirkus Reviews