Monday, April 1, 2013

Humpty Dumpty Jr. Hardboiled Detective: The Case of the Fiendish Flapjack Flop

If you have read any of my previous reviews, you know I love alternate nursery rhyme and fairy tale stories. I am also a huge fan of detective stories for children. I think they help developing readers with comprehension skills like predication, sequencing, timelines, and a range of other important skills. Students who are reluctant to read, sometimes can be drawn into mysteries, especially those that combine mystery with a bit of humor.

The Case of the Fiendish Flapjack Flop (Humpty Dumpty Jr., Hard Boiled Detective) is the first book in what appears to be a two book series. I have the second one from the library to review later. I was hoping the authors had produced more, because the characters and the premise of an egg detective were promising.

Humpty's detective character is based on the old movie detectives, right down to his trench coat and hat. Humpty's eggshell creates a bit of a challenge most of the movie PI's never had to work around, but Humpty manages. In the opening pages we learn that Humpty has been a rather successful detective working with some of literature's great characters including Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz and Christopher Robin from Winnie the Pooh. However, we soon learn that he has one unsolved case, the death of his father that still haunts him. He also has a nemesis Johnny Cakes whom he has captured and jailed more than once who has escaped from prison and has plans for chaos.

Against the backdrop of Johnny Cakes escape Humpty gets a case, Patty Cakes is in trouble. He grabs his magic wand, which to most of us resembles a very familiar kitchen instrument, and heads off to help his friend. He finds evidence of a struggle, but no Patty Cakes. His clues lead him to the Knave of Hearts where the reader is reminded of Alice's experiences with the Queen of Hearts.

Humpty picks up a human teenage sidekick and continues to encounter nursery rhyme, fairy tale, and children's classic literature characters along his path to discovering the fate of Patty Cakes. The story does have a few twists as Humpty follows the clues to their logical conclusions. We learn about the origins of one of the characters, which explain the reason for Patty's situation. She ultimately demonstrates forgiveness and the story is resolved. I am looking forward to reading The Mystery of Merlin and the Gruesome Ghost (Humpty Dumpty, Jr., Hardboiled Detective)so I can review it as well.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great book! I'm sure kids will love this!!