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What REALLY Happened to Humpty?: From the Files of a Hard-Boiled Detective
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What REALLY Happened to Humpty?: From the Files of a Hard-Boiled Detective

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4.01  ·  Rating details ·  350 ratings  ·  124 reviews
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. Or, as his brother Detective Joe Dumpty thinks, was he pushed? This case isn't all its 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 i ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published February 1st 2009 by Charlesbridge
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Average rating 4.01  · 
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Dolly
Jan 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Using a 'hard boiled' (ha-ha) Sam Spade-like lead character, this story explores the mystery of who pushed Humpty Dumpty. The fact that the classic children's nursery rhyme is turned into a detective story is so creative and I loved how so many different personalities from other stories and rhymes are incorporated into the tale.

The illustrations are colorful and cartoonish and we referenced the map of the neighborhood in the front of the book several times to track the progress of the case. Ove
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Abigail
Feb 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Nursery Rhyme Lovers & Fractured Fairy-Tale Fans
Nursery rhyme goes noire in this hard-boiled detective story from Jeanie Franz Ransom, whose long-standing relationship with the Dumpty family stretches back (so we are told in the biographical blurb on the rear dust-jacket flap) into her youth. When the famous Humpty takes his fall, his younger brother Joe - that's P.I. Joe Dumpty to you! - isn't buying the idea that it's an accident, immediately setting out to find those responsible. Chasing all over Mother Gooseland, Joe is hot on the trail o ...more
Amy
Jan 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, reviewed
I had a lot of fun reading What Really Happened to Humpty? to the kids. I like hard-boiled detective stories, as a kid I adored nursery rhymes and Mother Goose tales, and so the combination of the hard-boiled detective and nursery rhyme characters was just great! The hard-boiled/noir voice was nicely done in this book, in fact, I think that's what kept the kids hanging on to every word in this tale. When I read the story to the kids I made sure to do my best Sam Spade, and that was lots of fun.

I
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Mattis Collier
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What REALLY Happened to Humpty?: From the Files of a Hard-Boiled Detective
Author: Jeanie Franz Ransom
Genre: Mystery

What Really Happened to Humpty is a clever take on a classic nursery rhyme: Humpty Dumpty Fell Off A Wall. This author brings all of the traditional, classic children’s story characters such as Mother Goose, Little Red Riding Hood, the Muffin Man, the Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks, Chicken Little, and more into this particular story. With Humpty’s younger brother Joe playing detecti
...more
Set
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is so much fun. It's about Humpty's detective brother on the case. It set's up a few nursery rhyme characters as suspects of the cracked egg. This book is full of hilarious puns and hidden Easter 'eggs'. Humpty has always been the "good egg" and so he became the neighbor's watch until that fateful "scrambled-up day" but "at least he landed sunny-side up."
My favorite quotes-
(view spoiler)
...more
Crystal
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What Really Happened to Humpty Dumpty is the modern day version of all story we have all come to love. This story of what really happened to Humpty comes together with lovable characters, silly words and mystery which will entice even the most reluctant readers to want to hear more. This is a great read aloud for readers from Kindergarten to second grade. The illustrations are colorful and cartoon like and will certainly draw in young readers. This book would be a great way to introduce mystery ...more
John
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Humpty Falls. And he doesn't... [spoiler alert] The Big Bad Wolf doesn't go there, Spider did. Humpty Dumpty's not supposed to be on the wall; he doesn't balance on the wall, so he
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♥Mary♦Sweet♣Dreams♠Are♥Made♦of♣This♠
This picture book is hilarious if you know your mother goose. I recommend it as a breath of fresh air.
Kai Charles(Fiction State Of Mind)
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-book
Coyer Summer Bash

This is such a cute little read . The brother of gumption dumpty is a PI determined to figure out who is behind his brothers accident. His quest takes him through many interrogations before the truth is revealed.
Ali Gunns
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
This story had me laughing from start to finish! What Really Happened to Humpty is a mystery book that could be used in a K-2 classroom. The story takes the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty and it into an elaborate story. Other nursery rhyme characters such as Little Miss Muffet and Little Red Riding Hood are also in the story. Throughout the book, Humpty's brother interacts with other nursery rhyme characters to solve the Humpty mystery.

This book would be perfect for having students make prediction
...more
Sarah W
May 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Joe Dumpty is on the case. When his brother Humpty falls off the wall during his first week as captain of the Neighborhood Watch, Joe is convinced the act was no accident. Police Chief Goose gives Joe until five o'clock to figure out the case before she writes it up as an accident report. Joe starts by asking Humpty's friend Muffy some questions on a trail of interrogation that leads to Goldilocks, Old Mother Hubbard, Chicken Little and the Pigs while Humpty is hospitalized.

This clever picture b
...more
Sara
Sep 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is written in a creative and fun way. Not only is the mystery of who pushed Humpty Dumpty from the wall entertaining and mysterious, but the way the author was able to incorporate other fairy tales into the story was remarkable. This book is a great tool in helping teachers introduce mystery stories in order to promote critical thinking. The clues of who is to blame for the fall are written throughout the book; this helps students begin to form hypotheses of who out of the fairy tale c ...more
Tricia Douglas
Feb 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a very clever little book describing how Humpty's brother Joe, the P.I., solved the riddle of Humpty's great fall. The nursery rhyme characters are creatively woven into this cute story along with colorful illustrations. What the characters are thinking are done in black and white bubbles which help us understand the story even better. While Humpty is in the hospital healing (because of the miracles of modern technology) we learn the real reason Humpty fell. I thought this was one of th ...more
The Library Lady
Mar 16, 2009 rated it it was ok
Not as funny as it could have been--somehow it feels as if it's saying "isn't this cute? get the inside joke?"
Older kids will enjoy it, if they don't deem nursery rhymes to be "baby stuff". But it will sail over preschoolers dear little heads.
Sayonna Adams
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
What REALLY Happened to Humpty?: From the Files of a Hard-Boiled Detective is a children's mystery book suitable for a third-grade classroom, told from the perspective of Humpty Dumpty's brother Joe. Joe doesn't believe that Humpty, the new Neighborhood Watch captain, accidentally fell from the wall. I was taken on Joe's journey through a storybook land as he raced against the clock to find out what really happened to his brother.
One of the ways that a teacher can implement this story into a
...more
Shakemia Jones
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall...at least that's what we were told until a new detective is on the case! What Really Happened to Humpty is a clever take on a classic nursery rhyme. The author integrates traditional, classic children’s story characters such as Mother Goose, Little Red Riding Hood, the Muffin Man, the Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks, Chicken Little, and more into this story. Humpty’s younger brother, Joe is the new detective in town, and goes from home t ...more
Ashleigh Powell
Dec 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wow-books
What Really Happened to Humpty?: From the Files of a Hard-Boiled Detective is a fun book to use as an introduction to mystery. I would use this in grades 2-4. This book takes classic nursery rhymes and characters and uses them as suspects to the crime of pushing Humpty off the wall. The book follows Humpty's brother, Joe, as he attempts to solve this great mystery.

This is a great text to use in order to get students to practice inferencing. There are many events that occur that would allow me t
...more
Ariel Pickett
Mar 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
What REALLY Happened to Humpty?: From the Files of a Hard-Boiled Detective is a short mystery book written by Jeanie Franz Ransom. The book follows the Mother Goose characters as Humpty Dumpty’s brother Joe Dumpty tries to solve what really happened to his brother. This was a WOW book for me because it was a great read aloud for my little ones at home and would be fun to use in any elementary level classroom. This book provides a great opportunity to incorporate dramatization in the classroom. F ...more
Brigitte Brulz
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book made my daughters and I laugh. It is a longer book, so it may not be great for little ones. I love how various nursery rhyme characters are incorporated throughout the story. If a child doesn't know the details of the various nursery rhymes, it may not be as amusing to them, but I found it to be a great read. My daughters enjoyed trying to solve the mystery of "what really happened to Humpty". Thankfully, Humpty will be okay and the mystery was solved. Now, my daughters are eager to re ...more
Kadie Speller
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-2
Humptys brother, Joe, becomes a detective to figure out what exactly happened to Humpty. It includes little parts and characters for different nursery rhymes. Little miss muffet, goldilocks, and even the old woman that lived in a shoe. Joe visits everyone to get their story of that day, to try and solve the mystery of who, "pushed", his brother off the wall. Joe solves the crime and finds out that not only one but two people were involved with knocking his brother off the wall. This book is a bi ...more
Braelyn
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Traditional Literature. 2000. This book includes many different nursery rhymes that lots of children may be familiar with. It's about a crime, who pushed humpty, and has so many puns. The puns are enjoyable to read and some children may be able to understand them as well. It would be a perfect book to explore who, what, when, where, and why.
Megan
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Genre: Mystery

Such a cute book that my CT read to her third grade class! One cute feature of the book was multiple puns pertaining to eggs and detectives, and the pictures were full of detail! I feel like the book could be used to introduce mystery while utilizing the prior knowledge kiddos have about nursery rhymes.
Aymin Silva
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An enjoyable read, allowing the reader to also be a detective to try and solve the mystery. I also like how the author did lots of cross-text references to other nursery rhymes like Little Miss Muffet, Mother Goose etc. The style of the book was also engaging, with speech bubbles, varying colours (bright primary colours to sepia tones) and layouts for the pictures.
Yesenia Cazarez
Oct 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-2
What REALLY happened to Humpty, is a story about his detective brother who is in on the case to figure out what suspects cracked the egg. This book can be a fun and mysterious for children because it has a lot of hidden eggs. It also has a few nursery rhymes that children would love to read/sing together!
Brittney Eichorst
Such an entertaining book! With prior knowledge from other nursery rhymes, students can learn to compare and contrast. They could also hear the original nursery rhyme of Humpty Dumpty and infer what they think actually happened!
Rachel Pennock
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Mystery. This book is perfect to do a unit with! There are so many different activities you could do with your students, and I love the perspective it is told in. I would use this book for grades 4 and up because it is kind of long and thorough.
Sheela
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It is always nice to pick a classic and read every book that has a different spin on it. I read it with my 7 & 9 year old and I will read it to my 9 year olds class because it is that good and I know they will laugh out loud. ...more
Lucerito Ramirez
May 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-2
the irony! i found it pretty funny. Im sure children would recognize the many nursery rhymes throughout this book. This book would be a awesome for some discussions in the classroom. overall great book will be adding to my library!
Michelle
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Hilarious and clever!
Sondra Price
Aug 21, 2018 rated it liked it
A good book for reading aloud, but only with a fully engaged audience as it is a bit longer and wordier than other picture books.
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Jeanie Franz Ransom is a children's picture-book author and former elementary school counselor with a penchant for puns and a fondness for fractured fairytales. Her books include the award-winning "What Really Happened to Humpty?" and "The Crown Affair," and her newest title, "Cowboy Car."

Jeanie also writes self-help books for kids and the adults in their lives, including "Don't Squeal Unless It'
...more

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