Humpty Dumpty Lived Near a Wall by Derek Hughees; illustrated by Nathan Christopher. 2020. Published by Penguin Workshop
Brief summary: Humpty Dumpty has no fun at all working all day with no time to play. He decides to build a ladder to look over the wall. While sitting on the top looking onto the other side, something happens to him. The king and the townspeople find broken shells at the foot of the wall and conclude the worst has occurred to the egg. Or has it?
Comments: This fractured nursery rhyme based on the Mother Goose nursery rhyme, is told in clever rhyme The color scheme of the illustrations is black and with great detail and layers. I found myself looking through the book again to catch all that I missed in the pictures.
Although young readers would enjoy this remaking of a classic nursery rhyme, I believe it would be better suited for the older elementary students to fully understand the retelling.
After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up by Dan Santat; illustrated by Dan Santat. 2017. Published by Roaring Book Press.
Brief summary: The story begins after Humpty Dumpty gets out of Kings County Hospital and has recovered from his fall, that is physically recovered. Humpty Dumpty tells and shows the reader about his fear of heights that developed from the fall. He is unable to enjoy anything up high. He walks past where the accident happened and really wants to be up high where the birds are, but just can not. He watches the birds from the ground until one day a paper airplane flies by him piquing his interest of flying and being up high. After a lot of perseverance, he comes up with the perfect paper airplane and takes it to the wall to fly. It goes over. He nervously climbs the wall to retrieve it and discovers what his true self is afterall.
Comments: One of my all-time favorites! My students in all grades loved this book and especially the surprise ending. As we checked in books, I had the nursery rhyme on the Smartboard when they came in. (I never assume they know the nursery rhymes). I taught the book as a fractured nursery rhyme and before I read the book to them, explained what are the characteristics of fractured folklore. The students were mesmerized by the story and illustrations. The younger ones had to think a bit more to get the ending and what happened. Afterwards, with the older students, this led to many conversations about their own fears and overcoming them. I could see this being shared by a counselor to talk about fear.
Writing. This could be the beginning of a writing exercise with nursery rhymes and what happened afterwards. What happened after the mouse ran down the clock? What happened to Baa Baa Black Sheep’s wool?
Art connection. Origami. The paper airplane books are now checked out all the time. I had to put out extra paper and was amused how several students would gather in a circle to make airplanes. New rule: No throwing paper airplanes in the library.