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Who Pushed Humpty Dumpty?: And Other Notorious Nursery Tale Mysteriesby David Levinthal
Synopses & Reviews
Break-in at the Three Bears family home? It could only be one dame. Wicked witch gone missing from her candied cottage? Hansel and Gretel claim it was self-defense. Did Humpty Dumpty really just fall off that wall, or was he pushed? Here are five fairy-tale stories with a twist, all told from the point of view of a streetwise police officer called Binky, who just happens to be a toad in a suit and a fedora. When Snow White doesn't make it to the beauty pageant, Officer Binky is the first to find the apple core lying by her bed. When an awful giant mysteriously crashes to the ground, upsetting the whole town, Binky discovers exactly who is responsible. Author David Levinthal and illustrator John Nickle retell these classic stories in the style of a 1940s noir detective novel—for kids!
"'There are eight million stories in the forest. This is one of them,' announces bullfrog Binky, the plainclothes cop who investigates situations like Humpty Dumpty's demise and a witch's disappearance in 'Hansel and Gretel.' Binky starts his day with a call from Mrs. Bear, reporting a robbery. Once Goldilocks confesses, Binky unsentimentally reports, 'They'll feed her three meals a day where she's going.' Another incident involves 'that sweet girl who cleaned for the Seven Dwarfs.... Boy, what a knockout!' When Snow White is poisoned, suspicion falls on the royal judge of a beauty pageant. Following each procedural, a red 'case closed' stamp appears across a picture of the jailed or handcuffed culprit. Levinthal, best known for his photography, nails the tone of the Dragnet-style escapades that make up his picture book debut, and Nickle's (Hans My Hedgehog) obsessively detailed acrylics have a sinister edge that suits the mood. His panels are somewhat awkwardly framed in unadorned borders, and the no-frills, sans-serif typeface does little to complement the images or deadpan narration, but readers should still be tickled by these noirish retellings. Ages 4 — 8. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
DAVID LEVINTHAL is a celebrated photographer known for his use of toy figurines and tableaux for his art. He illustrated the covers for the immensely popular, New York Times-bestselling books by Sarah Vowell—Assassination Vacation, The Wordy Shipmates, and Unfamiliar Fishes. He is also the author of I.E.D.: War in Iraq and Hitler Moves East: A Graphic Chronicle, 1941-43, among others. He has been the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and has been named a Guggenheim Fellow.
JOHN NICKLE is the amazing author and illustrator of Alphabet Explosion!, The Ant Bully, and TV Rex. He is also the illustrator of Judi Barrett's Never Take a Shark to the Dentist: And Other Things Not to Do and Things That Are Most in the World. The Ant Bully was made into a feature film in 2006.
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