WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO HUMPTY?

Humpty Dumpty’s hard-boiled brother tackles the mystery of his infamous fall. In a big gold trench coat and matching fedora, private eye Joe Dumpty makes a bold assertion—“Humpty Dumpty was pushed”—and sets out to crack the case, supported by police Chief (Mother) Goose. His droll investigation covers a rogue’s gallery of nursery-rhyme characters. Miss Muffet proves a tough cookie; Joe finds a key piece of evidence under her tuffet. Other suspects include Goldilocks (who’s house-sitting for the Three Bears and answers the door in pajamas and bedhead), a Zoot-suited Wolf, a skittish Chicken Little and the bickering Three Little Pigs. Ransom’s execution of her delicious premise is scattershot, but with many more hits than misses, and her text is substantial, appropriate for her target school-age audience. Axelsen’s watercolor-cum-pen-and-ink illustrations offer additional laughs and surprises. While done with a bit more polish and ’tude by Margie Palatini and Richard Egieski in 2001’s The Web Files, this nursery-rhyme caper will please. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-58089-109-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2008

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THE FENWAY FOUL-UP

BALLPARK MYSTERIES, #1

From the Ballpark Mysteries series , Vol. 1

A new series for emerging chapter-book readers combines the allure of baseball parks with the challenge of solving a mystery. Mike and Kate have tickets to a Red Sox game and an all-access pass to the park, courtesy of Kate's mom, a sportswriter. The pass comes in handy when it's reported that star player Big D's lucky bat has been stolen, as it allows them to help find the thief. Historical details about Fenway Park, including the secret code found on the manual scoreboard, a look at Wally the mascot and a peek into the gift shop, will keep the young baseball fan reading, even when the actual mystery of the missing bat falls a little flat. Writing mysteries for very young readers is a challenge—the puzzle has to be easy enough to solve while sustaining readers' interest. This slight adventure is more baseball-park travel pamphlet than mystery, a vehicle for providing interesting details about one of the hallowed halls of baseball. Not a homerun, but certainly a double for the young enthusiast. On deck? The Pinstripe Ghost, also out on Feb. 22, 2011. (historical notes) (Mystery. 6-9)

 

 

Pub Date: Feb. 22, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-375-86703-3

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Dec. 30, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2011

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Questioneers fans will not be disappointed; new fans will find this outing a timely introduction to the series.

SOFIA VALDEZ AND THE VANISHING VOTE

From the Questioneers series

The Questioneers are back for a new early chapter book, this one featuring Sofia Valdez, of Sofia Valdez, Future Prez (2019) fame.

Sofia and her friends from Miss Greer’s second grade class are back for another adventure. This time around, an election to select the new class pet offers lots of what Miss Greer likes to call Learning Experiences. Young civic activist Sofia is put in charge of managing the election, which pits candidates backed by two of her best friends against one another. Meanwhile, her cousin Marisella grapples with a pet problem of her own. Between friends and family, the election pulls Sofia in all directions, and she realizes that overseeing a fair election that runs smoothly proves to be a real challenge. Fortunately, she has sage advice from Abuelo and help from the local library to guide her. The short chapters and ample illustrations make for an accessible and entertaining early chapter book, full of fun and, yes, learning experiences. Extensive backmatter includes information on the importance of a free press, the true historical events behind Abuelo’s stories, and more information on how the voting process in the United States works. Sofia and her family have brown skin and are of Mexican heritage; her friends are diverse; and Miss Greer presents White. Marisella uses a wheelchair.

Questioneers fans will not be disappointed; new fans will find this outing a timely introduction to the series. (Fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4350-4

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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