Whatever Happened to Humpty Dumpty?: And Other Surprising Sequels to Mother Goose Rhymes

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9780316327671: Whatever Happened to Humpty Dumpty?: And Other Surprising Sequels to Mother Goose Rhymes

Humorous verses are added to traditional Mother Goose rhymes.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Greenberg (Bugs!) carouses through Mother Goose's cupboard, pulling out an assortment of tales and pinning irreverent sequels to them. Remember Jack (as in "Jack be nimble")? Seems he wasn't exactly a blazing success in the end. In fact, "Jack tripped over the candlestick,/ Caught fire in a flash./ Now all that's left of Jack/ Is a little bit of ash." And Humpty Dumpty, on his way to becoming an omelette for all the king's horses and men, ends up as a royal mess when the monarch puts him in the blender without the lid. Other nursery celebrities include the old woman in the shoe, Miss Muffet and Jack Sprat and his wife; Greenberg also lampoons lesser-known characters such as Little King Boggen, Baby Dolly and Jerry Hall (no, not the one married to Mick Jagger), who is swallowed by a rat ("Now there isn't any question/ He will suffer in digestion"). As he gleefully mixes metaphors and scrambles genres, Greenberg risks annoying readers with forced rhymes or choppy rhythms that are a bit of a chore to read, but the overall fun factor compensates. Schindler's waggish illustrations join in the merry parody, at one point even conjuring a farmer's wife who resembles Martha Stewart to demonstrate the utility of the tails off the three blind mice ("They're good for noodles, pickup sticks,/ Good to tickle your toes,/ Good for yarn, candlewicks/ Good to pick your nose"). The oblong format adds to the volume's visual appeal. All ages.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Some silly variations on the fates of familiar nursery rhyme characters add cheap laughs to traditional Mother Goose tales. Greenberg proposes that after Humpty's great fall, he almost became a giant omelet, but was accidentally splattered on the kitchen wall instead. Mother Goose and her gander ``both went/up to heaven/After colliding with a/747!'' Peter Pumpkin Eater's wife gets her revenge by sticking her husband in a loaf of bread. Sending up Mother Goose can be rewarding, but it's never easy; the author, with little of the grace or beat of the originals, twists many tales with trendy, explicitly gross humor, e.g., Jack Spratt and his wife lick not only the platter clean, but a city bus, the dog's nose, and a garbage truck. The illustrations, despite their giddiness, have a decidedly old-fashioned feel, demonstrating Schindler's facility with nursery rhyme characterizations in finely inked cross-hatchings. (Picture book. 4-9) -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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David Greenberg
Published by Little, Brown Young Readers (1999)
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