What Really Happened to Humpty? by Joe Dumpty as told to Jeanie Franz Ransom; Illustrated by Stephen Axelsen
August 6, 2009 in Books With Social Studies Content, Elementary Educators, Making Personal Connections, Making Predictions, Picture Book, Preschool to 1st grade teachers, Ransom, Jeanie Franz, Reading Skills Tags: fractured fairy tales, Jeanie Franz Ransom, Joe Dumpty, Neighborhood Watch program, Stephen Axelsen, What Really Happened to Humpty?
*Picture book for preschoolers through second graders
*A smart egg as the main character
*Rating: What Really Happened to Humpty? is one of the cutest fractured fairy tale books I’ve seen in a long time.
Short, short summary: Joe Dumpty, Humpty Dumpty’s younger brother, thinks Humpty did not just fall off that wall–he was pushed. Joe convinces Mother Goose to let him investigate and find out what really happened to his brother. Was it Little Miss Muffet? “What is she hiding under her tuffet?” What about Chicken Little or the Spider? Or how about Goldie? “Was she cooking up trouble?” Joe tells his story of how he discovered what actually happened to his poor brother, Humpty Dumpty. Jeanie Franz Ransom writes a clever story, even including all the kings’ horses and all the kings’ men. Stephen Axelsen’s illustrations are funny and witty, too. Join Mother Goose’s story characters on a detective story like no other.
So, what do I do with this book?
1. One of the easiest things to do with What Really Happened to Humpty? is to follow the clues that Joe Dumpty finds and let students try to solve the mystery along with Joe. Can students guess who they think pushed Humpty, or do they agree with Mother Goose that it was all just an accident? Older students can write their guesses and opinions in reading response journals.
2. Compare and contrast other fractured fairy tales with Jeanie Franz Ransom’s Humpty Dumpty tale. Talk about the characteristics of fractured fairy tales and see how many of these characteristics What Really Happened to Humpty? has.
3. This book can also be used with social studies curriculums. It talks a lot about Neighborhood Watch programs. Many social studies curriculums include objectives about communities, so discussing the Neighborhood Watch program with students will help meet these objectives. Students can also interview their families and see if they have Neighborhood Watch programs in their own communities.
If you have read this book, please leave a comment below. OR please share your favorite fractured fairy tale!