Written by David Levinthal
Illustrated by John Nickle
A combination of classic nursery rhymes with a new perspective of each – genius! Who Pushed Humpty Dumpty? by David Levinthal is a delightful combination of multiple age-old stories told from the point of view of Binky, a frog cop always on call when any crime is committed in the fairytale forest. Whether it is the three bears concerned about the demolition of their house due to Goldilocks or Snow White falling unconscious due to the Queen’s poisonous apple, Binky fights for justice, looking for clues and asking the tough questions to get the job done. Striving for the truth, Binky shows readers how to look at a problem from all angles to identify the problem and hopefully solve the mystery.
With full-page illustrations of bright and detailed scenes, the reader is able to visualize the steps of Binky’s detective process and see the emotions of the characters. The illustrator John Nickle’s bold colors instantly grabbed my attention, causing me to grab the book off the shelf and explore the content. The text is placed well on the page, drawing the reader’s eye through the scene. Finally, Nickle uses the two-page spread well, encouraging readers to open the book and fully embrace the stunning images in front of them.
I particularly loved the short story of Binky solving the mystery of Snow White. As a true detective, Binky has a feeling something is amiss, as the Queen seemed unusually chipper. Not long after, the dwarves call 911 to report Snow White is unconscious. Binky sees the apple core, brings it to the lab, and verifies the Queen’s guilt. Seeing Binky handcuff the Queen was satisfying, as justice was served.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this book as a great read for children (and adults!). As long as your child has a background in classic nursery rhymes, they will be able to understand Binky’s valiant efforts and the comedy included throughout the book. I am happy the illustrations grabbed my attention and that the multiple plot lines held me captive. I will look for more works of this style, hopefully by David Levinthal and John Nickle again.
By Caroline Mulligan