Humpty Dumpty Jr.: Hardboiled Detective, by Nate Evans, Paul Hindman, and Vince Evans

There’s a certain age—say, six to eight—at which most young boys really enjoy books about mucus, leaking diapers, and/or questionable odors. Unfortunately, few authors (Dav Pilkey aside) appear to share these tastes, leaving these readers high and dry until they’re old enough for Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Happily, authors and illustrators Nate Evans, Paul Hindman, and Vince Evans have stepped in to help fill the void. Their Humpty Dumpty Jr: Hardboiled Detective series has everything a seven-year-old boy could wish for: explosions, magic, sword fighting, mysteries, puns, and more gross-out humor than you can shake a stick at.

The first book in the series, The Case of the Fiendish Flapjack Flop, kicks off when Private Investigator Humpty Dumpty Jr. receives a frantic call for help from his friend Patty Cake, owner of New Yolk’s famous Pat-a-Cake Bakery. Humpty rushes to her side, but arrives too late—she’s been kidnapped! With a list of suspects that includes rival baker Mr. Crinkles, the Knave of Hearts, and the bitter, fresh-out-of jail hoodlum "Johnny" Cakes, Humpty wonders if he’ll ever find his friend again.

By the start of the second book, The Mystery of Merlin and the Gruesome Ghost, Patty has been recovered and Humpty has accepted former street kid Rat as his new sidekick. Rat is less than thrilled to discover that Humpty and Patty intend to enroll him in school—but classes get much more exciting when he signs up at Merlin’s Institute for the Knowledge of Everything and discovers he might be the reincarnation of King Arthur....

Normally, Wordcandy donates any review copies we don’t want for our personal collections to our local public library (which in turn sells them at their used book sales), but I’m hanging on to these two books to give to my brother’s girlfriend, who manages a before-and-after school program at a low-income elementary school in Seattle. She has a lot of small boys to entertain, and I’m 100% certain that Evans, Hindman, and Evans’s cheerfully silly series will go over big with the first- and second-grade crowd.
Posted by: Julianka


18 Oct, 2008 08:39 PM @ version 0

would these be ok for a 5yo?

18 Oct, 2008 11:46 PM @ version 0

Probably, depending on the kid. I'd place it at a higher level than, say, Captain Underpants, but considerably lower than Encyclopedia Brown.

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