Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Humpty Dumpty Jr: Hardboiled Detective: The Mystery of Merlin and the Gruesome Ghost by Nate Evans, Paul Hindman and Vince Evans


After reading the first installment of the Humpty Dumpty Jr.: Hardboiled Detective series, The Case of the Fiendish Flapjack Flop, my daughter and I couldn't wait to start the second. The first book was full of action, humor, and vivid illustrations (you can read our review here), and we had such high expectations for the second book. And Humpty Dumpty Jr. Hardboiled Detective: The Mystery of Merlin and the Gruesome Ghost didn't disappoint.

In The Mystery of Merlin and the Gruesome Ghost, the wise-cracking (pun intended) detective, Humpty Dumpty, Jr., and his sidekick Rat are back and ready to solve another case. In the first book, Rat was a scrubby kid without a home, and while he's still a little rough around the edges, he's cleaned up since Humpty Dumpty, Jr. and Patty Cake, New Yolk City's most popular baker, took him under their wing. Humpty Dumpty, Jr. really wants Rat to go to school, but Rat is against the idea--until the perfect opportunity presents itself in the form of a case that needs to be solved.

Princess Lily, a student at Merlin's Institute for the Knowledge of Everything, arrives at Humpty Dumpty, Jr.'s office in the middle of a rain storm looking for help. Her father, Prince Balto, encountered a ghost in the halls of the school, was found unconscious, and hasn't come out of it. The ghost wanders the halls moaning, "Give me my magic!" When Humpty Dumpty, Jr. and Rat accompany Lily to Merlin's Institute to investigate, Merlin (yes, King Arthur's Merlin) is convinced that Rat is the next King Arthur and needs a little training so he can remove Excalibur from the stone and anvil. Rat's enrollment in the school gives Humpty Dumpty, Jr. access to the school to find out more about the ghost and why Merlin's so hostile, as well as to restore Prince Balto back to health.

As in the first book, chaos ensues whenever Humpty Dumpty, Jr. attempts to use his egg-beater magic wand, providing a lot of laughs. When the identity of the ghost is revealed, there's another action scene that made it impossible for us to put the book down. And it's hard to put into words how wonderful the illustrations are, perfectly portraying the action and including little details that make the characters come to life.

Sourcebooks is targeting middle school boys with this series, but again I think it will attract a wider audience. With the addition of Princess Lily (who I hope returns in future installments), young girls see a princess who isn't all frilly and weak and waiting for a man to bail her out of a crisis. When it counts, Lily takes charge, and she makes a suitable role model for young girls.

The next Humpty Dumpty Jr.: Hardboiled Detective book is slated for release in May 2009. Apparently, the book includes ninjas. You can bet The Girl and I will read that one!



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Here's The Girl's thoughts on The Mystery of Merlin and the Gruesome Ghost. This time, she wrote the review all by herself, without any prompting from her mother.

I liked the part where Humpty Dumpty, Jr. turned mini. [Anna: He was shrunk "smaller than a chocolate egg" (page 76)] I liked that part because it was really funny and cool. When Humpty Dumpty, Jr. dressed up like a janitor and had to clean up throw up, it was cool. I also liked the part when Rat dressed up in the dance suit. Us girls will like this book because Lily is a cool character, and she's a girl.

I made my mom put in this picture. It was my favorite from the first book.












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Watch the trailer for The Mystery of Merlin and the Gruesome Ghost here.

Watch the trailer for The Case of the Fiendish Flapjack Flop here.

Disclosure:  We received a free copy of The Mystery of Merlin and the Gruesome Ghost from Sourcebooks for review purposes.

15 comments:

Jeannie said...

"As in the first book, chaos ensues whenever Humpty Dumpty, Jr. attempts to use his egg-beater magic wand, providing a lot of laughs. When the identity of the ghost is revealed, there's another action scene that made it impossible for us to put the book down."

So, that's cool- another action-packed book. This sounds like a fun series, Anna.

"When Humpty Dumpty, Jr. dressed up like a janitor and had to clean up throw up, it was cool."

Ewwww- poor Humpty Dumpty Jr. I guess he'll do anything to crack the case.

"I made my mom put in this picture. It was my favorite from the first book."

I like that picture too. He looks kinda of scary, but then again not really, because he's picking his nose.

I enjoyed both of your reviews. Thanks so much. :D

Veens said...

How cute! and your lil girl does such a wonderful review! good work little lady!

really nive review!

Marvin D. Wilson said...

Sounds hysterical in a very good way. Neat series, very creative - I think I'll pick them up for my grandson for Christmas.

Serena said...

I think this series sounds wonderful...I've got a niece who may like this one...and perhaps a couple little girls in NH and Co

Nymeth said...

This sounds like so much fun. I'm glad both you and your girl enjoyed it! And I love the cover art.

Shana said...

I love the visual of Humpty Dumpty shrunk smaller than a chocolate egg!

naida said...

This sounds like a cute series!
Great review by you and your little one too :)
http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

bethany said...

This really looks fun!! I can't wait until my little ones are old enough to read with me :)

dawn said...

Great reviews from both of you! I think my 10-yr-old son would really like this series ... I'll have to look for it for him.

Teddy Rose said...

You won the book Lost and Found on my blog. Please email me right away with your address and full name so I can have the publisher mail your prize.

teddyr66(at)yahoo(dot)com

Anna said...

Jeannie: I just love your comments!! Glad you enjoyed the reviews! The Girl is having a blast. She wants to do some by herself, and the only thing I'm allowed to do is post it for her. LOL

Veens: Thanks! She'll be so happy to hear your kind words!

Marvin: If you get them for your grandson, I'd love to hear what he thinks. There were many times my daughter laughed hysterically. They really are great books.

Serena: I think they'd make great gifts!!

Nymeth: Thanks! The artwork inside and out is amazing!

Shana: If you think Humpty getting shrunk was funny, you should see him with the toilet plunger stuck on his head, or the top of his shell, I guess I should say!

Naida: Thanks! So glad you enjoyed it!

Bethany: These are some fun books to share!

Dawn: Thanks! Let me know if your son gets a chance to read them!

Teddy Rose: I've emailed you!

Teddy Rose said...

I didn't receive your email can you try again or give me your email and I'll email you and you can reply.

teddyr66(at)yahoo.com

Carrie said...

Well, this definitely sounds unique!

Teddy Rose said...

Anna,

I'm really sorry, but there has been a mix up. You hadn't even signed up to win my giveaway of 'Gods Behaving Badly'. It was Janel.

She hadn't left her email when she signed up, so I clicked on her name to get to her blog, but your blog was named, so I clicked on it. LOL! I just looked again and now realized the Your wonderful blog is one she follows (as do I). It doesn't appear that she has a blog.

Now I just saw that she entered your "Falling Under" Giveaway and left her email. So I will email her.

Sorry again for all the hassle!

Teddy

Anna said...

Carrie: These books definitely were unique! It was refreshing to read a different kind of action book with my daughter.

Teddy Rose: No worries!