Friday, October 10, 2008

Humpty Dumpty Jr: Hardboiled Detective: The Case of the Fiendish Flapjack Flop by Nate Evans, Paul Hindman and Vince Evans

Sourcebooks, Inc. is targeting middle-grade boys with the Humpty Dumpty Jr.: Hardboiled Detective series, but I think it will appeal to a much larger audience. Humpty Dumpty Jr. is a hardboiled egg and private investigator who solves various crimes in New Yolk City. (Yes, there are tons of egg puns, but they are silly, not distracting. My 8-year-old daughter laughed at each one and enjoyed pointing them out on her own.) He's haunted by the only case he's never "cracked," which is the one involving his famous father.

In the series opener, The Case of the Fiendish Flapjack Flop, Humpty Dumpty Jr., armed with an egg-beater magic wand that never seems to work right for him, must find out who kidnapped New Yolk City's best baker, Patty Cake of the Pat-A-Cake bakery. He meets up with Rat, a homeless boy befriended by Patty Cake, and they eventually decide to work together. As they follow numerous clues, the pair run into an interesting cast of characters: Peppermint Pete, Johnny Cakes, the Queen and Jack of Hearts, Crusty Crinkles, and Mr. Fum, among others.

My daughter and I both enjoyed the book. At 120 pages, it wasn't a tedious read for us; we finished it in under a week, reading a couple of chapters a day before her bedtime. My daughter has pretty much outgrown picture books, but because she's still not ready to read only chapter books without pictures, The Case of the Fiendish Flapjack Flop was perfect. The Humpty Dumpty Jr. books have an illustration on every page, and they do a great job showing the action in the story. The drawings of the bad guys are creepy, and while the three-headed monster at the end is not scary enough to frighten young readers, it certainly looks mean.

The end of the book was so full of action that my daughter didn't want to stop reading (and neither did I). She was able to read the book on her own, though we took turns reading pages so we could enjoy it together. If you have a child right around my daughter's age, I'd definitely recommend the book. We've already started book two, The Mystery of Merlin and the Gruesome Ghost, and we're enjoying it so far.


Here's The Girl's take on The Case of the Fiendish Flapjack Flop in her own words (I asked her questions about the book so she'd say a little more about what she thought):

I liked this book because it was funny. My favorite part was when Johnny Cakes ran down the street naked except for a little bit of butter over his private parts. My favorite character was Humpty Dumpty Jr. the hardboiled detective because he is funny when he messes up using his magic wand, which is an egg beater. My second favorite part was when Rat's legs turned into rock candy. I liked the funny egg jokes in the story, like "New Yolk City" and "unscramble the case." The three-headed chocolate cake monster was cool. I wanted to read the book all in one night but my mom made me go to bed and read more the next day.

Watch a trailer of The Case of the Fiendish Flapjack Flop here.
Watch a trailer of The Mystery of Merlin and the Gruesome Ghost (review coming soon!) here.

Disclosure:  We received a free copy of The Case of the Fiendish Flapjack Flop from Sourcebooks for review purposes.


Serena said...

What a great review. The Girl did a great job with her review even if mom did prompt her with questions. Sounds like a good read...maybe I should pick some up as gifts.

Jeannie said...

To Anna: This sounds like a great book because the excitement in it encourages younger readers to not put the book down. I'm all for that! I can also appreciate that Humpty Dumpty Jr. sounds like he lives a more exciting (and a much longer) life than Humpty Sr.

To The Girl: Sounds like you had an egg-celent time. Sorry your mom made you go to bed early. She must be a tough egg to crack. Oh, I can go on all day!!! :D

Anonymous said...

I love that you and The Girl did this review together, and that you read it together, for that matter.

I'm glad you both enjoyed it!

Anna said...

The Girl has read everyone's comments, and she was quite pleased that you all enjoyed her review!

Serena: I thought it was a good idea to ask her questions because I asked her what she wanted me to write and she said, "I liked the book." That was it. It was her first review, she wants to do more, so I bet, in time, she'll have it down. ;)

Jeannie: You "crack" me up! LOL

Shana: We had a lot of fun. She loves to read, which thrills me to no end! Her dad wishes she enjoyed sports more. LOL

Anonymous said...

I think this is absolutely fantastic! Jimmy didn't have enough fun books to read way back and it's nice to see something like this emerge.

pamwax said...

Thank you for the review The Girl. You did a wonderful job. Following in Mom's footsteps.

This sounds like a good book to get my grandson. He hasn't really discovered the joy of reading. Maybe this will peak his interest.

Anonymous said...

Anna, how are you???

I hope you're feeling better this weekend!

Anna said...

J. Kaye: This really is a great series. My daughter is already looking forward to future installments.

Pam: The Girl says thank you! :) Let me know if your grandson reads them. I'd love to know what he thinks!

Shana: Thanks for asking! I still have a fever and am tired, but at least I can breathe again.

April said...

What an awesome review, Anna!! I loved The Girl's review also! This was a fun book and my 6 year old daughter and I are reading the second in the series and really liking it!

Anna said...

April: Thanks! My daughter will love to hear that you enjoyed it! We're about halfway through book two, and it's pretty entertaining. Not quite so many egg jokes as the first book. LOL