Welcome to Perfect Picture Book Friday! Every once in a while, a book comes along that really grabs me, hangs in my mind, and finds a special place in my heart. Here’s my latest fascination, a book that has a powerful message for any age.
Title: After the Fall, How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again
Written and Illustrated by: Dan Santat
Roaring Brook Press, 2017, fiction
Suitable for ages: 4-8
Themes/topics: resilience, fear, nursery rhymes
My name is Humpty Dumpty.
This was my favorite spot, high up on the wall. I know, it’s an odd place for an egg to be, but I loved being close to the birds.
Then one day, I fell. (I’m sort of famous for that part.)
Folks called it “The Great Fall,” which sounds a little grand.
It was just an accident.
But it changed my life.
Everyone knows that when Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. But what happened after?
Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat’s poignant tale follows Humpty Dumpty, an avid bird watcher whose favorite place to be is high up on the city wall—that is, until after his famous fall. Now terrified of heights, Humpty can longer do many of the things he loves most.
Will he summon the courage to face his fear?
This masterful picture book will remind readers of all ages that Life begins when you get back up.
Activities and Resources:
Imagine the sequel to another nursery rhyme.
Examine cause and effect.
Activities from STEMREAD
Why I like love this book:
This is the story I wish I could have written (yes, in my wildest dreams!) in response to my granddaughter’s several-month long obsession with “poor Mr. Dumpty.” It’s clever and fun, strong and simple, meaningful and inspiring. It’s a book for anyone at any age. Santat has taken that flat character and brought him to life, broken as he is, and created someone to whom we can all relate. I’m itching to tell you about the great ending, but – no spoiler. Suffice it to say, you’ll be cheering for ole Humpty and uplifted by his magnificent story! Absolutely primo!
ALSO – Great podcast interview with Dan Santat on All the Wonders HERE.
Visit author Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books for a plethora of picture books listed by title and topic/theme, each with teacher/parent activities and resources.