Cover image for Humpty Dumpty egg-splodes
Humpty Dumpty egg-splodes
O'Malley, Kevin, 1961-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
[New York] : Walker & Company, 2001.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : coll. illustrations ; 29 cm
An enormous Humpty Dumpty returns to seek revenge on the nursery rhyme characters who let him fall.
General Note:
Cover title.
Reading Level:
AD 250 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.9 0.5 48644.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.1 2 Quiz: 26592 Guided reading level: NR.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Furious about being teased and taunted for his round, bald body and bad habit of falling off walls, Humpty Dumpty is wreaking havoc throughout Mother Goose Land. With hilarious illustrations and clever wordplays, Kevin O'Malley stands Mother Goose on her head, creating a world of nursery rhyme characters never seen before. IRA-CBC Children's Choices, 2002 Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award, Masterlist, 2002-03 South Dakota Prairie Pasque Children's Book Award, Masterlist, 2002-03

Author Notes

Kevin O'Malley has been amassing high praise and impressive awards for his hilarious, kid-friendly picture books, including numerous starred reviews and two School Library Journal Best Books of the Year. He is also the illustrator and coauthor of the best-selling Miss Malarkey series for Walker & Company. Kevin lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with his wife and two sons.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 2dren, a dad visits his son's classroom to read a story to the kids. To their dismay, he launches into "Mary Had a Little Lamb." But as soon as the teacher hightails it for the teacher's lounge, Father pulls a switch. He tells all assembled that what Mary's little lamb found when it followed her one day was an "egg-ceedingly" large egg crushing the school. The bad egg is an enraged Humpty Dumpty ("Did anybody ever think how painful it would be to have a horse try to put you back together?" Humpty rants) on the rampage in Mother Goose Land. The book takes on the character of a horror movie spoof, as the Godzilla-like Humpty tears up the gingerbread architecture and London Bridge forcing Old King Cole to put together antiterrorist response plans. The fast, funny story gets a lot of its zest from O'Malley's outrageous asymmetric, intensely vivid pictures. The typeface fits in with the wild art, but it's a bit hard to read. --Connie Fletcher

Publisher's Weekly Review

When mild-looking Mr. Hatchery opens a volume of nursery rhymes, glum children mutter, "Boring." They don't anticipate his turning "Mary Had a Little Lamb" into an overwrought tale of an "egg-ceedingly large Humpty Dumpty" terrorizing a Mother Goose town. Mr. Hatchery envisions Humpty behaving like an ovoid Godzilla, demolishing a one-room schoolhouse and growling, "I'm huge, and I'm not gonna take it anymore.... `Oh, look, the tubby bald eggman is falling off the wall, haa, haa, haa.' I'm back, baby." Old King Cole, a lazy guy with Groucho Marx's mustache, crouching walk and merry reputation, calls for reinforcements. Peter Piper "pitched pickled peppers until he was positively pooped," but neither he nor the Muffin Man fail to scramble their foe. Humpty ransacks their Shakespearean-era city while chortling, "London Bridge is falling down!" O'Malley (Bud) takes broad liberties with familiar rhymes and bombards his audience with bad puns. His resolution lays an egg (swanlike dowager Mother Goose placates Humpty with an Elvis wig and a rockabilly career), but his story-hour-gone-awry frame works well. O'Malley's winking allusions recall Margie Palatini's self-conscious zaniness, and readers who enjoy the corny jokes can join Mr. Hatchery's listeners, who laugh uproariously. Ages 6-10. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-3-This book attempts to enter the same part of fractured fairy-tale land that has been so triumphantly conquered by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith's The Stinky Cheese Man (Viking, 1992). A boy's father comes to read to a class as part of "Read Across America Day" and when the teacher leaves to go to the teachers' lounge, Mr. Hatchery proceeds to tell the class eggs-actly what happened to Humpty Dumpty. The huge egg is bent on destroying the whole universe inhabited by nursery-rhyme characters-"That's right, I'm huge and I'm not gonna take it anymore.-Did anybody ever think how painful it would be to have a horse try to put you back together? No. So I'm back, baby." Mayhem follows, underlined by O'Malley's humorous rounded illustrations and a dialogue based on traditional nursery rhymes: "`I've got it!' barked Old King Cole. `Do you know the Muffin Man?' `The Muffin Man?' asked Jack. `The Muffin Man! Do you know the Muffin Man?' asked the king. `Oh sure,' said Jack, `he lives on Drurey Lane.'" O'Malley has done clever versions of traditional texts, but this effort, which ends with Humpty playing Elvis in a nightclub act, is too scrambled to be delicious.-Kathleen Whalin, York Public Library, ME (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.