Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Humpty Dumpty

My fascination with Humpty Dumpty goes back a long way. As a very young child I was given a toy Humpty Dumpty and when I was in Kindergarten my mum covered me with a huge cardboard box which had brick pattered wall paper attached and on top sat my toy.

This term I hope to explore some of the spin off stories from this famous nursery rhyme. You can see some in my Pinterest.

I think my favourite book for this topic is Dimity Dumpty by Bob Graham.  Dimity is Humpty's little sister. She is shy and "timid as a field mouse" and not at all like her tearaway brother or circus performing parents.  When Humpty does fall off the wall, though, it is Dimity who raises the alarm in time to save his life.  "She felt a tremor deep down in her little shell". Here is a video - it is almost as enchanting as the book.

Another simple story is Humpty Dumpty by Sarah Hayes illustrated by Charlotte Voake.  In this version Humpty sits on the wall and he dares others to try various maneuvers - inevitably each one falls off.  A horse tries to sit on the wall, another tries to stand, a man tries on leg, while another attempts juggling.  Dumpty takes great delight as each one fails then the King demands Humpty climb down and as he is showing off all his own tricks he falls too but this time all the kings horses and all the kings men do put Humpty together again.

As Humpty Dumpty climbs again begins Humpty has had his fall and the doctor declares :
"Mister Dumpty,' said the Doctor, 'you really must be more careful. I mean - for Pete's sake - you're an egg!."   Humpty goes into a decline.  He sits in his lounge room watching television surrounded by pictures of past heroic climbs while eating chips and looking miserable.  The Dish comes to visit but he can't rouse Humpty.  Along comes a spider and frightens him out of his house.  He reaches a mountain and finds the King's men have a dilemma - their horse is stuck on a high ledge. Humpty picks up their safety equipment and he climbs the wall and saves the horse.  "And from that day on, Humpty Dumpty never climbed again without the proper safety equipment.  Or pants."

Who pushed Humpty Dumpty and other notorious Nursery tale mysteries by David Levinthal and John Nickle.  This book covers Jack and the Beanstalk, Snow White, Goldilocks and Hansel and Gretel.  In this version Humpty is a drummer in the All the Kings horses and All the Kings men band.  Did he fall or was he pushed?  "It was hard to tell but one thing I noticed was that there was almost no yolk on the ground." Our intrepid Officer Binky does solve the mystery but sadly it is all over for Humpty.

What really Happened to Humpty by Joe Dumpty as told to Jeanie Franz Random illustrated by Stephen Axelsen centers around a conspiracy involving the Big Bad Wolf, Miss Muffet, some binoculars and the promise of fresh muffins.  Luckily Joe (Humpty's younger brother) is on the case.

Before we begin this mini theme we will read the original nursery or actually I might ask the students to dictate it to me as I scribe just to see how many children actually remember all the words.  I do think we will have fun with Humpty in a few weeks time in our school library.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses
and all the King's men
couldn't put Humpty together again!

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