Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again

Santat, Dan (Author/Illustrator)
Macmillan 2017. 36 pages
First published: 2017
ISBN: 9781626726826 (hardcover)
9781250190956 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, setting

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

This clever first-person epilogue of the ubiquitous tale of Humpty Dumpty has a surprising yet perfectly logical ending.

“There were some parts that couldn’t be healed with bandages and glue,” explains Humpty Dumpty, about his experience of falling off the wall. Alongside crisp word choice and a clear narrative, humorous illustrations help tell Humpty Dumpty’s tale of recovery. On the page explaining that post-fall Humpty Dumpty had become afraid of heights, readers find him in the cereal aisle at the grocery store, unable to reach all the delicious options up high, like “Just Marshmallow” and “Bowl-O-Cookies,” stuck instead with “Nofün” muesli and “Twigs and Berries” which are stocked on the lower shelves.

The illustrations have a pleasingly old-fashioned yet realistic aesthetic that works well with the nursery rhyme theme. They effectively use light and shadow to create atmosphere and play with perspective, almost like a camera. Humpty Dumpty has an especially expressive face, complete with darting tongue.

Even if readers can guess that Humpty Dumpty ultimately triumphs, the ending is a surprise and victory, suggesting an answer to the age-old question, which came first, the chicken or the egg?

  •  

    When things go wrong, how do you pick yourself up? Discuss strategies that you have used, or want to try, to deal with tragedy or pain in your life.

  •  When reading for the first time, stop when Humpty is standing on the wall and predict the resolution of the story.
  •  

    Reread the book with an eye for the obstacles that Humpty faces. Make connections with other stories where characters face personal challenges. How are their challenges similar to or different from Humpty’s?

  •  

    A two-page spread shows Humpty buying Bo-Rings cereal because he cannot reach his favourites. Look at the cereal names, shelf heights, colours, etc., and discuss how marketing plays a key role in how consumers buy products.

  •  

    Use this as a mentor text and write your own story about a character who shows courage in overcoming adversity and embracing recovery.

  •  

    Learn the Mother Goose rhyme, “Humpty Dumpty.” Practise saying it out loud.

  •  

    On a picture walk, notice the details in the settings and how emotions are portrayed. Make predictions for the story as you get to “They always do.” As the story is read, adjust your predictions.

  •  

    What might Humpty mean when he says that “some parts couldn’t be healed with bandages and glue”? What injuries or illnesses might they be, and what symptoms would be expected?

  •  

    Learning to appreciate humour such as puns and wordplay is a difficult part of learning a second language. Look at the cereal brand names. Analyze why they are humorous. Use a graphic organizer to explain your thinking.

  •  

    Create a character map to show how Humpty changes from the beginning of the story to the end.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Ethics and Religious Culture