When I saw the title of the newest children’s series that I’ve recently come across, I couldn’t believe it. With all the new fantasy series and kids’ books hitting the shelves in increasing numbers every day, I considered myself jaded. I honestly didn’t believe I’d ever find anything new or fresh again.
Then I saw the improbable character featured in Sourcebooks’ latest offering: Humpty Dumpty, Jr.: Hardboiled Detective. Yep, you guessed it. He’s an egg.
But HD, Jr. isn’t just any egg. He’s a trench coat-wearing tough private eye with a knack for solving crimes and tracking down bad guys in New Yolk City.
The creative team (Nate Evans, Paul Hindman, and Vince Evans) have outdone themselves with this series in writing and art. The writing is nice and tight, filled with wordplay and puns that the targeted audience (7 and up) will love. Throughout the book, the art serves to draw reader interest while enhancing the story with comical notes and sight gags.
Just as in any good private eye story, HD, Jr. has a sidekick (Rat, a young street kid he joins up with in The Case of the Fiendish Flapjack Flop) and an antagonistic police detective, Lieutenant Rosebriar (an eyepatch-wearing rhinoceros with an attitude). The short chapters fly by, chockfull of witty dialogue that kids will love.
In his first case, HD, Jr. receives a panicked phonecall for help. Caller ID shows the call came from Pat-A-Cake Bakery. Sprinting into action, HD, Jr. grabs his skateboard and his semi-trusty magic wand (an eggbeater with mystical properties).
Once at the Pat-A-Cake Bakery, HD, Jr. discovers evidence of foul play and clues. It’s obvious that Patty Cake has been abducted. And the chase is on.