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Book Review: Humpty Who?

April 30th, 2008
jacket image for Humpty Who?

Humpty Who? A Crash Course in 80 Nursery Rhymes for Clueless Moms and Dads,  by Jennifer Griffen; Published by Workman Publishing, 2007

In the introduction to this charming and actually very useful handbook, author Jennifer Griffin describes the scene the first time she tried to soothe her newborn baby with a song: the only thing she could come up with was the commercial jingle for Sure deodorant.   Her second impulse was the title theme to the Love Boat.   Quickly she decided that it was high time to learn some real nursery rhymes, and after much research, settled on writing a book of her own for other “clueless” moms and dads.

Humpty Who? is more than just an encyclopedia of nursery rhymes; it’s actually an entertaining little read.   Whether you know none of the traditional little ditties parents throughout the last two centuries have used to soothe their little ones, or (fortunately or unfortunately) know them all thanks to your own toddler’s obsession with children’s CDs, you will find the little trivia and tidbits about each of the rhymes in the collection humorous and interesting.   And it is really nice to actually read where some of those wackier poems come from.

Griffin also includes instructions for hand signals and dance moves to some of the songs; very useful if you’ve got a toddler who really likes to move to the beat.   Also useful if you have a baby to distract, and nothing short of a Broadway production will do.

The book includes a CD of 35 of the songs featured in the book.   The CD is great!   Kenny and I received it on Friday of last week, and he’s wanted to listen to it every day since.   The tunes are updated with catchy arrangements and pleasant vocals, and it’s a nice variety to sit and listen to all the way through.   Kenny has even already memorized a few new ones, and he spent our walk today shouting out from the stroller, “Alice the Camel,” much to the amusement of the neighborhood.   There is only one track that rubs Kenny the wrong way, and each time we’ve listened, he’s bolted up from whatever he’s doing to shout, “Skip this one!!”   It isn’t my favorite track either, but I’m not telling which one it is, in case it turns out to be yours.

Humpty Who? would make a fun gift for any new parent, or even a great prize at a baby shower.    In fact, the good folks at Workman Publishing have sent me a copy for a give-away here at MommyBlog!   I will send a copy of this fantastic little book to the first person who emails me  here with the correct answer to this fill-in-the-blank (and no fair using Google!):

Lullaby and good night / In the sky ___________ / Close your eyes, start to yawn / Pleasant dreams ___________ / Close your eyes now and rest / Lay your _____________ / Go to sleep now and rest / May your Slumber be ___________.

Good luck!


  1. Andrea says

    This CD looks excellent, I think I am going to get it for my mom who is an early elementary school teacher. And one for me of course.

    May 3rd, 2008 | #

  2. Jennifer says

    This book looks great! Too bad, but I don’t know the words to that song. I would sing that song to my girls, but make up words. For example- Lullaby and Goodnight, MaMa loves little ….I’m interested in learning the words and also learning a little bit about the history.

    July 30th, 2008 | #

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