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MOWMT Day #22: Nadia Ali Goes Beyond Nursery Rhymes

Beyond Nursery Rhymes

By Nadia Ali

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

There is something about nursery rhymes that leaves you scratching your head in wonder. Essentially, in this one, Humpty sat on a wall, fell off and cracked. It bothered the writer in me, surely there must be more to this story.

Then I read Dan Santat’s ‘After The Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again). It continues where the nursery rhyme finished and tells a story of fear, trauma and the importance of getting up again.

Books based on nursery rhymes is not a new concept. ‘Mary Had a Little Glam’ by Tammi Sauer illustrated by Vanessa Blantley-Newton is based on Mary Had a Little Lamb. In this creative version, Mary is a fashionista of color who helps fellow nursery rhyme characters share her love for glam.

The delightful nursery rhyme ‘There Was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly’ was used as the base for Chris Ferie’s, ‘There Was a Black Hole That Swallowed the Universe’ illustrated by Susan Batori.’ This story takes the rhyme to a whole new level using the universe, space and planets to help kids learn scientific concepts using a clever parody.

Knowing most nursery rhymes are in the public domain, I became intrigued and looked at Humpty Dumpty again. What if Humpty had a grandson who wanted to be an explorer but prepared by becoming stronger so he would not crack if he fell. But how? This is the premise for my picture book story called ‘Humphrey the Egg-splorer .’ Humphrey shows bravery, creativity, and forges his own path.

So, look beyond nursery rhymes, search for mentor texts and embrace your creativity!

Prize Explanation:

A book giveaway

Humphrey the Egg-splorer by Nadia Ali, illustrated by Valenti Gubianas.

Bio Nadia Ali is a children’s author who writes fiction and nonfiction picture books. Her stories range from funny to fanciful to factual. She is the author of Humphrey the Egg-splorer, illustrated by Illustrated by Valenti Gubianas (Yeehoo Press, 2023).

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