The Crown Affair

The Crown Affair

  • 1695

By: Jeanie Franz Ransom / Illustrated by: Stephen Axelsen

"Looks like this case won’t be over easy."

Jack fell down and lost his crown . . . and Joe Dumpty, Private Investigator, is hot on the case to find it.

Mother Gooseland is buzzing with preparation for the upcoming Gooseland Games, and with the crown being first prize, Joe needs to crack the case before it’s too late. With his detective notebook in hand, Joe rolls through town questioning possible suspects. Will P.I. Joe be able to solve the case and return the prize crown before the games?

Full of puns and references to classic nursery rhymes and fairy tales, this sequel to What REALLY Happened to Humpty? will entertain children and adults alike. Illustrations by Stephen Axelsen provide a hilarious and detailed accompaniment to the story.

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Author & Illustrator Bios:

Jeanie Franz Ransom, author

Jeanie Franz Ransom has written several books for children, including What Parents Do When You're Not Home (Peachtree), Don't Squeal Unless It's a Big Deal: A Tale of Tattletales (Magination Press), and Grandma U (Peachtree).

Jeanie sold her first story when she was seventeen to—where else?—Seventeen magazine. Since then, she's been an advertising copywriter, an editor and writer at a bed-and-breakfast travel magazine, and a freelance writer for numerous regional and national magazines. Along the way, she earned a master's degree in counseling and worked as an elementary school counselor.

Read more about Jeanie Franz Ransom.

Stephen Axelsen, illustrator

Stephen Axelsen has illustrated numerous children's books, including What Really Happened to Humpty?, Vikings Maze Book (Little Hare Books), and the Piccolo and Annabelle series (Oxford University Press), which he also wrote. He lives on the east coast of Australia.

Awards & Honors:

ILA-CBC Children's Choices selection

Editorial Reviews:

Publishers Weekly, starred review

When Jack and Jill fell down the hill, did Jack really lose his crown, or did someone make off with it? Detective Joe Dumpty, previously seen in 2009’s What REALLY Happened to Humpty?, is on the case in this witty companion book. Tipped off that a certain other nursery-rhyme Jack might be responsible for the crown’s disappearance, Joe sets out to interrogate suspects, and his noir-flavored narration is just as much fun this time around (“Between his bum foot and his scorched bottom, Jack wouldn’t have been nimble—or quick—enough to grab the crown this morning”). Axelsen’s illustrations are packed with humorous details and cleverly reimagined Mother Goose characters, and Ransom’s references to “test[ing] positive for magic beans,” among other gags, will amuse older readers.

Kirkus Reviews

Noir whodunit in the land of Mother Goose.

When Jack loses his crown after falling down that hill, who better to crack the case than hard-boiled Joe Dumpty, private eye? (Joe made his rep by solving the mystery surrounding his brother in What REALLY Happened to Humpty?, 2009.) Jill leaps over the yellow crime-scene tape to meet him at the hill. Jack's eyes look like pinwheels as he tells Joe what he remembers; dizzy Jill can't add much more. Spider goes over the crime scene with a fine-tooth comb...literally! Joe visits the Sprats, who are fighting; could it be about the crown? Jack B. Nimble is on crutches; he fell while practicing his candle-jumping. He's an unlikely suspect. And in the house that Jack built, "Goldy" describes a suspicious encounter with the Muffin Man. Joe grills this sailor-suited gourmand, who implicates yet another Jack, the one who went up the beanstalk. While Joe visits this sulky Jack, Spider takes a trip up the beanstalk to talk to the giant. Between them, they solve the crime, and just in time. Joe and Spider can tackle their next case: The cow has jumped over the moon and hasn't been seen since. The pun-packed yarn may go over the heads of younger readers, but their grown-ups will chuckle, and everyone will enjoy the impish twists on familiar images in Axelsen's Photoshop illustrations.

Genuinely clever.


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ISBN: 978-1-58089-552-1

ISBN: 978-1-60734-757-6 EPUB
ISBN: 978-1-60734-642-5 PDF
For information about purchasing e-books, click here.

Ages: 6-9
Page count: 40

Correlated to Common Core State Standards:
English Language Arts-Literacy. Reading Literature. Grade 1. Standards 1-4, 6, 7, 10
English Language Arts-Literacy. Reading Literature. Grade 2. Standards 1, 3, 5, 7, 10

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