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Courage & Resiliency, Early/Young Readers, Fairy/Folk/Tall Tale, Humor, Read-Aloud Suggestions, Teacher & Parent Recommendations

AFTER THE FALL by Dan Santat

This has been on my TBR list since it was published in 2017. I am SO thrilled I finally made the time to read it.  After The Fall is a rewarding reading experience beyond what I anticipated. This is the continuation of what happened after the traditional Humpty Dumpty rhyme ends–told by Humpty Dumpty himself.

After The Fall is that rare work that tells a plot-driven story while simultaneously communicating a very character-driven message about personal growth and resiliency. Humpty Dumpty is scared after having fallen and hurt himself. Humpty shares how he has adjusted his life after the accident and how his fear holds him hostage:

I was so scared it kept me from enjoying some of my favorite things.

He then reveals how he pushes himself to confront his fear and heal successfully from the scary thing he has been through.

Maybe now you won’t think of me as that egg who was famous for falling.

Hopefully you’ll remember me as the egg who got back up…

and learned how to fly.

Santat’s illustrations in this story have softer tones and edges than Sidekicks or The Cookie Fiasco or even Are We There Yet? The richness of of his characters’ expressions and setting are not lessened in any way because of this. Santat has created a Brene Brown-type message about the importance of vulnerability, courage and resiliency in a non-patronizing, completely accessible way for young readers.

This is another Santat title I plan on adding to my personal library. I highly encourage the use of After The Fall as a read-aloud at home or in a classroom. I can imagine the wonderful discussions this story and its main character will spark!

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