What happens after you fall- should you get back up again? Or will you let yourself fall apart? These are the questions pondered in After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again), the newest masterpiece sensitively written and stunningly illustrated by Dan Santat. Hands down, this book is absolutely remarkable. After the Fall’s emotional resonance blew me away, and it is so wildly perfect for both kids and adults alike, making it an easy winner for “Best Picture Book for Upper Elementary Grades” in the inaugural #bookstagramchoiceawards. I have yet to read After the Fall without losing my breath and fighting back tears. It’s just that special, and that perfect.
After the Fall tells the story of what happens after Humpty Dumpty is put back together. Though he is an avid bird watcher, the poor egg has become terrified of heights — cripplingly so — and can no longer engage in his favorite activities. Yes, his exterior shell has seemingly healed, but no matter— Humpty is left terribly broken at his core. Will Humpty be scared of high places forever? Or will he find the courage to break free from his fears?
After the Fall is simply breathtaking. The storyline runs deep, and the illustrations are outstanding, telling brilliant, thoughtful stories in and of themselves. The themes embraced here, those of anxiety, resiliency and putting oneself back together after a fall, are themes that easily lend themselves to extreme didacticism. Santat, though, delivers his beautiful message with such a brilliant, light touch, enabling the story to speak to both children and adults at varied social and emotional maturity levels. I have no hesitation when calling this book a masterpiece. It is without a doubt my favorite story of 2017, one that came at the perfect time to remind me that we all have wings to help us soar, even when we fear they are buried or broken for good.
RELATED: We’ve got all the best children’s books for you on Happily Ever Elephants, so be sure to check them out!
Want the book? Get it here! After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again), by Dan Santat. HEE received an advanced review copy of this book, however all opinions expressed herein are entirely our own.