Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Marilyn Singer
Illustrator: David Litchfield
Publisher: Clarion Books
Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet, eating her curds and whey; along came a spider, who sat down beside her, and frightened Miss Muffet away. That’s not the end of the story, though, as Miss Muffet, or What Came After reveals! As it turns out, the spider didn’t scare Miss Muffet, but instead befriended her and joined her in an adventurous escapade across the countryside. The pair meet Little Bo Peep (whose true story is also a bit more involved than her nursery rhyme suggests), stop a theft, and eventually end up as performers at the king’s castle.
David Litchfield’s vibrant and detailed illustrations bring whimsy and playfulness to Miss Muffet, or What Came After. Written in witty rhyming verse and arranged as a theatrical production, this tale is a creative spin on the classic and well-loved Little Miss Muffet nursery rhyme. Despite its classification as a picture book, its length, operatic format, wordiness, and high-level vocabulary make it better suited to adult or older child readers than to young readers, who are likely to lose interest after a page or two. This book may be of interest to middle or high school students studying poetry or learning about fractured fairy tales.