Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Dwindling Party

The Dwindling Party
Edward Gorey ~ Random House, 1982


Care to battle with me over whether or not this is a children's book? No matter. The deal is any Gorey pop-up is usually collectable and high-priced and though I've often dreamed of them... alas, I have no budget for such triflings... but when fate serves me a mint condition copy at the thrift shop for 49 cents of one such book, my heart knows that God has spoken and rather than sell it for a huge profit online, I should take this book and share it with my son. Allow him to pull when it says PULL... turn when it says TURN and know that not many young ones get the chance... for their parents are fearful of losing a small fortune to sticky fingers and preschool ripping tendencies.

I LOVE Gorey. And thanks to a kind stranger who knew not of the book's worth when he/she tossed it into the donation bin... my son's eyes will get to devour something boys his age will only dream of in years to come. Once, they too, become aged Gorey junkies... prone to goth and line drawing and melancholy.

There once was a family whose name was MacFizzet
(Two parents, five children) who only last fall
Put on their best clothes and then set out to visit
The varied distractions of Hickyacket Hall.

Past the gates all the shrubbery was cleverly fashioned
Into creatures of every conceivable kind;
They were so much intrigued, not to mention impassioned.
They quite overlooked Lambert lagging behind.


Oh, delightful. The entire family gets gone, eaten or disappeared until finally, on the last page (or rather the back of the book, as in this case the front and back covers are the first and final pages) the smallest boy in the family, Neville, is the last who remains. Wonderful, wonderful. This book tickles me beyond words. Beyond happy. Into a realm of 2-D awesomeness unparalleled in my life up until this point. The drawings and the costumes and the color. Oh! The color! A zillion thumbs up. Happy Wednesday folks. Sigh.

Also by:
Sam and Emma
Rumpelstiltskin

17 comments:

ccr in MA said...

Lovely! I quite agree with your choice. It's meant to be enjoyed.

Jonathan's Mom said...

Thanks so much for Corduroy! My son (4) loves it so much that his bear is now named Corduroy. THANKS!!!

Amanda said...

I absolutely love Edward Gorey! Thanks for featuring this genius on your site.

Kimberly said...

Thanks for the introduction to Edward Gorey. And congratulations on your fun find.

Naomi said...

Score! I love EG.

Swati said...

I don't know if I would have picked it up for the story, but these pop ups, at 49 cents - how can anyone possibly resist!

Pilgrim Lee said...

hahaha oh you got me... i was raised on edward gorey (from a VERY young age.. 6yrs is the earliest i recall reading amphiorey! not sure i'd show it to my 6yr old, but thanks ma) and i was very "prone to goth and line drawing and melancholy"

never seen a pop-up gorey. you are one lucky lady!

Pete said...

What a great find. I'm truly jealous.

debbie said...

Thanks for sharing this! I wonder how much more than 49 cents I'll have to spend to get-me a copy...

Scribbler said...

Looks like you can get an OK copy for $25 or so.

Angelica said...

I am amazed at your finds! Your little one is quite lucky. Edward Gorey is forever an all-time favorite!

Dawn D. Lion said...

I found this book a few years ago at a book fair for a dollar. Like you, I gave it to my four year old. I always wondered whether it was worth something since I hadn't seen it anywhere else, and it's such a freakin great book. Now I know! Cool! (I'll try not to let the baby rip it up... ;-)

Antmusic said...

Finding the Gorey illustrated Ennis Rees "Brer Rabbit" books in hardcover is hard enough. I'll chalk this one as a "never gunna get it dude" title (but I'll secretly still be searching). *sigh* At least I've seen it now. Thank you for that.

Chelsea, Dave & Elliot said...

JEALOUS!!!

Jeanne said...

I guess you can imagine how excited I was to discover this under similar circumstances recently.

http://ohpeacefulday.blogspot.com/2009/08/hansel-and-gretel.html

My Miss Seven loves it now!!

yvonne said...

oh my. i am insanely jealous. really and truly.

Scribbler said...

all i have to say is, when you live in an unhip town, you have access to any number of things for a song.

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