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.
Sam and Emma