The Shrinking of Treehorn

The Shrinking of Treehorn
by Florence Parry Heide
Illustrated by Edward Gorey

First Published: 1971

Reason for Reading: Dad, who usually does the bedtime reading, had to be out until late last night. So I had to find something on the shelves that would take one sitting to read and I've been eager to read this one since I bought it.

First sentence:

Something very strange was happening to Treehorn.

Comments: A wonderful story about a boy who loves to send away for the things on the back of cereal boxes. He has a whole collection of such things. One day he wakes up and after a while realizes that he is shrinking. His parents don't believe him at first but by the end of the school day it's quite clear to all that he is indeed shrinking and his parents are quite put out about what to do. Treehorn himself discovers the reason and all ends well but, then, does it?

I bought this book from a thrift shop simply because it was illustrated by Gorey; I couldn't have cared less what the book was about. Now the time comes to actually read the book and what a delightful little treasure is hidden in this unpretentious little book. A picture book with text that just pushes the comfort zone for a one sitting read but a captivatingly fantastic story for children. Needless, to say Gorey's b/w drawings have his usual Gothic feel to them even though everyone is oddly dressed in "groovy" seventies clothing. (Not really odd as the book was written in the '70s, but odd for my usual idea of Gorey illustrations)

The adults that Treehorn encounters during the day, his parents, his teacher, the principal either don't believe his claim or are much too wrapped up in themselves to really pay attention to his story and any child who has tried to get the attention of a busy adult will relate to this charming, fantastical story. What a delight to know that this little treasure is still in print. Highly recommended for all ages!


  1. What a cool book...I would've picked it up as well because of Edward Gorey.

  2. I love this one! Edward Gorey is so bizarre and wonderful.


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