The Treehorn Trilogy: The Shrinking of Treehorn, Treehorn's Treasure, and Treehorn's Wish

The Treehorn Trilogy: The Shrinking of Treehorn, Treehorn's Treasure, and Treehorn's Wish

by Florence Parry Heide, Edward Gorey


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The Treehorn Trilogy: The Shrinking of Treehorn, Treehorn's Treasure, and Treehorn's Wish 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
atimco on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What an odd little set of stories Florence Parry Heide and Edward Gorey have collaborated to create. This three-volume set, beautifully put together and printed to last, is a pleasure to experience. Heide's matter-of-fact handling of the most fantastic occurrences is complemented by Gorey's spare, eccentric illustrations. The wry humor of Treehorn's exploits is evident from the first page, and the stranger things get, the more they are treated as natural and normal. I don't want to read these stories too literally and miss the whimsy of them, but there's a slightly sad and detached tone here. No matter what odd thing is happening in Treehorn's world¿and some very odd things happen¿the adults never show any interest. They don't take him seriously, and although they hear what he says, they dismiss it and their answers reveal their own self-centered concerns. In The Shrinking of Treehorn, Treehorn tells his mother he's shrinking; she absentmindedly says "think of that" and then worries over her cake falling. In Treehorn's Treasure, Treehorn notices that the tree outside starts growing dollar bills after he puts a dollar bill in the bole of the tree. None of the adults are interested, and it's the same when, in Treehorn's Wish, he tells every adult he encounters about the genie he has discovered. I don't want to make this into some heavy moral lesson, but the utter lack of engagement on the part of the adults is sobering. Or maybe this is just Treehorn's perception?Still, there's a lot of whimsy here, and some delightfully absurd situations. And the deadpan humor is great (like when Treehorn fumbles his way around the fashionably darkened, fancy restaurant with a flashlight, ha!). Overall I enjoyed this little collection of matter-of-fact fantasy, and would look for more from both Heide and Gorey.
jotoyo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As a children's set of books, the Treehorn Trilogy is quite compelling. At first reading I found it a little bland, but further reading gave me quite a pleasure. Treehorn is an only child of parents who never really listen to him. I can imagine that this would appeal to all children, as they must have had that experience with their parents and other adults. I know I did many years ago. In the books, Treehorn tries to communicate with his parents, who don't even listen to each other. It is funny and somewhat poignant at the same time. The drawings by Edward Gorey are spare evocations of the world that Treehorn lives in, his family's house, his friend and his possessions. This is the best illustration of Gorey's I have seen, though I only have seen a few. What I like best are the things in the background, the pictures on the wall, the dogs who watch Treehorn, and even the pattern of the wallpaper. Little touches add so much to the illustrations, without crowding the scene. The story telling of Florence Parry Heide is simple but subtle.The packaging by PomegranateKids is of a high quality. The books are hardcover and the box is very sturdy. The colours are pastels which keeps the simplicity of the drawings evident. On the whole it is an excellent choice for children or adults. I look forward to reading it to my granddaughter when she gets a little older.
CDVicarage on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a lovely set of books, supplied in a strong display box so that it will look very nice on your shelves even if you don't read them. However I'm sure you would want to read them.From an adult's (well from this adult's) point of view the stories are a little disturbing - Treehorn's parents are neglectful, but I'm sure that if I had read them as a child I would have loved the idea of the competent child managing better than the adults around him.The illustrations, too, are lovely and an important part of the stories.My children are grown up now I shall have to save these for my potential grandchildren.
TheDivineOomba on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
On first reading - I loved the drawings - absolutely wonderful, different than what you would find in Gorey's Gashlycrumb Tinies. I especially liked the late 70's - early 80's decor and the clashing plaids and prints that seem to go with era in dubious garment choices.As for the story, I didn't like it much. I felt that this poor boy was sad, ignored, and slightly neglected. But, than I read it again, and realized I was reading it too literally... this is a story from a Child point of view. Which means when that adults will always say be "quiet" or maybe later. Stories get exaggerated and parents tend to nod and agree when busy. Essentially, its a story about the boring spaces between fun from a kids point of view.Its not my favorite childrens story, but I can see why it would be popular with the older than toddlers but younger than pre-teen set. I'll be giving this book set away to my niece in a few years. She's too young get the stories at 3, but I think she will completely love them at 5.
PitcherBooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I originally wanted the Treehorn Trilogy because I love Gorey's artwork. I had never heard of Heide before. Thank God that's been remedied! An absolutely wonderful pairing of author and illustrator. Heide set this trilogy in the 1970s-1980s (unlike Gorey's preferred Edwardian era) but demonstrates her own brand of wry, understated, off-the-wall wit that shows she's a master of comedic writing in her own right. Each book is an absurdly deadpan little gem of surreal humor and fantasy. The hero of all three books is a young boy named Treehorn. Each book takes "a day in the life" wherein, despite the total mundanity of Treehorn's young life, a fantastic and inexplicable magic event occurs to him which he must figure out (ah, the mystery!). He always seeks his parent's insight first but, alas, his very busy parents barely notice him or his predicaments. Treehorn appears so used to his parent's bland and blatant though benign neglect of him that he does not fuss or pout but accepts it as the normal course of his life and goes calmly about his business. 1. The Shrinking of Treehorn. The poor lad wakes up one day and discovers he can no longer reach a shelf in his closet and his clothes are now all too large. Hmm. Mom? Too bad, dear, I hope this cake doesn't fall. His parent's take when they finally do notice? Why would our son want to do that? And everyday he's a touch smaller. His best friend's opinion is that shrinking is a stupid thing to do. On the school bus, in class, during recess, at the Principal's office ~ no one gets excited over this startling turn of events. Least of all, Treehorn. Of course, he eventually figures out the wonderful bit of whimsy which is both the cause and the cure. (But I'm not gonna ruin it for you :-)2. Treehorn's Treasure. Treehorn thoroughly enjoys comic books and the treasures listed in them that can be purchased with a coupon and a bit of change. Come to think of it, Dad owes him his allowance today. Does he? Dad is all about adages and proverbs. Save your money, son, it doesn't grow on trees. Reluctantly, Treehorn agrees. And deposits his dollar bill in a hole in their backyard tree for safe-keeping. Apparently a dollar bill placed in the interior of a tree will inspire it to quickly produce leaves that look just like dollar bills. Treehorn notices that some are ripe for the picking while other are still growing. Of course, he mentions this in turn to his mother, the house painter, the candy shop clerk, his Aunt Bertha and his father to little notice. A phlegmatic bunch to say the least. However, $26 buys a lot of comic books and candy. All good things must come to an end. How, when and why? Does it matter? Treehorn lives in the moment, takes life as it comes, has no regrets ... and a bunch of new comics :-)3. Treehorn's Wish. It's Treehorn's birthday and hope springs eternal. He clears a space in his closet, just in case, to store all the many presents he might receive. He might get a TV today. Dad has to pay bills. Mom has to buy a new hat. Treehorn wonders if his parents might have a dog or a horse for him. When he heads outside to check all he finds is an old dirty jug. As he cleans it, a genie appears who Treehorn mistakes for the meter reader. His first wish... a birthday cake. Voila. And he has two more. Decisions, decisions. As usual, he shares the story of the genie and his pending wishes with all and sundry to little avail. Treehorn's tales of the marvelous are consistently and bizarrely underwhelming to his listeners. And therein lies the humor. Delightful reads all :-) The physical set of books: High quality paper, printing, art reproduction and binding. Sturdy hardboard slipcase. I have never had any qualms about buying from Pomegranate. While the set is a touch pricey, you get the commensurate value in book quality. In this case, you truly get what you pay for. And that's high praise from a value shopper and book lover like me.
souloftherose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a beautiful collection of the three Treehorn books reissued by Pomegranate Kids. The stories are told with a wry sense of humour that I think both adults and children will enjoy and are also wonderfully illustrated by Edward Gorey. Essentially, Treehorn's parents are so caught up in their own grown-up world of money problems and new curtains that they barely even notice when their only son starts shrinking or tells them that money is growing on the tree in the garden or that there's a genie sitting on the kitchen table.I was originally intending to pass this set on to some friends who have young children but they're so lovely that I think I'm going to end up keeping them myself.
yarb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was familiar with "The Shrinking of Treehorn" - that Kafkaesque parable of juvenile insignificance. The inimitable art of Edward Gorey expertly augments Heide's deadpan prose in a story which captures the perplexity of being small in a vast, vacuous world.What I wasn't prepared for was to find the two sequels every bit as good. Heide and Gorey create a magical-realist version of the 1950's, by turns nightmarish and quaint, in which our hero is buffeted by the impartial gusts of fortune; his sarcastic friend Moshie always standing by with a stinging quip to bring him down to earth.A superb trilogy, essential reading for ages 6-60.
eleanor_eader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I¿m a huge fan of Edward Gorey¿s dense, quirky illustration (you can¿t not fall in love with The Gashlycrumb Tinies, with its macabre whimsy and gleeful rhyming and depictions of ridiculously endangered tots) but I¿m not sure that his line drawings add much to Heide¿s already straightforward story-telling; her Treehorn trilogy finds young Treehorn in a variety of odd situations (I¿m particularly charmed by The Shrinking of Treehorn), but her pragmatic approach set next to Gorey¿s depictions of Treehorn¿s parents in the kitchen, for example, renders these otherwise charming little books into something almost dull ¿ or, at least, something to which you have to be attuned to the surreality of, in order to fully appreciate. And therein lies my problem with the set ¿ these are children¿s books, but I have no sense of what age to which they would appeal. Perhaps it¿s more a personality fit than an age-group fit. Imaginative children might find the patterned line-drawings and quietly understated stories a canvass on which to paint their own atmosphere.Enjoyable storytelling, a lovely set, but one I would have trouble gifting among the children-of-various-ages of my acquaintance. I suppose I shall just have to keep ¿ and enjoy them ¿ to myself. So sad ;)
book_in_hand on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When I requested these books I had no idea how wonderful they would be! I thought I'd receive a paper pack copy of all three books made into one book. So I was happily surprised when I opened the package and found a gorgeous box set with hardback copies. I love Edward Gorey's books and illustrations, it's really awesome that these are in my collection! All three books are about Treehorn, who has interesting adventures and oblivious parents. Poor guy can't win. I wanted to get in the books and shake his parents, and throw Treehorn an amazing birthday. :)