The Shrinking of Treehorn

The Shrinking of Treehorn


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"If you want to pretend you're shrinking, that's all right," said Treehorn's mother, "as long as you don't do it at the table."

A small boy finds himself shrinking in this oddly offbeat, surreal, and funny story, illustrated with Edward Gorey's signature pen and ink drawings.

No one around seems to appreciate what Treehorn's going through—his parents are busy, his friends laugh at him, and he gets sent to the Principal's office for shrinking. Or was it shirking? Clearly, the adults in his life have no clue and can't help.

In the end, Treehorn figures it out on his own, and all is well. At least until he turns green.

A charming, imaginative classic that will appeal to any kid who feels they're not truly seen or heard by the grown-ups in their life. Works for adults, too.

An ALA Notable Children's Book
A New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780823409754
Publisher: Holiday House
Publication date: 01/01/1971
Series: An Ala Notable Book Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 64
Sales rank: 598,637
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 5.93(h) x 0.21(d)
Lexile: AD560L (what's this?)
Age Range: 5 - 8 Years

About the Author

Florence Parry Heide (1919 – 2011) was born in Pittsburgh and graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1939. The author of more than 100 children’s books, she and her husband made their home in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Edward Gorey (1925 – 2000) was born in Chicago and received his B.A. from Harvard. A master of dark humor, he said his formal art training had been "negligible."  He wrote more than 100 books including The Gashlycrumb Tinies, The Doubtful Guest, and Amphigorey. In addition to the Treehorn triology, he illustrated works from T.S. Eliot, Edward Lear, John Updike, Charles Dickens, H.G. Wells, and Bram Stoker. He lived on Cape Cod and in New York City.

Customer Reviews

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The Shrinking of Treehorn 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought I'd found a steal when I purchased a well-worn copy of this book in our library's book sale and boy was I right! I'm so glad it's still available for purchase, as I'm now going to buy some for grown friends and younger relatives. I can't imagine another illustrator providing pictures for this book. Gorey's style compliments the narration so well. An appealing choice for adults(esp.Gorey fans), yet the story feels as tho it's written by a child,as it is so in touch with their experiences. Children can relate to Treehorn's position, and hopefully their parents can learn a lil something about adults too!
ElizaJane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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!
yarb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Gorey's art adds savage bathos to this Kafkaesque tale of juvenile insignificance.
randoymwords on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As in all the best children's books, a story about the ineffectiveness and unreliability of adults in a children's world. Or just Treehorn shrinking.
Rosemary-Standeven More than 1 year ago
This is the first of the Treehorn books, and the last one that I read. Treehorn is shrinking. His parents, his friend, Moshe, teacher and bus driver can all see that this is happening, but appear completely unconcerned. Apart from remarking that it is stupid, or not permitted, they all just let Treehorn get on with his dwindling. Luckily, Treehorn finds “THE BIG GAME FOR KIDS TO GROW ON” under his bed, where he had left it half finished. As he always like to finish what he starts, he continues where he left off … A lovely story about the most overlooked and ignored hero in fiction
Guest More than 1 year ago