The Shrinking of Treehorn

The Shrinking of Treehorn

Serena took this book out of the library. I think she chose it because it was a nice shade of green and charmingly square.

When we got it home, I noticed that the drawings were by Edward Gorey, a favorite artist of our entire family’s. We’ve been to visit his house on the Cape, and generally find his whimsical, creepy art about our cup of tea on most occasions.

The story is a lovely, strange tale about a little boy with clueless parents, too much TV and a breakfast cereal fixation who one day begins to mysteriously shrink. The author deftly avoids wandering into drab moral lessons while skirting close enough to let the reader come to her own conclusions about the value of 56 favorite television programs and endless plastic toys in a child’s life.

The book is novella length, but all the kids in my morning program have sat through it several times and keep asking for it again. Unlike most books the kids adore, I actually enjoy reading this one and have been happy to oblige them.

Yesterday, Rio said that even though she is not going to have any babies when she grows up and explores the world as a singer, she will have just one baby, and name it Treehorn, just to see if it shrinks.

“It will be an experiment, Mama,” she explained. “First, I will be pregnant. Then, I will give birth to the baby. Whoosh! Then, I will see that it is a boy, and name him Treehorn. After that, I will see if he grows until he is three or so and then starts to shrink again. That is the experiment part.”