This January, in honor of Edgar Poe’s birthday, which was the 19th, we are reviewing a book my husband had the good taste to buy us from a consignment store: EDGAR and the Treehouse of Usher, by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Ron Stucki.
And this pair must be pretty awesome judging by the many Poe allusions both in the plot and characters as well as the illustrations. And really, I do judge people by their Poe references. These are so good.
Evy has recently noticed birds for the first time, so the fact that Edgar was a big, shiny RAVEN was pretty exciting for her. Some of the pictures open to a vertical two page spread that involves turning the book, so there’s something different to spice things up. These pictures aren’t all over the place, overly detailed, or brightly colored, but kept her interest. Possibly good for those who aren’t fans of over stimulation. The ravens are glossy, large cartoonish characters on an almost water color scene; the rest of the page is white. Text appears, mostly dialog and one sentence narration, in black. It’s a very short read.
The plot stays away from the doom and gloom of Poe’s style, with a soft parody of The Fall of the House of Usher, involving Roderick’s treehouse that doesn’t allow girls and some ensuing protest of that rather sexist proclamation. No worries as the book does not reinforce sexism.
I’m not sure exactly what it reinforces, so if you’re looking for something popping bright yellow and deep moral messages, then I would have to ask you: why did you pick up a children’s book with a Raven on it?
Evy keeps saying “hey” to the Raven and I’ve had to read EDGAR four times already. Here we are in the new office in for writing…dare I say it… books! Still moving but more reviews to come soon, as nothing makes a good or bad day better than a good book. At least, we think so.
-Evy and Me