Treehorn is shrinking. We imagine his situation through the responses of the people in his life, which are at once absurd and devastatingly recognizable. The few hundred words of the story are almost pitch-perfect, while the Edward Gorey black-and-white illustrations embody the strangeness of the ordinary. While reading, one longs to smack Treehorn’s parents and stick needles all over the Principal, and after reading there is a residual tendency to apologise to all the children you have ever known. Also to check one’s own height before going to bed.
Fantasy, satire, parable – whatever it is, every home should have one.