|Nonsense! : the curious story of Edward Gorey|
Author: Mortensen, Lori
A picture book biography of eccentric and beloved writer and artist Edward Gorey.
Kirkus Reviews (+) (01/01/20)
School Library Journal (+) (02/01/20)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 02/01/2020 Gr 3 Up—With straightforward, rhythmic prose and deliciously atmospheric illustrations, this picture book biography of Edward Gorey distills his unconventional life and career into a format that will appeal to a wide range of readers. Gorey's individualism is celebrated without being caricatured, and the narrative traces his life from childhood through higher education and his eventual career as a writer and illustrator. Although he was sometimes criticized for the content and darkness of his work, this book assures readers, "It would be 'the height of folly' to take his work seriously," because, as the final page declares, "It was just Edward being Edward." Bristol's sepia-toned illustrations echo the Gothic sensibility of Gorey's art. Mortensen's conversational narrative is pitch perfect, evoking the rhythm and style of her subject's prose and the works inspired by him. The detailed author's note and list of sources make this book something that could work equally well as a classroom read-aloud and as a resource for an independent study. It could also serve as a mentor text for writing prompts and art exercises. VERDICT This playful picture book biography is a wonderful and unique introduction to Edward Gorey's life and work. Purchase for classroom and library nonfiction collections.—Jen McConnel, Queen's University, Ont. - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 02/01/2020 It seems imperative that any biography of Edward Gorey should strike the right tone and visual aesthetic if it is to capture this artist and writer’s unique blend of the macabre, the unexpected, and the silly. Happily, Mortensen and Bristol are up to the task. Unfolding like a storybook itself, the conversational text describes Gorey’s youth as a brilliant, artistic child with a voracious love of books. These passions follow him to college, where Bristol masterfully depicts him—now a tall, thin, bearded man—in what would become his signature look: a long fur coat paired with Converse sneakers. As Gorey’s career in publishing unfolds, Mortensen maintains a playful tone, in keeping with Gorey’s personality. The vintage-flavored illustrations pay homage to Gorey’s sketchy and elongated style without mimicking it, and his beloved cats wend their ways through many a scene. Readers will get a good sense of this curious, imaginative man, as well as quiet affirmation that being different is interesting—and interesting stories are the very best kind. A well-written author’s note concludes. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.