Please help me ID this ... art? book?

I was innocently browsing my email and checking out a few random links while my triplets nap (thank you, thank you God), when I suddenly had one of those flashes of memory you get for no particular reason.

Basically, it was of an alphabet with a rhyme for each letter consisting of something like “R is for Rachel who was crushed by a house” (except it worked with the letter, you know what I mean, I’m too tired to try to think of a rhyme right now). There were also drawings that remind me, in my memory, of the drawings that went with the books about - oh crap, trying to remember the title - memory obviously not up to snuff today - :smack: - oh yeah, the John Bellairs books, such as “The House with a Clock in its Walls”. That book scared the bejeezus out of me when I read it for the first time, I think I was around 5 (yes, I read early), and I remember the style of the art was rather unusual.

In any case, the art work accompanying the alphabet rhymes of which this post is supposed to be about resembles that, at least in my memory.

Can someone help me find this? I think I had this book or poster or whatever it was as a child and found it fascinatingly morbid and would love to get it for my 5-year-old, to read just before I shut off his light. :wink: (joking (sort of))

I’m sure this is an easy question, I appreciate the help.


I believe that this was The Ghastlycrumb Tinies or something to that effect. The author/illustrator is Edward Gorey of Mystery! credits fame.

Definitely Edward Gorey; Amphigorey or Amphigorey II, perhaps?

His work always freaked me out too when I was a kid, but in a fascinating way. His world is what I see when I picture grotesque, disturbing wasteland.

Nope, mobo85 got it. I think it may have been included in the Amphigorey collection because I know I’ve read it and we didn’t have a little volume like that.

Whoa, reading the descriptions on amazon really takes me back!! :eek:

Here’s a somewhat poorly formatted web page that has what you’re looking for. It was originally a book, but I’ve also seen it in poster format. The captions for each picture are part of a rhyming couplet, like so: Q is for Quentin who sank on a mire / R is for Rhoda consumed by a fire (sorry, no Rachel).

Hmph, I was beaten to it! A pox on you all!

Thanks everyone, that’s it. Wow, looking at that webpage takes me back. It horrifies me more as a parent then it did as a child. Actually as a child it didn’t bother me at all, I thought it was neat and different… maybe because it’s not so sanitized like so much of children’s literature.

Although Katie and the ax are more than slightly disturbing.

Can you imagine being an author and trying to get this published today???

off to order it
“behave yourself Joseph, or we’ll read the alphabet book again!!!”

Oh, I don’t know that he’d have any trouble getting published. Lemony Snickett seems to be doing pretty well.

I’m sure it would get published. I just went to my local libary branch and got a book (rarely opened because I can still smell the ink) of selections from Hilaire Belloc’s “Cautionary Tales for Children” illustrated by Gorey. It was printed in 2002. “Matilda, who told lies and was burned to death”, “Henry King, who chewed bits of string and was early cut off in dreadful agonies”, etc.

We have that book, too, rowrrbazzle. My kids adore it.

I also wanted to mention that I have a strange compulsion to say your user name out loud whenever I see it.

Here is a page link for a site that sells a Gashlycrumb Tinies poster.