Edgar and The Tree House of Usher – a Review

The day is dull, dark, and soundless. That is a perfect beginning for a book inspired by any tale of Edgar Allen Poe. In this tale of three little ravens, Edgar decides on this boring gray day to go and see his friend Roderick in his tree house.

Edgar and The Tree House of UsherOf course, his little sister wants to tag along, but Edgar won’t let her. No girls are allowed in his friend’s tree house.

Lenore, his little sister, won’t take no for an answer though. Determined to tag along and play with her brother and his friend, she too sets off for Roderick’s tree house.

In case you are worried that the story will have a dark ending, it does not. When disaster hits and threatens their safety, these three little birds discover that the only way they can stay safe is to stick together.

This delightful book is written simply enough that even small children would enjoy having it read to them. Those who are just learning to read would enjoy using this book to refine and possibly improve their growing reading skills. As a fan of the writings of Edgar Allen Poe, I feel that it would also be a great introduction to his works.

Clues That Point to Edgar Allen Poe and His Works
The title of this book is the first clue, but there are many more.

If you take the time to examine the illustrations done by Ron Stucki, I believe they will impress you as much as they did me. I was able to find clues in some of them that alluded to the master of horror.

In the first illustration, Lenore is sitting in a chair reading “Mad Trist.” I really wasn’t sure if the name of that story was connected to Edgar Allen Poe. I thought it was a good possibility though. After a bit of research, I discovered that it was connected to Poe. “Mad Trist” is more than mentioned in “The Fall of the House of Usher.” It is the story read by the narrator to Roderick Usher to calm him down.

Inside Rodney’s tree house are more clues that point to the master of the macabre. A portrait of Poe sits on an easel.

One of the boys (I’m not sure which one it is) sits on top of a barrel as he reads a book. What book the boy is reading is a mystery, but across this barrel is written AMONTILLADO. Poe wrote a short story, “The Cask of Amontillado,” about a man, Fortunato, who is lured underground by Montresor to the catacombs to sample a taste of Amontillado. It ends badly for Fortunato because Montresor basically buries him alive.

The characters in this short children’s book also point to the works of Poe and the writer. The name of the little boy raven is Edgar. That is pretty self-explanatory. Roderick Usher, of course, is a character in “The Fall of the House of Usher.” Lenore is from his poem “The Raven.” And all of the characters in this book are, well, ravens.

Is that all of the clues that point to Edgar Allen Poe and his works? Maybe, maybe not. I’m not an expert on the works of Poe, so it is quite possible that other clues in the story or illustrations escaped my notice.

I was sent a copy of this book by Quirk Books in exchange for an honest review. If you would like to purchase this book, I have provided an Amazon link for it below.

Amazon Link: Edgar and The Tree House of Usher

If you do purchase this book and happen to find more clues that point to Edgar Allen Poe and his works, it would be great if you would leave a comment and share with me what they are..

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About the Author:
Jennifer Adams is a writer and book editor. She is the author of more than two dozen books, including books in the Baby Lit series, which introduce children to the world of classic literature. She lives in Salt Lake City, and works on weekends at the King’s English Independent Bookstore. When she was little, Jennifer had a pet raven named Edgar. Her favorite classic novel is Pride and Prejudice. Visit her website at jennifer-adams.com.

About the Illustrator:
Ron Stucki is a lifelong fan of Poe. In younger days when he sported a mustache, people commented that he bore a striking resemblance to the celebrated author., which he took as a compliment since he was inclined to being dark and moody. You can visit Ron’s website at rstuckidesign.com.

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