NONSENSE! and Giveaway winners announced

Nonsense! The curious Story of Edward Gorey, written by Lori Mortensen and brilliantly illustrated by Chloe Bristol.

It’s hard to know how much of why I am obsessed with this book is because I have been obsessed with Edward Gorey for most of my life? Non fiction biographies are very popular. And those which can combine story and facts in a kid-friendly and entertaining manner are the ones which stand out. This one does just that.

The narrative addresses the reader and mimics Gorey’s own succinct and humorous descriptions. I also really enjoyed the rather odd sentence breaks. They added to the non-traditional subject matter.

“Then, one day, young Edward read

the whimsical Alice in Wonderland

and the frightfully gruesome Dracula,

one after the other.

A strange combination

that captured his imagination like

a penguin sipping tea

on a runaway train.”

The illustrations are evocative of Gorey’s voice, but are not rendered in ink line. A smart decision which allows the reader to understand that this is a story about Edward Gorey, not an artist’s imitation of his work. Chloe Bristol ‘s drawings are full of character on their own merit. Her depictions of Edward in his fur coat and converse sneakers shows us that Edward is not at all a conformist.

Lori Mortensen lists anagrams that Edward used as pen names throughout his career and Chloe gives each of these their own, unique, and very humorous attributes.

As we read the quirky word choices, and as we look at the whimsical illustrations, it becomes very clear that Edward Gorey was not afraid to express his own, unique outlook and artistic vision.

Thank heavens.

And now, here are the winners of the board book Sometimes You Fly Giveaway. I want to thank all who shared stories of their graduates’ missed ceremonies. It does not belittle their enormous accomplishments! Congratulations to all!

The winners are: (I really did cut the names out and drew them out of a bowl. Two stuck together, so I am giving away 6 books)

Judith Aplin, Danielle Hammelef, Pat Kellerman, Ericka Humphrey, Sara Snaza, Monika Seelig Ruiz

Please email me through my website ( with your address. I will get them out to you asap.

Jennifer Black Reinhardt

Jennifer is the illustrator and author of several acclaimed picture books. Most recently is Always by My Side, 'A Stuffie Story', which she wrote and illustrated. She also is both the author and illustrator of Playing Possum, and Blue Ethel. Jennifer illustrated Gondra’s Treasure, written by Newbery award winner Linda Sue Park. As well as, Sometimes You Fly, by Newbery medalist, Katherine Applegate. She illustrated Yaks Yak, Animal Word Pairs by Linda Sue Park, The Inventor's Secret, What Thomas Edison Told Henry Ford, by Suzanne Slade, Rabbi Benjamin's Buttons, by Alice B. McGinty, and The Adventures of a South Pole Pig, by Chris Kurtz.


  1. Debra Kempf Shumaker

    This book look fascinating! I cannot wait to read it!!!!!

  2. I have to get this book! Reminds me of my son!!

  3. Cindy Schumerth

    Looks like and interesting read. I love the art.

  4. Lynne Marie Pisano

    I am so excited about this book from this talented author — can’t wait to be a part of the nonsense! XO

  5. What a great subject for a biography. I can’t wait to read and learn more about Edward Gorey.

  6. I will always associate Gorey with PBS’ Mystery! opening title sequence animations. I know I will enjoy this book. Congrats Lori and Chloe!

  7. I’m such an Edward Gorey fan that I can’t wait to read this book! What a fascinating subject for a PB bio. And the illustrations complement the text perfectly. I’m ready for some NONSENSE!

  8. I love Edward Gorey too, Jennifer. This book looks fabulous — love the illustrations!

  9. I love the quirkiness of this! How fun

  10. Danielle Hammelef

    This book makes me think of both The Addams Family as well as the middle grade series A Series of Unfortunate Events. I enjoy the weirdness.

  11. Karen Henry Clark

    Edward Gorey illustrated the Treehorn series by the late Florence Parry Heide, my first mentor. Thank you for letting us know about this book.

  12. Great book and post! Thanks!

  13. Janet Frenck Sheets

    Even though I’m not a big Edward Gorey fan, I always respect writers and artists who present their own, unique vision of the world. I’d rather see something distinctive — even if it’s not really my taste — than a pleasant picture book that reminds me of many others. Thanks for showing us more about Gorey.

  14. It looks like my kind of book.

  15. Angie Quantrell

    This looks like a great book to read! The illustrations have so much personality! Can’t wait.

  16. Can’t wait to read this and drool over the illustrations and the text. I went to the Gorey house on Cape Cod a few years ago and was fascinated by his quirky collections. What a great subject for a bio!

    • My parents went there a few times, too. We were planning to go in September when we went back for a wedding… but… alas…
      I would love to go there. I find it so inspirational when an artist expresses their own, unique voice. What a character! Thanks for visiting and commenting. I think you will really like the book!

  17. Wow! This is an amazingly attractive book…both story and illustrations.

  18. This book looks incredibly fascinating! When I saw the illustrations, I thought it would be a good book to pair with Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein by Linda Bailey. The tone and the mood of the books’ illustrations are similar.

  19. Gorey is one of my greatest influences as an writer. This book looks wonderful.

  20. Wow–this looks amazing, Jennifer! LOVE the art so much! Thank you for sharing it!

  21. Yes! We need more NONSENSE. 🙂 So excited about this book!

  22. Hurrah! Another intriguing junior biography to add to mt TBR list. Thanks for sharing, Jennifer.

  23. Pingback: The Edward Gorey House

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