Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Children's Nonfiction General

Nonsense! The Curious Story of Edward Gorey

The Curious Story of Edward Gorey

by (author) Lori Mortensen

illustrated by Chloe Bristol

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Initial publish date
Mar 2020
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2020
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 4 to 7
  • Grade: p to 2


A beautifully illustrated and lyrical picture-book biography of eccentric and beloved writer and artist Edward Gorey

In this lyrical biography of one of literature’s most creepily creative authors and illustrators, kids will learn about the inspiration behind a generation of creators, from Lemony Snicket to Tim Burton.

Known for, among other things, wearing a large fur coat wherever he went, storyteller Edward Gorey was respected for both his brilliance and his eccentricity. As a child, he taught himself to read and skipped several grades before landing at Harvard (after a brief stint in the army). Then he built a name for himself as a popular book illustrator. After that, he went on to publish well over one hundred of his own books, stories that mingled sweetness and innocence, danger and darkness, all mixed with his own brand of silliness. Illustrated with Gorey-like humor and inspiration by Chloe Bristol, this stunning picture book biography about this beloved creator is the first for children.

About the authors

Contributor Notes

Lori Mortensen is a children's author who writes fiction and nonfiction on all sorts of subjects. When she's not plunking away at the keyboard, she enjoys making cheesy bread rolls, gardening, and hanging out with her family at their home in northern California.
Chloe Bristolwas born and raised in Texas and is an alumna of the Art Center College of Design. She is the illustrator of the Winterhouse series by Ben Guterson. Chloe draws and paints everyday, and she is always thinking of new ideas to share with the world.

Editorial Reviews

"Chloe Bristol’s wonderful autumn-hued pictures evoke Gorey’s figures—the elongated bodies, the hollow, exhausted eyes—in this buoyant biography for children." —Wall Street Journal 

— "A stellar biography, as creepy and fun as its subject." —Kirkus, STARRED review

— "With straightforward, rhythmic prose and deliciously atmospheric illustrations....This playful picture book biography is a wonderful and unique introduction to Edward Gorey’s life and work." —School Library Journal, STARRED review

"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." —Booklist

"[Bristol duplicates] Gorey’s style throughout with remarkable conviction, capturing his long, rail-like human figures, their haunted expressions, and their elegant clothing." —Publishers Weekly

“How odd and how lovely: a picture book biography about an author who is unlikely to turn up in the school curriculum…. Bristol complements the mood with deep earthtoned illustrations that pay tribute to Gorey’s own work and to writers and artists he influenced.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Other titles by Chloe Bristol