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The Shrinking of Treehorn (The Adventures of Treehorn)

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  542 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Poor Treehorn's problem is politely ignored by his parents and barely tolerated by his teachers.
Hardcover, 63 pages
Published January 1st 1988 by Holiday House (first published June 1st 1971)
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I, Robot by Isaac AsimovThe Hundred Dresses by Eleanor EstesThe Shrinking of Treehorn by Florence Parry HeideCaddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie BrinkLassie Come-Home by Eric Knight
Books on Open Library
3rd out of 70 books — 7 voters
Charlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteThe Giving Tree by Shel SilversteinGreen Eggs and Ham by Dr. SeussThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisWhere the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Best Kids Books Ever
308th out of 709 books — 486 voters

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Community Reviews

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Treehorn, Treehorn, Treehorn. This little guy charmed me years ago! So much so that I try to drop by for a visit every year.

Young Treehorn is shrinking. In his matter of fact, straight to the point way—Treehorn breaks his shrinking news again and again to the adults around him. But they don’t seem concerned for him at all.

”If you’re Treehorn, why are you so small?” asked the teacher.

“Because I’m shrinking,” said Treehorn. “I’m getting smaller.”

“Well, I’ll let it go for today,” said his teacher.
Whoever thought of pairing up Florence Parry Heide with Edward Gorey was brilliant. You have her deadpan delivery and the nonchalance of Gorey's characters. Perfect. I don't know if anyone else could've done this story justice.  photo 2C390A66-BFD3-4132-ACD7-7C4389389352_zpsex3b9yte.jpgRemember watching tv like this! ...more
my little brother's been nagging me to read this for a couple of weeks now, so i finally gave it a chance and read it this morning in about half an hour. I love the way this is written! ms heide has a really matter-of-fact manner of writing that's just so refreshing to read! i honestly can't complain at all, i loved this, and the way she threads magic into the plot so casually and seamlessly. treehorn is also the sweetest thing. definitely worth 5 stars
Sarah Sammis
My local library is full of surprises in the form of funky, old books. In the children's section I saw a title that instantly struck my fancy: The Shrinking of Treehorn by Florence Parry Heide. When I pulled the book off the shelf and saw the distinctive Edward Gorey illustration, I knew I had to read it.

Literally the book is about Treehorn who one days for no apparent reason begins to shrink. He can't get any adult to listen to him when he says he's shrinking. His parents get annoyed that he ca
Quirky fantasy tale about a boy who shrinks - when the adults around him notice, they all react in very unhelpful, self-absorbed ways.
Treehorn finally solves the problem himself - by finishing the board game he'd ordered from a cereal box top!

Maybe I'm eating the wrong kind of cereal, but it seems like I had more opportunities to get free prizes or order things when I was a least, from my cereal boxes.

I picked this story up because of the Edward Gorey drawings.
originally read in 1976 or so

It took me years to find it again, but when I did, it was mostly as I remembered. Treehorn is beautifully illustrated by Gorey, who somehow gets the indifference of Treehorn's parents just right.
This great and subtly sarcastic, humorous book is wonderful. I searched for it as the author passed away recently and I was not familiar with her work. GRHS. I must look for more. Good old Treehorn.
Mar 21, 2008 Tawny rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Sabina
Author: Florence Parry Heidi
Illustrator: Edward Goney
Title: The Shrinking of Treehorn
Genre: children’s fantasy
Publication Info: Holiday House. New York. 1971.
Recommended Age: 8 and up

Plot Summary: Treehorn is a little boy who finds himself slowly shrinking. His clothes get bigger and it is harder for him to reach things. At first no one believes him when he tells them he is shrinking. Then they realize just how small he has become. Even his bus driver and teacher do not recognize him at first. H
Jamie is
First read this in kindergarten, so I am drawn to the story and drawings by a very strong feeling of nostalgia. However, I rediscovered this book in high school when I began re-appreciating Edward Gorey drawings for their sketchy, unsettling and gothic representations. I also appreciate the story now as one of transformation and discovery. Gave this book to a professor of mine in college and still own a pristine (if not for the sadly yellowing pages) copy.
Reminded me of Roald Dahl. A Dahl in miniature. The Shrinking of Roald.

“'He really is getting smaller,' said Treehorn's mother. 'What will we do? What will people say?'
'Why, they'll say he's getting smaller,' said Treehorn's father. He thought for a moment. 'I wonder if he's doing it on purpose. Just to be different.'
'Why would he want to be different?' asked Treehorn's mother.”
I really like the style of writing. I found this book lying in a cardboard box, getting ready to be trashed, but I haven't read any sort of voice like this in a while. To me, it closely mimics the exact version of the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This earns a full 5 starts, hands down, because it teaches us all, with illustrations and worded text, that adults pay no attention to children indeed! In fact, many of us are so apathetic about our children, that they even realize how t ...more
One of my all-time favorite children's books. Hilarious, absurdist humor. Depicts a child's feeling of not being noticed by the adults in his life. Wonderful drawings too.
Young Treehorn discovers one day that he is shrinking. Is that even possible? Aren't children supposed to grow and not shrink?

After finally convincing his oblivious parents that he is indeed getting smaller, Treehorn attempts to continue living his life. Things, however, aren't as simple as they used to be. Treehorn even gets sent to the Principle's office for jumping to reach the water fountain at school!

Why is Treehorn shrinking? And, does it have anything to do with that mysterious game he p
Here's a weird story: this book was at our elementary school library and either my sisor I had taken it out once and never brought it back. I'm not sure how this happened, but a total clean-out of our stuff (closets, under bed, toy box, etc) we found the copy of Treehorn. I think I still have it somewhere...

Gorey's drawings totally scared and intrigued me as a kid. This story was a little funky: Treehorn (odd name for starters) is shrinking (literally) and everyone notices, but no one will pull
Dawn Roberts
I like the fact that Treehorn has fifty-six favourite television programmes, and I think Moshie's jacket with its seven zips is very snazzy.
I remembered reading and liking this book as a child. I will be interested to see how my students respond to it!
Poor Treehorn. This book contains a special message for adults
Todd Glaeser
Such an odd little book. I love it
I borrowed this book from the library when I was 4 (sometime in 1982), and haven't returned it ever since (sorry, library).

I didn't really get it when I first took it home, but it made sense much later on on my childhood, and it is one book that I will always remember as *the* book of my childhood. Not because my parents ignored me, but I think I learned my first love of Edward Gorey and his dark humour from this book.

I would definitely make sure my child have this book on her shelf.
Sep 29, 2008 Patricia rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Patricia by: my children
one of my favorite books of all time....all the treehorn books - edward gory and ms. heide, what a combo!
all people adults and children should read all of the treehorn series....they are so sardonic and so british and address the weird things children think about and don't talk to adults about.
but all people should read everthing edward gory has illustrated and written.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Browsing the picture books at the library to get another pile for Annika, I came across this which I remember reading when I was a child. I remember some of the Edward Gory illustrations quite vividly. I wonder how the indifference of the parents, albeit exaggerated for comedy, goes down now with todays children with helicopter over-scheduling parents.
Reminds me of flat Stanley, great read aloud
Callie Rose Tyler
The concept of this book is actually quite sad. This little boy is shrinking and nobody seems to care, not his mother or father or teacher not even his friends. Yet it is cleverly written and well told (even if I thought it dragged on a little too long for my liking).

Not Gorey's best art in my opinion.
Treehorn is shrinking, but his parents barely notice or care. No one does. Luckily Treehorn happens upon the solution himself.

This book is odd. The humor is a bit off-kilter, but very subtle. My son took it all very seriously and was completely engrossed.
This is a really cute story. I thought it was going to end up like that Buffy episode where the girl becomes invisible because everyone ignores her... but it doesn't. It's kind of like Jumanji in that there is a board game involved.
Slyly pokes fun at the establishment be describing the tribulations of an ordinary boy, who, for no apparent reason, starts to shrink. Narrated in a dead-pan style with black and white ink illustrations to match; off-beat humor.
Anne Frisbie
very short book that I read to the kids but it is great. really shows people who are going through the motion of life but not living. probably even more - or at least as - enjoyable for adults.
A classic, happy to say we still have this in the library. Funny book about a mysteriously shrinking boy and the busy, unobservant adults around him. Edward Gorey illustrations.
Amar Pai
Hard to dislike anything Gorey illustrates, but this is a fairly minor tale. Boy shrinks, yadda yadda magic, boy grows back. I was bored by the perfunctory ending.
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"What do I like about writing for children? Everything," says Florence Parry Heide, the award-winning author of more than sixty children’s books, including the classic THE SHRINKING OF TREEHORN, illustrated by Edward Gorey. "I like the connection with children," the author says. "I like the connection with all kinds of book people. And I like the connection with my childhood self, which is the mos ...more
More about Florence Parry Heide...

Other Books in the Series

The Adventures of Treehorn (3 books)
  • Treehorn's Treasure
  • Treehorn's Wish
Princess Hyacinth: The Surprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated The Treehorn Trilogy: The Shrinking of Treehorn, Treehorn's Treasure, and Treehorn's Wish Dillweed's Revenge: A Deadly Dose of Magic Always Listen to Your Mother Sami and the Time of the Troubles

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