Friday, December 21, 2012

The Epiplectic Bicycle

Photo credit: Little Stour Books
I was introducing my youngest boy to a local music store—the kind of place that's an institution—reachable by descending stone stairs into a basement. I hadn't been in for some time so we wandered, leafing through used LPs, checking out that original Beatles records were fetching hundreds of dollars, and nearly stumbling over the uneven cement floor. Unfortunately, the ambiance of this otherworldly place was lost on my son. "Don't they have any new music, Mom?" There were new CDs, though not predominantly on display. I'm sure he'd rather be in a Barnes & Noble or f.y.e. store.

A book shelf near the counter captured my fancy. Among them was this sweet little book called the Epiplectic Bicycle. Of course I thought it said "Epileptic" but nonetheless I leafed through and read the entire book—it being all of 20 pages or so. The illustrations are very quirky and sweet. In fact, I need to look at this book again. It's that kind of book. One that demands further study. I appreciate Dr. Seuss-style made up words, so the title itself is fascinating. And, there's something about two color printing, much like Jenny and The Cat Club series reprinted by the New York Review Children's Collection, that in its simplicity, allows original pen and ink drawings to shine.

This book came out many moons ago, so humor me if I've just discovered this wonderful artist. Edward Gorey has numerous titles in print. He's developed quite a following among children—most of his books are of that genre—but the Epiplectic Bicycle is appealing to adults too and certainly worth a look to any cyclist who appreciates the marriage of art and the bicycle.

1 comment:

  1. Edward Gorey is one of my favorite illustrators. He can be a little maudlin at times, but I love his creativity and quirkiness.

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