There is no moral lesson behind Florence Parry Heide’s popular story, dominated and indeed shaped by Edward Gorey’s whimsically creepy artwork. It’s just that everyone can identify with The Shrinking of Treehorn, as it describes the common experience of adults ignoring children who insistently try to tell them something. Yet the trauma of a parent or teacher belittling your beliefs stays with everyone, big and small, which is why this highly unusual picture book is a favourite classic. Treehorn gradually diminishes in stature, unnoticed by his busy and unimaginative parents. It’s not the shrinking he minds so much — it’s that no one sees it, or believes it. How can they miss the evidence of their own eyes? That’s easy — we all do it, every single day. Although some parents may find the tone of the book disquieting, it remains a cherished choice for kids and one of Gorey’s best books.