Monday, February 2, 2009

The Utter Zoo

The Utter Zoo gives us Edward Gorey's unique version of a bestiary. This unusual collection of creatures first appeared in 1967 as a hard cover book with matching illustrated dust jacket. The first edition of The Utter Zoo was published by Meredith Press, New York, and was reprinted (without a dust jacket) by Hawthorne Books in 1974. My 1st edition copy of the book is signed and inscribed to me by Edward Gorey. The Utter Zoo was included in Amphigorey Also.

This alphabet book is a combination of EG's love of animals and great sense of humor. Beginning with the Ampoo and ending with the Zote, these imaginary creatures are sure to inspire and delight children as well as adults. Even in an alphabet book like this one however, the theme of death is underscored. The book ends with, "About the Zote what can be said? There was just one, and now its dead."

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