A gorgeously illustrated glimpse into the mind of a young Edgar Allan Poe.
When young Eddie is falsely accused of destroying the Judge’s chicken coop, he is given one day to find the true culprit. Guided by logic, but entranced by the poetry of the paranormal, Eddie seeks to solve the mystery, along the way meeting Captain Mephisto, a darkly unusual magician who has tricks up his sleeve—and maybe a demon on his back. With help from his Raven and the prodding of a mischievous imp, McCobber, it is no wonder that Eddie grows up to become a master of the macabre.
Scott Gustafson crafts a finely wrought portrait that is both humorous and touching. Coupled with his stunning gothic illustrations, Eddie is sure to win fans young and old.
Gothic themes mix with cheeky conversations and slapstick humor in illustrator Gustafson's entertaining authorial debut, which imagines a childhood for Edgar Allan Poe in which the writer's Imp of the Perverse isn't just a metaphor for the root of bad behavior it's an actual imp. As a young orphan, Eddie inherits his father's mischievous demon, McCobber, and befriends a talking raven, who offers the budding poet practical guidance "forevermore." Eddie's foster parents, the Allans, tolerate his oddities until a nighttime prank seems to incriminate Eddie, who turns detective in self-defense. Gustafson (Favorite Nursery Rhymes from Mother Goose) offers a playful mixture of dialogue styles, ranging from McCobber's "Why, you yolk-brained moron!" to Eddie's formal, "You, sir, have crossed a line!" Interracial relationships weave through the story, which is set in slave-owning Virginia; Dap, an elderly house slave who knows plenty about unjust punishment, befriends and guides Eddie. Poe enthusiasts will appreciate literary references, while the uninitiated will enjoy an introduction that's tinged with the frightful and fantastic just how Poe would like it. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8 12.