Additional Book Information
Series: The New York Review Children's Collection
Publication Date: April 12, 2016
Fletcher and Zenobia
by Victoria Chess and Edward Gorey, illustrations by Victoria Chess
Our story opens with a cat stuck in a tree, an ordinary-enough occurrence. Fletcher the cat, having run up the tree in a moment of thoughtless abandon, cannot get back down. Then strange things begin to happen: Fletcher finds in his tree a steamer trunk full of hats, and among the hats a papier-mâché egg that opens to reveal Zenobia, a worldly talking doll who was locked in the egg by an unfeeling child named Mabel. To cheer each other up, Fletcher and Zenobia decide to throw a party, complete with cake, peach ice cream, and punch from a silver punch bowl. The hats come in handy, and a moth, drawn to the festivities, soon becomes the vehicle of an unexpected escape plan.
A story of metamorphosis and friendship, like The Owl and the Pussycat crossed with Alice in Wonderland, Fletcher and Zenobia is a wildly imaginative tale of wish fulfillment and freedom. At once silly and zany, it is not without a certain delicacy of feeling that older children, and adults, will also appreciate.
Victoria Chess, written by Edward Gorey
Illustrated with eccentric panache by Victoria Chess, [Fletcher and Zenobia] is a story of immense charm and uncompromisingly rich vocabulary.
—Melanie McDonagh, The Spectator
When I was young, my favorite picture book was Fletcher and Zenobia.
—Rick Riordan, author of Percy Jackson & the Olympians
Edward Gorey, known for his macabre sense of humor and somewhat creepy illustrations, teams up with Victoria Chess to produce a whimsical, slightly psychedelic picture book story that I found *very* groovy as the child of hippies.
—Rick Riordan, Myth & Mystery blog
I was especially charmed by Fletcher and Zenobia… It is deliciously eccentric and assured.
—Kate Kellaway, The Guardian (UK)