A Deadly Dose of Magic
Publication Date: October 2010
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Dillweed’s parents go on adventures and leave him behind with Umblud the butler and Perfidia the maid, who treat him like their slave. Neither Umblud or Perfidia or the parents appreciate Dillweed’s cherished pet, a creature named Skorped. When they threaten Skorped’s life and well-being, Dillweed opens his black box and casts the runes, which releases smoky monsters, who do the dirty deeds. And then it’s Dillweed turn to go on adventures. Filled with nasty characters, beautiful details, and subtle humor, this stylish book follows in the tradition of the deliciously dark work of Edward Gorey, so Dillweed's happy ending undoubtedly means the end for someone else.
Carson Ellis has illustrated such books as The Composer is Dead by Lemony Snicket and The Beautiful Stories of Life: Six Greek Myths, Retold by Cynthia Rylant. She's also done many promotional illustrations for the band the Decemberists. She lives in Portland, Oregon. www.carsonellis.com
"Like Dillweed, Heide and Ellis have worked a little black magic. Together, they've conjured up a delightful tale of revenge. And empowerment. As wickedly fun as Gorey, Dahl, or Belloc"—Lane Smith "The story is unnerving, the characters are unpleasant, and the artwork is unsettling. I am going to read this book again and again."—Lemony Snicket
"Well-deserved woe unto adults who do Dillweed wrong!...His parents are off voyaging, and he's poetically jealous: 'Dillweed liked to go places. He liked to have adventures. He liked to have a good time. His parents went places. His parents had adventures. His parents had a good time. The parents. Not Dillweed'...Good, macabre fun."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Carson Ellis, with her signature palate and line character, has created an utterly charming set of illustrations for this remarkable book."—The Huffington Post
"Young lovers of Gaiman and Gorey will relish the gruesome fun of this parental cautionary tale."—The Bulletin