Aug 10, 2011
Dillweed's Revenge: A Deadly Dose of Magic by Florence Parry Heide
Illustrated by Carson Ellis
Dillweed wants to go places and have adventures, just like his parents, but he never gets to go. His parents have left him behind once more. It's just Dillweed and his friend, a strange looking pet named Skorped. He has to stay home with his butler and maid who treat him horribly. They make Dillweed do all the chores and they take over the house as if it was their own. One day, a package arrives for Dillweed, a strange looking footlocker. He has kept it unopened under his bed, but when he's finally fed up with the abuse at home, he unlocks it and releases evil spirits. When the maid tries to poison Skorped, the spirits have a hand in ensuring that the butler confuses the poison with whiskey and drinks it, dying instantly. The maid also has an "accident" when the armoire falls on top of her and kills her. "Dillweed and Skorped were happy." With the spirits still roaming his home, Dillweed's parents return home. But when they show their dislike for Skorped and throw him out the window, Dillweed and Skorped "wished the parents would go away." And..."they got their wish." Dillweed and Skorped were finally able to travel and have adventures and they lived happily ever after. "Dillweed and Skorped, not the parents."
Dillweed's Revenge: A Deadly Dose of Magic is a deliciously dark tale. It reminds me of Dahl, Gorey and Belloc. These types of dark tales are the ones that stuck with me years after reading them as a child. Ellis' illustrations are a perfect accompaniment. Not for the really young ones, unless they are...brave.