In this far-fetched fairy tale with drawings by Edward Gorey, a plucky little girl named Gremlin and her brother, Zeppelin, leave their childhood home, a woodsman's cottage, of course in the kingdom of Etaoin and set out to see the world.
Clambering through an enchanted forest and navigating pirate-infested seas en route to the Royal Palace (where a drastic change of circumstance awaits), they encounter a host of quirky characters beyond anything the Brothers Grimm ever imagined.
Yes, there are knights (good and evil), a giant, and the requisite fairy godmother.
But there's also an inn full of doom-and-gloom beatniks, a peevish wombat, a poet whose limericks probe the meaning of life, and a flightless parrot who spouts Latin.
Anything but a fainthearted waif, Gremlin takes surprises and setbacks in stride, retaining her innocence and good humor all the while.
Drawings by Edward Gorey