Tim Burton, The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories (William Morrow, 1997)

The universe of Tim Burton
is shielded by a thin curtain.
This little book
is worth a look
to see inside the mind behind
the epic movie-making grind.
From Frankenweenie to Batman,
Pee Wee Herman, Edward Scissorhand.
A world exists, between these covers,
of match girls and their stick boy lovers;
love ignites,
the heat excites,
flashes
then a pile of ashes!

A robot boy, a girl who stares,
and people who have strange affairs;
a lad with nails where his eyes should be
assembles an aluminum Christmas tree.
Christmas is a theme of Tim's
but not a time for singing hymns...
rather a time of accidents
unfortunate deaths and toxic scents!

A series of poems, lots of rhymes,
love and loss...the worst of times.
And each one stranger than the last.
This smallish book you read so fast,
has pictures drawn by Mr. Burton.
He's an odd one, Tim, of this I'm certain!
He's made a book, with no real story
while paying homage to Edward Gorey!
The drawings charm
the poems alarm
but after all... there's no real harm.
You read and look at pix and then
you read the whole thing o'er again.
And I guess when all is said and done,
there's nothing wrong with an hour of fun!

The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories by Tim Burton is a charming but slight addition to the library. Funny, sad, a little disturbing, and maybe a bit pricey ($19.95 US, $30 in Canada!) but enjoyable and certainly worth a look!

[David Kidney]