The Gashlycrumb Tinies: or, After the Outing is an abecedarian book written by Edward Gorey that was first published in 1963. Gorey tells the tale of 26 children (each representing a letter of the alphabet) and their untimely deaths in rhyming dactylic couplets, accompanied by the author’s distinctive black-and-white illustrations. It is one of Edward Gorey’s best-known books, and is the most notorious amongst his roughly half-dozen mock alphabets. It has been described as a “sarcastic rebellion against a view of childhood that is sunny, idyllic, and instructive”. The morbid humor of the book comes in part from the mundane ways in which children die, such as falling down the stairs or choking on a peach. Far from illustrating the dramatic and fantastical childhood nightmares, these scenarios instead poke fun at the banal paranoias that come as a part of parenting.
The first related work to the Gashlycrumb Tinies by a different author details the mis-adventures the children experience that leads them to their final demise, as depicted in Gorey’s illustrations.