This book has two great things going for it... the subject of Poe and Gustafson's wonderful artwork! Both of which I give highest ratings! Gustafson is an outstanding artist and I have every book that I can find that is illustrated by him. Five star keepers every one! This is the only book I've read by Gustafson and it is a well done chapter book. The author obviously researched and provides the reader with the sad facts of Poe's humble beginnings and upbringing before branching off into fantasy and fiction. As the only child to a kindly, loving foster mother and a stern, impossible-to-please foster father, it is easy to see how a lonesome child would create an imaginary companion that only he could see or speak with - the mischievous imp. Young Poe is also an animal lover and his other companion is an actual crow (who also speaks only to him). I could not help seeing his imp companion as a metaphor for his father's legacy to young Poe... whether it be his fearful wild imaginings or simply a good imagination. Adults will not find it a stretch to attribute Poe's adult problems of melancholy and 'self-medication' also as a sad bequest of the family "demons." The imp appeared a substitute of a reckless and irresponsible father, while his raven companion might be the logical, level-headed father aspect. In the middle of the night, young Poe awakens having found that he has sleepwalked into the neighbor's yard. A great noise and clamor is coming from a sack hanging from the barn's weather vane which wakens all the neighbors. Eddie's own embroidered pillow case has been stuffed with his pet cat and the Judge's prize rooster and hung on high! And poor Eddie is blamed. Punishment is called for! But logic dictates that Eddie could not have done the deed. His foster father grudgingly gives Edgar 24 hours to clear his name or be caned. Luckily, Ed has the moral support and love of his foster mother and a family servant. He takes on the job of detective and works his way through to the truth -despite his fears- with both logic and heart. An admirable young man who acts in a praiseworthy fashion. No doubt young readers will root for young Eddie as I did :-) ps. While done in a different artistic style, Gustafson's illustrated full-color Peter Pan, Classic Fairy Tales, and Mother Goose are without parallel. Simply outstanding in every aspect and I recommend them to all -. be it individual or public libraries - without reservation!