52 - Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths, illustrated by Terry Denton, 329 pp, RL 4

A few years ago I gleefully discovered The 13 Story Treehouse written by Andy Griffiths and illustrated by Terry Denton. These two Australians are the geniuses who created the hands-down-best-ever (sorry Dr. Seuss) silly-rhyming primers, The Cat on the Mat is Flat and The Big Fat Cow That Goes Kapow. These two books are rarely on the shelves of my school library and I have three copies of each. They are perfect for new readers who want a chapter book but aren't quite ready for one and they are also perfect for older kids reading below grade level because they are eye-catching and don't look like baby books... With the creation of The Treehouse Series these two really deserve some kind of medal for creating completely engaging books for that appeal to all readers, but especially reluctant readers, boys, and struggling readers.  These books are an easy sell, but when called upon, I will tell kids they are like a cross between the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books and the cartoon show Phineas and Ferb.

Three years and three books later, it is definitely worth revisiting this superb series and the silly main characters, Andy and Terry. Yes, the author and illustrator made themselves the stars of their own books, and rightly so. These books are still highly illustrated, happily, often veering into graphic novel territory. And what has been going on as the boys have been adding thirteen levels to their treehouse every year? Of course, as the treehouse grows the amazing accoutrements increase. A bowling alley, a see-through swimming pool and a marshmallow-shooting machine that follows you around and feed you when you are hungry are just a few of the fun features of the treehouse. Now, 39 stories later, the treehouse includes a chainsaw-juggling level, a rocket-powered-carrot launcher, a lifesized snakes and ladders game, a Ninja Snail training academy and a state of the art, high tech detective agency that hopefully will help them find their missing publisher, Mr. Big Nose.

Yes! Things do happen in the Treehouse Series! It's not all fun, game, gags and gadgets! First of all, Andy and Terry are always facing a deadline, with a new book due to their publisher - and yes, there is a 65 Story Treehouse on the horizon (and already available in Australia!) In the last book, Terry invented a "Once-upon-a-time" machine that will write and illustrate books for them but this time around they are back to doing it themselves, among other things, like celebrating Andy's birthday. If you have never cracked the spine of any of the Treehouse Books, I strongly suggest you do. It will brighten your day, and then someone else's, whether you share it, give it or just laugh together, these are the most fun a lot of kids will have with a book.

Coming in 2017!!!???!!!

Source: Review Copy

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