Skip to main content

The 13-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths, illustrated by Terry Denton, 239 pp, RL 2

The 13-Story Treehouse is the latest Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton, the geniuses behind the beginning to read books that look like chapter books and are even better than Dr Seuss, The Cat on the Mat is Flat and The Big Fat Cow That Goes Kapow. If you know any of the many books these two have created, then you know that they are masters of the absurd and have MAJOR boy appeal. With this new series (The 26-Story Treehouse is already out in Griffiths and Denton's native Australia and The 39-Story Treehouse is in the works) the reading level is a bit higher and there is more text and a longer narrative but there are still crazy, cartoonish illustrations by Denton on every page. And there is actually a plot.


Although the illustrations are all in black and white in The 13-Story Treehouse, I have color illustrations to share with you here. After a quick tour of the treehouse, Andy and Terry reveal that they get the ideas for some of their stories from their own lives. The 13-Story Treehouse, it seems came out of a missed deadline with their publisher, the angry Mr. Big Nose, and Terry's secret experiment with their pet-loving neighbor Jill's cat, Silky. Terry wants a canary, so he paints the cat yellow and launches it off of one of the platforms of the treehouse, at which point it instantly sprouts wings and becomes a Catnary, which flies off. After worrying about how Jill will feel about her cat, the two decide to get down to writing and illustrating the book they owe Mr. Big Nose, but a few things, such as "giant banana attacks, barking dogs, pretend mermaids, evil sea monsters, popcorn parties, lemonade guzzling, burp-gas filled bubblegum bubbles [and] marshmallow trampolines" as well as a shipment of sea monkeys that turns out to be real monkeys that threaten to take over the treehouse, Silky returns to save the day with a whole flock of catnaries - 13 to be exact, and the guys decide to write about their crazy day instead of trying to make up a story!

Here is a little taste of what you can expect to find in the 13-Story Treehouse:


Hi, my name is Andy.
This is my friend Terry.
We live in a tree.
Well, when I say 'tree', I mean treehouse.
And when I say 'treehouse', I don't mean any old treehouse -
I mean a 13-storey treehouse!
So what are you waiting for?
Come on up!
It's got a bowling alley,
a see-through swimming pool,
a tank full of man-eating sharks,
vines you can swing on,
a games room,
a secret underground laboratory,
a lemonade fountain,
a vegetable vaporiser,
and a marshmallow machine that follows you around and automatically shoots marshmallows into your mouth whenever you're hungry.
As well as being our home, the treehouse is also where we make books together. I write the words and Terry draws the pictures.
As you can see, we've been doing this for quite a while now.


Coming soon.... The 26-Story Treehouse!!

And coming not quite as soon, you guessed it - The 39-Story Treehouse!

Source: Review Copy


Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers remains the most read post on my blog since I wrote it in 2012. Because of this, I have cleaned up this post, tightened the writing and added in any pertinent information that has come about since it originally ran. When I first started in August of 2008, I was scrambling for content, finding my purpose and my voice and not always doing my best writing. How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers was one of the first articles I wrote and, as a bookseller and a book reviewer, and now as an elementary school librarian where I have gone from working with kids reading well beyond their grade level to kids reading well below, this philosophy remains my organizing principle and central focus when reading and recommending books to parents and children. 

In the interest of my mission and the attention this article continues to receive, I have updated and expanded this article and included a guide to using …

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…