Title: The 13-story Treehouse
Author: Andy Griffiths ; illustrated by Terry Denton.
Series: Treehouse series (Book 1)
Recommended for: Grades 1-3
Pages: 239 (mostly Illustrations)
Call Number/Link: J FICTION GRIFFITHS, A. / J GRI
Synopsis: Who wouldn’t want to live in a treehouse? Especially a 13-story treehouse that has a bowling alley, a see-through swimming pool, a tank full of sharks, a library full of comics, a secret underground laboratory, a games room, self-making beds, vines you can swing on, a vegetable vaporiser and a marshmallow machine that follows you around and automatically shoots your favorite flavored marshmallows into your mouth whenever it discerns you’re hungry. Life would be perfect for Andy and Terry if it wasn’t for the fact that they have to write their next book, which is almost impossible because there are just so many distractions, including thirteen flying cats, giant bananas, mermaids, a sea monsters pretending to be mermaids, enormous gorillas, and dangerous burp gas-bubblegum bubbles!
Review :I love treehouses. Media like the Swiss Family Robinson, the Bernstein Bears, or the Ewok village resonated with me. The idea of an elaborate tree home is something I’ve dreamed about and is on my bucket list should I ever win the lottery.
So After another person’s positive and gushing review, and the overall concept of the BEST TREEHOUSE EVER, I dove into reading the 13-story treehouse by Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton. I wanted to like this book. I hoped to like this book. Ultimately, 13-story Treehouse left me cold.
Two guys live in a treehouse, and after the “tour,” It pretty much devolves into two slackers have to write a book on a deadline and keep being interrupted with ‘wacky’ adventures. Story is not the centerpiece of this work and art repetitions abound. At 239 pages I was still able to burn through this book in about 25 minutes or so.
The book feels thrown together. The penultimate solution to their book writing procrastinating problem to be *gasp* writing up their ‘wacky’ adventures into the book–complete with the last dozen or so page of the book being slightly smaller manuscript versions of earlier pages. I would be appalled at the sheer laziness of this, had Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton not already set the bar so low. This book makes Big Nate look like, To Kill a Mockingbird.
I hate it. But I don’t HATE IT, hate it. My hate is reserved for those who deserve it, like Jimmy Fallon or Cory Doctorow.
For the job it does, and the market it serves, the 13-story treehouse is effective. I would recommend it to early or reluctant male readers. While the book does give off a very Boys Club–No Girls Allowed–vibe which limits its crossover appeal; I would say it works for its appeal demographic. The topics of burps, monkeys, bananas, flying cats, and non sequiturs –combined with Terry Denton’s manic B/W illustrations of said madness is very appealing to the male 1st-4th grade reluctant reader. Even the repetitious parts can work to help reinforce sight words. I will hold my nose and recommend this book for youngsters, knowing full well, in 20 years it will be “Andy & Terry who?”
Book one in the Treehouse series.
- The 13-Story Treehouse
- The 26-Story Treehouse
- The 39-storey Treehouse (Forthcoming)
- The 52-storey Treehouse (Forthcoming)