Have you seen the Treehouse Storey books? They are the most wonderfully silly series of books by Australian children's author, Andy Griffiths and illustrator, Terry Denton.
If you haven't seen these books you really must check them out. They are written so cleverly. Andy and Terry are working on their latest book, due to their publisher, Mr. Big Nose, by 5 o'clock.
But of course all manner of crazy adventures get in their way; flying cats - catnaries, Mermaidia, a sea monster disguised as a mermaid, the Maze of Doom, Captain Woodenhead and his 10 angry pirates, talking vegetables, flying fried egg machines and the unfortunate story behind Terry's inflatable underpants!
Jack absolutely ADORES these books. They have completely captivated his imagination and taken him to places I could have never dreamed.
He takes one of these books with him everywhere he goes and I can guarantee when I go to bed tonight and tuck Jack and Sarah in, that I'll find one book tucked under his arm.
Each book has a tatty cover and bent corners from being thumbed lovingly; poured over, each illustration studied in great detail.
These stories have been reread, retold and acted out. Jack will spend days - weeks - dressed as either Andy or Terry, with Sarah, ever obligingly playing the roll of Jill, Andy and Terry's animal loving neighbour.
Jack has filled drawing book after drawing book with illustrations of Andy and Terry's adventures, often with real comic flare. He is truly inspired by Terry Denton's drawing style and has spent countless hours working on incorporating this style into his own. (Jack gets a real buzz out of when I share one of his drawings on Instagram and Terry replies!! And how great is Terry Denton for taking the time to reply to my little 6 year old's drawing! Jack thinks Terry and I are friends 🙂 🙂 )
The Treehouse books have also inspired Jack to write his own books. Each day for weeks on end, Jack wrote his own version of The 13 Storey Treehouse. He even added some colour to the illustrations with watercolour paint, thinking it would inspire Terry Denton to add some colour to his drawings. Jack had intended to send it to Andy and Terry as a thank you for writing such wonderful books but in the end, decided he couldn't part with it.
It is so nice when your child has a fascination that we can really get into too. I love these books. They are so funny. We have the audio book of 13 and 52 read by Stig Wemyss and the way he brings the characters to life is just hilarious.
The books are written so simply though; written in the first person as if Andy is speaking to the reader. This means that the words are really simple. There are no difficult paragraphs setting the scene or character descriptions. Just simple, plain, conversational story telling.
Many of the words are actually sight words. So even though the books are quite long, they are easy to read independently. I think this is what I love most about them; the way such interesting and funny stories are told in such a simple way - not in a dumbed down way - but a way that makes kids just launch right in and soak up every word. They're fantastic.
We saw the theatre production of The 13 Storey Treehouse last year, after which Jack was completely starstruck to meet the 'real' Andy - I have to admit, I was a little too. And we are off to see The 26 Storey Treehouse in a couple of weeks!
AND the next book in the series - The 65 Storey Treehouse is being released tomorrow and we can not wait!! Jack was bouncing in his chair talking about it over dinner tonight. 🙂
If you, or someone you know, are looking for some really wonderful novels which kids can read themselves and will just devour, go and check out the Treehouse books. Jack HIGHLY recommends them.
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