The 26-Story Treehouse
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The 26-Story Treehouse -- the sequel to The 13-Story Treehouse -- is a silly romp with gross-out jokes, over-the-top adventure, and giddy mayhem. There's considerable cartoon-style violence, including pirate attacks and a smelly fish that can devour entire ships, but through it all is a warm friendship among the three main characters. One boy is a runaway, and the other two children were dramatically separated from their parents, but kids will giggle at the reasons.
What's the story?
Friends Andy and Terry have added another 13 stories to their crazy tree house, made from salvaged pirate ship parts: Now there's an antigravity chamber, a mud-fighting arena, an Automatic Tattoo Machine, and more. And they're working on a new book, the story of how they came to live in their tree house. It's a wild adventure story filled with wooden-headed pirates, a stinky fish, inflatable underpants, and flying cats.
Is it any good?
THE 26-STORY TREEHOUSE, the loony sequel to The 13-Story Treehouse, has more everything: 13 more stories, 100 more pages, and more charm. It's also more clever, with metafiction, a story within a story, and a frame story that unspool a long tale with asides to treat sharks sickened by eating underpants, to fend off pirates, and to devour a 78-scoop ice cream cone.
It's a good choice for kids reluctant to transition to chapter books. Energetic black-and-white illustrations reward close attention, and extended illustrated gags -- a character's fall from a skyscraper is illustrated over nine pages, for example, and several pages picture a chase through a maze -- keep the pages flipping swiftly. And they aren't done building: Up next, The 39-Story Treehouse.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the layered story and the literary techniques used (such as metafiction and frame stories). What other books do you enjoy that use these techniques?
How does this compare with other illustrated stories, such as the Big Nate series?
Does this story -- with beheaded pirates and falls from great heights -- seem as violent as action movies?