A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Some discussion of how authors and illustrators create books.
Trying to avoid work is likely to cause even more headaches for you down the road. Arguing doesn’t lead to solutions.
Positive Role Models
Empathetic, supportive friend urges friends to stop fighting and instead work toward a solution. Boys take responsibility for cleaning up mess they inadvertently caused.
Violence & Scariness
Cartoonish mayhem: a boxing elephant, a dinosaur biting off someone’s finger, a story about a zombie postal carrier, giant robotic hands slapping characters, fighting horses.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The 39-Story Treehouse is packed with the same kind of silly storytelling that fueled the previous two books in Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton's Treehouse Books series. The story unfolds at a leisurely pace, with lots of pauses to unspool smaller story lines. There's some slapstick and cartoon violence: A boxing elephant wallops the villain, armed birds threaten a postman who's later kidnapped by bandits, and robotic arms attack boys. A running joke references rabbits multiplying, and one character promises to explain to the other how that happens. The publisher recommends this for ages 6 and up, but the length and content make it a better fit for a slightly older age group.
Is It Any Good?
THE 39-STORY TREEHOUSE brings back the easily distracted book-making duo of Andy and Terry on a third meandering but fast-paced adventure. Real-life author Andy Griffiths and illustrator Terry Denton keep inflating their original premise, but there's still lots of life left in this gag. Absurdity runs rampant, and the gross touches are aimed squarely at the older elementary school ages.
But there's reason beneath the madness: The Once-upon-a-time machine is a nod to HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey and points the way to genuine lessons about responsibility, hard work, and creativity. Smart, compassionate friend Jill also infuses the story with needed heart. (And yes, the boys are going to build another 13 stories.)
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.