A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Being overly cautious risks cutting yourself off from new experiences. Being open-minded and cooperative can lead to workable solutions.
Positive Role Models
Inspector Bubblewrap has a rigid mindset initially but, through new experiences, learns to be more flexible in his thinking. Andy and Terry try to make things work with the inspector instead of dodging their responsibilities. They're deeply concerned about meeting their deadline commitment, though they don't make a sincere effort to do the work. Jill helps smooth over problems with the ants.
Violence & Scariness
Lots of comic violence: Characters get blown up, shot with arrows, cut in half, set on fire, and threatened by oversize creatures. The treehouse includes over-the-top dangers such as a chainsaw juggling, exploding eyeballs, a shark pit, and a dangerous ramp.
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Occasional rude language includes "idiot," "poop," and "butt."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The 65-Story Treehouse -- the fifth installment in Andy Griffiths' and Terry Denton's cheerfully loony Treehouse Books -- continues to mine the same formula that's served the series well so far. This time, hero-authors Andy and Terry revel in taking risks: To Terry, no danger means no fun. The expanded treehouse offers higher levels of crude, cartoon violence with characters getting blown up and cut in half, fighting, and choking, and a succession of perilous scenes. Good friendships and an adult who learns a lesson about letting loose and having fun add some heart. Although the publisher suggests this series for ages 6 and older, we recommend it for ages 8 and up given the length and content.
Is It Any Good?
As Andy Griffiths' and Terry Denton's fanciful treehouse grows by another 13 floors, their ridiculous adventures continue at a frenetic pace but the storytelling gets stretched a little thin. Fans are sure to giggle through The 65-Story Treehouse, even though this addition to the popular series doesn't break any new ground.
This time, the boys travel backward and forward through time à la Bill and Ted -- but in a waste bin rather than a phone booth. There's even more repetition than usual, from gags about ants acting in unison to create a pounding fist, a stomping foot, and even an illustrated book to running into ancestral versions of themselves each time they skip through time. Much of the book's energy comes from Denton's squiggly line drawings -- he revels in showing characters on fire, bouncing off brick walls, getting chomped by sharks, and hurtling through the air.
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.