Who doesn’t love a new Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton book? These two are masters of humour for young readers, and their seemingly simple stories have so many layers of intrigue. This book,The 52-Storey Treehouse, follows on from The 39-Storey Treehouse, and is the fourth in the series. The treehouse is a meandering series of cloud-shaped floors sprouting from a central trunk, and since the last book, another 13 floors have been added to the seemingly infinite structure.
In this series, Andy and Terry are the two main characters in their own books, alongside their publisher, Mr Big Nose. This time around, the Treehouse has a juggling chainsaw room, a smashing watermelons room, and is host to an army of ninja snails. The latter become (remarkably) important saviours for our rascal heroes, and are integral to the story. Some of the humour is too prefaced and can be a little lame, but that somehow adds to the appeal. You find yourself laughing at things that really are not that funny.
This book sees Andy (the writer), and his best mate, Terry (the illustrator), trying to get their latest book to the publisher on time. Unfortunately for them but luckily for us, all sorts of events conspire against them. There is vegetable warfare, and magic spells. Also parent-killing vegetables, although it should be pointed out that no parents feature in this book at all. They rarely do in Andy’s madcap adventures. The decision to use themselves as the two main characters in these books is fun – it allows for some self-directed humour.
Young fans will not be disappointed.
Reviewed by Gillian Torckler
The 52-Storey Treehouse
by Andy Griffiths &Terry Denton
Published by Pan Australia