The 52 storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths
Published by Pan Macmillan Australia
This is the fourth book in the hugely popular Treehouse series and the first that I have read, (I’ve obviously been hiding under a rock) not that it made any difference to my enjoyment of the book from this renowned comic duo. In this partnership the storytelling is equally shared between Griffith's zany text and Denton's detailed comically sketched pictures. The style is casual and conversational - Griffith and Denton are both characters in the book and the narrators speaking directly to the readers, inviting them up to their treehouse and taking them on their absurdly inventive adventures.
In this installment, it's a Andy's birthday but it seems like Terry has forgotten. Before Andy gets to remind him, a mystery has to be solved - where is Mr Big Nose (their publisher)? He should have showed up before page 50! Andy and Terry take a break from training ninja snails and smashing watermelons in the treehouse, to go hi-tech super-sleuthing in their flying fried egg car, uncovering various mysteries in their oddball quest. On their way they meet villainous vegetables and a hungry caterpillar with an amazing appetite, and they all end up in hot soup.
As is often the case, the humour in the book belies brilliant strategies. The 52-Storey Treehouse is cleverly inter textual - it's a book about them writing a book, with references to well known children's stories and made up fictional books, as well as their own. The text plays with a variety of language techniques, using prose, poetry and a plethora of puns, as well as visual gags. The thick slathering of slapstick, vegetable-hating absurdity and 'Dad Jokes' are perfect for their young readership, who won’t even realise they may be learning something along the way.
With imaginative twists and gags aplenty this whacky, fun filled adventure cleverly shares the narrative between the words and sketches so it doesn't even feel like reading - perfect for exciting the imagination.
CKT Book Reviewer
Author: Andy Griffiths
Illustrator: Terry Denton
Title: The 52-Storey Treehouse
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Published: September 2014