This fantastical picture book begins with an invitation to pause and dream: “Everything you need for a treehouse/ starts with time/ and looking up.” In subsequent spreads, a diverse cast of kids creates increasingly elaborate, whimsical structures, from a spiraling tree-canopy platform to a giant, multi-story basket nestled high within branches. Poetic text from Higgins (This Is Not a Valentine) reaches for warm intimacy by directly addressing young readers, but the alliterative lines’ meaning can feel obscure (“maybe a rope,/ some twisted twine/ of spun sugar and sap”). The digitally colored graphite illustrations by Hughes (Charlie & Mouse) truly shine, with scenes of children playing, reading, sharing secrets, and stargazing in wondrously detailed worlds within worlds of their own making. A final image of kids on a suburban terrace eying a single potted tree offers a return to the opening line’s gentle reminder: “Everything you need for a treehouse/ starts with time/ and looking up.” Ages 3–5. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 06/18/2018 Release date: 04/01/2018 Genre: Children's
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.