Up in the Leaves: The True Story of the Central Park Treehouses

Shira Boss, illus. by Jamey Christoph. Sterling, $16.95 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4549-2071-7
From age 13 to 21, Bob Redman (Boss’s husband) escaped the city’s chaos by building treehouses from salvaged materials in Central Park: “Every day after school, Bob’s treehouse was waiting. He hugged the tree’s trunk and scampered straight up. The city—roar, clang, bang—fell away.” Having his first treehouse dismantled doesn’t deter Redman, who simply builds another in its place. Christoph’s matte spreads show Central Park and its surrounding cityscape throughout the seasons. When park authorities arrive one morning, readers may anticipate that Bob is in trouble. Boss, however, delivers a gentle surprise: Redman is hired to work as an arborist in the park—so long as he agrees to stop building treehouses. There’s no don’t-try-this-at-home message; the conclusion delivers a heartening suggestion that, when someone breaks the rules in the spirit of ingenuity and imagination, the circumstances call for an equally innovative form of intervention. Ages 5–8. Author’s agency: Dunow, Carlson, and Lerner. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/19/2018
Release date: 03/01/2018
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