cover image The 13-Story Treehouse

The 13-Story Treehouse

Andy Griffiths, illus. by Terry Denton. Feiwel and Friends, $13.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-250-02690-3

Longtime collaborators Griffiths and Denton (Killer Koalas from Outer Space) get metafictional in their latest book (first published in Australia), and the result is anarchic absurdity at its best. Young buddies Andy and Terry live together in the sort of tree house that kids dream about, complete with bowling alley, shark tank, vines to swing from, and underground laboratory. With so many distractions, is it any wonder that they’re late with the book due to their publisher, Mr. Big Nose? “We were a little behind schedule,” confides Andy. “Well, when I say ‘a little behind schedule,’ I mean a lot behind schedule. And when I say ‘a lot behind schedule,’ I mean a LOT LOT LOT behind schedule.” It’s due tomorrow, but before they can get to work, they have to handle an escaped catnary (a cat turned canary), “burp-gas-filled bubblegum bubbles,” and a horde of destructive monkeys. Denton’s manic cartooning captures every twist and turn in hilarious detail, as babies are pelted with garbage, yapping dogs squashed, and monkeys catapulted into the distance. A sequel was published last year in Australia and can’t arrive soon enough. Ages 8–12. (Apr.)