Author: Carter Higgins
Illustrator: Emily Hughes
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: April 10th, 2018
GoodReads Summary: Featuring beautiful images and a lyrical text with an exquisitely readable cadence, this book gives life and meaning to all the requisite elements of a treehouse, from time, timber, and rafters to ropes of twisted twine that invite visitors to sprawl out on a limb and slide back down again. For anyone who's ever wanted to escape real life and live in a nostalgic dream come true, this poignant picture book captures the universal timelessness of treehouses and celebrates all the creativity and adventure they spark.
What I Think: This book offers such a sweet blend of excellent text and illustrations. I found myself sinking deeper and deeper into this book as I read. It's hard to explain but Carter does a great job with mood so that I was sucked into it almost like a lullaby. This makes Everything You Need for a Treehouse an excellent read for looking at mood and word choice and description. Being able to describe well, helps to set the mood of a piece of writing.
This summer, Heidi Schultz, the author of Hook's Revenge, wrote a blog post for Teachers Write where she shared an awesome way to look at how word choice can impact the mood of a piece. It was titled Setting as a Lens for Character but I really loved how this exercise shows that the words a writer picks impact what the reader understands. We know this of course, but this specific activity really shows how it's possible to take one description and spin it a different way simply by changing the words. I definitely recommend checking out her post and using it along side Everything You Need for a Treehouse as you look at word choice.
Another way to use this book as a mentor text is to look at all the alliteration Carter packs in! Personally, I think this is part of why this book sucked me in, it flows and the words just slipped off my tongue as I read it out loud. I especially like that this is an opportunity to think about why a writer might employ alliteration. Sure, it can be fun or silly, but it also adds this element of how the words fit together or move along.
Of course, after reading this book, I hope you invite student writers to describe what they think they would need for a treehouse!
Snatch of Text:
"Whether solo or squished
make sure your tree is tall -
you'll want to see sun speckles up close."
Thank you to Chronicle
for sending me a copy of this book to review.