The 130-Storey Treehouse (#10) by Andy Griffiths

Published: 20th October 2020 Goodreads badge
Publisher:
Pan Australia
Pages:
Format: Paperback
Genre: Junior Fiction
★   ★   ★   ★  – 4 Stars

Andy and Terry have added 13 new levels to their treehouse and now it’s even more out of this world than before! There’s a soap bubble blaster, a GRABINATOR (it can grab anything from anywhere at any time), a time-wasting level, a toilet paper factory (because you can never have too much toilet paper), a super long legs level, an extra-terrestrial observation centre and the best bookshop-in-a-treehouse-in-a-tree-in-a-forest-in-a-book in the whole world!

After nine previous incarnations of this book it’s always interesting to see how the story never gets old despite the fact it is so formulaic. Having said that though, with 13 new storeys there are a myriad of new adventures waiting to be had, and while the previous 117 storeys go largely forgotten each time, it’s always a curious endeavour to see what Andy and Terry (and Jill when she’s involved  – which is never enough in my opinion #MoreJillContent) get up to.

With so many wild adventures possible, it’s always a nice change to have a simpler story that doesn’t involve too much chaos. This is one of those stories and it was a refreshing change, Griffiths balances his books out well so the series includes both styles so you don’t get burnt out on too much activity but there aren’t too many simpler and less action filled ones either.

As much as I enjoy the antic of Andy and Terry and the incredible complex and creative ways Griffiths weaves together all the various levels and chaos of the treehouse into a story, it is also nice when the adventures can be exciting without being busy. This is a fantastic story filled with excitement, mystery and suspense but it’s linear in a way some of the previous stories are not. There’s action and consequence but without things coming in from left field all the time steering the story off course – which have their place and are incredibly fun – but I did notice this had more of a straight line story. There’s journeys into space, enjoyment in a time wasting level, and a not so subtle reference about toilet paper which are only part of the fun.

I’ve done a lot of the previous books as audios but this one was a paperback and it was nice seeing Denton’s illustrations again. The tiny details and the small friends that live and hang out in the treehouse alongside Andy and Terry are fun to look at as they embark on their own antics and getting to visualise the various storeys and what they involve is wonderful.

You certainly do not have to have read the previous books in order to enjoy the story, which goes for all of the books in the series. Part of the formula is that Andy introduces everyone and the treehouse each book so every time can be someone’s first time. Despite having this structure to work around it’s still fun to marvel at how creative the story can be in-between, even when defying physics and logic, laws of space and time or general sensibilities.

You can purchase The 130-Storey Treehouse via the following

QBD | Booktopia | Book Depository

Dymocks | WorderyAngus and Robinson

 Fishpond | Amazon | Amazon Aust | Audible

The 117-Storey Treehouse (#9) by Andy Griffiths

Published: 23rd July 2019 (print)/23 July 2019 (audio) Goodreads badge
Publisher:
  Pan Macmillan Australia /Macmillan Australia Audio
Pages: 384/1 hr and 37 mins
Narrator: Stig Wemyss
Format: Audiobook
Genre: Junior Fiction
★   ★   ★  ★  – 4 Stars

Andy and Terry live in a 117-story treehouse. (It used to be a 104-story treehouse, but it just keeps growing!) It now has a pyjama-party room, a water-ski park filled with flesh-eating piranhas, an Underpants Museum, a giant-fighting-robot arena, and the Door of Doom (don’t open it or you’ll be COMPLETELY and UTTERLY DOOMED!).

For as long as Andy and Terry have been writing books together, Andy has always been the narrator and Terry has always been the illustrator. But when Terry tries to prove that he can narrate as well as draw, the story goes completely out of control and the Story Police arrive to arrest the whole treehouse team for crimes against storytelling! Andy, Terry and Jill go on the run, but how long can they evade the Story Police and stay out of Story Jail?

There are so many things to love in this new Treehouse adventure. One thing I quite enjoyed was Storytelling Gaol and the Story Police who arrest you for lazy storytelling like ending a story with “It was all a dream”. A great practice. Crimes against good and proper storytelling should be openly encouraged. But that isn’t the only fun addition to the treehouse. With 13 new storeys there are fun rooms like the Miniature Pony room, the Waiting Room, the Underpants Museum room, and many more.

The usual charm of the Treehouse series is back: the way Andy addresses the reader/listener, the reoccurring characters like Mr Big Nose and the impossible book deadlines, and Jill is there with her logic and sensible answers, but she is also there have crazy fun with the boys as well.

There is also a clear formula to these stories which surprisingly doesn’t get old. It treats each book like the first book you’ve read of Griffiths and Denton. Even going through the treehouse introduction again is fun because we get to explore the new rooms and see Denton illustrations. Even with the audiobook Wemyss makes this fun because of his fun voices so you can imagine these rooms, much like radio dramas with sound effects and different voices commenting on random aspects and features.

This time around Terry wants to try his hand at narrating because “illustrators can narrate too!” which kick starts the story and also reveals that in the Terry/Andy universe there are similar authors to our world but not quite. There’s Looney Tunes logic, a touch of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and the absurdity and strangeness results in a lot of hilarity and you can’t help but laugh.

I love the meta nature of this particular adventure because I feel like Griffiths included some of his own criticisms he’s seen, if not, it is a great self-reflection on some of the plots in this series. All in good faith though and always filled with humour.

I’ve started looking forward to experiencing these books as audios because I adore Wemyss’s narration and I will sacrifice Denton’s illustrations because the story is just as entertaining. While I know Denton does amazing work, the audiobook has done the book justice and the creativity to be able to interpret those drawings into sound is quite wonderful.

You can purchase The 117-Storey Treehouse via the following

QBD | Dymocks | Book Depository

Booktopia | Angus and Robertson | Fishpond

Amazon | Amazon Aust | Audible

Wordery | Publisher