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

The 91-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths

Published: 8th August 2017Goodreads badge
Publisher:
  Pan Macmillan Australia
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Genre: Junior Fiction
★   ★   ★   ★  – 4 Stars

Join Andy and Terry in their ridiculous 91-storey treehouse! Go for a spin in the world’s most powerful whirlpool, take a ride in a submarine sandwich, get marooned on a desert island, hang out in a giant spider web, visit the fortune teller’s tent to get your fortune told by Madame Know-it-all and decide whether or not to push the mysterious big red button. Well, what are you waiting for? Come on up!

This might be up there as one of my favourites of the Treehouse books. It’s silly, but clever, filled with adventure and you can’t help but love these characters as they go on these wild adventures and get into all kinds of strife.

Griffiths’ talent is that one thing blends so well into another as he’s telling the story. Madam Know-it-all leads into the Big Button which gives us a hint at the story to come as Andy and Terry must scramble to make sense of the clues and cryptic answers. I also love how Griffiths links together all of the new storeys and they get to become part of the new adventure and not just an unseen addition.

Andy and Terry go on another adventure in this book with Mr Big Nose’s grandchildren in tow. There are wonderful references in this book to other pop culture things such as Narnia, The Beatles, and 20 Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, all with a delightful twist that suit the Andy and Terry universe. I loved the humour that comes through in both the writing and the illustrations and the balance between serious and silly is great, you know these boys can get into strife without it ever getting too serious, but serious enough that it’s engaging and adventurous.

With these wonderful adventures are also the brilliant accompaniment of Denton’s illustrations. Depending on the story, Denton’s illustrations can be simple or incredibly complicated. This is one of those great times because the amount of detail Denton has put into these drawings is amazing.  There are some wonderfully clever drawings as Andy and Terry try to wrangle the grandchildren on their myriad of adventures through the many exciting new storeys filled with tiny surprises for the keen eyed reader.

These books are quirky and funny and the more you read the more they grow on you. It will be interesting to see how high Griffiths and Denton plan to take this, because surely they are going to run out of tree eventually. Until then I will look forward to the continuing antics of Andy and Terry.

You can purchase The 91-Storey Treehouse via the following

QBD | Dymocks | Book Depository

Booktopia | Angus and Robertson | Fishpond

Amazon | Amazon Aust | Audible

Wordery | Publisher

The 65-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths

Published: 12 August 2015 (print)/12 August 2015 (audio) Goodreads badge
Publisher:
  Pan Macmillan Australia /Bolinda Audio
Pages: 384/2 Hours 13 mins
Narrator: Stig Wemyss
Format: Audiobook
Genre: Junior Fiction
★   ★   ★  – 3 Stars

Andy and Terry’s amazing 65-Storey Treehouse now has a pet-grooming salon, a birthday room where it’s always your birthday (even when it’s not), a room full of exploding eyeballs, a lollipop shop, a quicksand pit, an ant farm, a time machine and Tree-NN: a 24-hour-a-day TV news centre keeping you up to date with all the latest treehouse news, current events and gossip. Well, what are you waiting for? Come on up!

With a touch of Jack and the Beanstalk, time travel and the film Them! it’s a curious adventure Andy and Terry go on. Jill comes in with her logic and reason to bring the boys into line and solve their problems all of which combine to be a pretty normal day in the treehouse.

In this new adventure you learn new words, get to travel through history in a wheelie bin, albeit a smidge inaccurately, but it is fun. TreeNN is a fun addition as well, ending chapters with something different. I liked the break in formula in this one, no book talk, instead we need a building inspection from Inspector Bubblewrap. This prompts the time travel and all sorts of mishaps as they try to travel back 6.5 years and end up at all different points through history.

Admittedly, I couldn’t get into this story as easily as the others. I liked the diversion from the normal structure because that can be boring after a while. It was fun but not as engaging as the previous stories. I also got a visual copy in the end because while Wemyss has done a brilliant job in the past to compensate, I needed Denton’s illustrations this time to appreciate some of the jokes and references.

The Treehouse series continues to grow and change with each book and the creativity and inventiveness of Griffiths and Denton is amazing. The jokes are clever and the illustrations are so detailed that there is always something to discover in them. The two make a perfect team and while I didn’t love this storey as much as previous storeys, I look forward to seeing what the next storey in the treehouse has to offer.

You can purchase The 65-Storey Treehouse via the following

QBD | Dymocks | Book Depository

Booktopia | Angus and Robertson | Fishpond

Amazon | Amazon Aust | Audible

Wordery | Publisher

78-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths

Published: 1st August 2016Goodreads badge
Publisher:
  Pan Macmillan Australia
Pages: 375
Format: Paperback
Genre: Junior Fiction
★   ★   ★   ★  – 4 Stars

Join Andy and Terry in their spectacular new 78-storey treehouse. They’ve added 13 new levels including a drive-thru car wash, a combining machine, a scribbletorium, an ALL-BALL sports stadium, Andyland, Terrytown, a high-security potato chip storage facility and an open-air movie theatre. Well, what are you waiting for? Come on up!

Another 13 storeys means another grand adventure and zany levels to explore. This time poor Andy get pushed aside as Terry becomes the star of the new upcoming Treehouse movie and in true Terry style lets it go to his head and he becomes a little bit mean. Because there is no need of a narrator in this film, Andy must find ways to amuse himself which involves exploring the many new rooms of the treehouse including trying to hatch the giant egg, spinning the plates in the spinning room, and scribbling some more in the scribbling room.

This is a great Andy centred adventure because while Terry is the star of the film, Andy becomes the star of the book. I loved this, it’s fun and silly and hilarious in all the right places. Jill also makes an appearance, I’m always glad to see Jill get her time to shine in these stories, she’s a wonderful character.

Since I read this book instead of the audio I got to appreciate the drawings, and they were fantastic. When I read one of these with creative illustrations I forget the great audio Wemyss does to express the illustrations and admire Denton’s drawings instead. They are very funny and very clever, filled with little secret critters or comments, if you stare at them long enough you keep finding hidden gems in some of the more complicated ones that are both relevant and not relevant at all, and like all good illustrations they certainly bring something extra to the story. Griffith’s writing is wonderful but needs accompaniment whether it’s Denton’s drawings or the sound effects on the audiobooks and Wemyss’ voices.

I love that this book (and the whole series really) breaks the fourth wall, it goes a bit silly and illogical but that’s half the fun. Andy’s attempts at staying out of the way always end up interrupting the movie in some way and when nefarious things begin to happen, no one believes him.

I also loved that there are stages in the Treehouse stories, just when one aspect is solved something else happens, or while you are trying to enjoy one adventure something else pops up as well, skilfully coming together in the end with Griffiths clever writing. Writing which in itself can be delightfully convenient and illogical but which makes the story that much more enjoyable. I love the reality that this treehouse exists in where anything is possible and logic and physics don’t really need to play a part.

On top of the dazzle that is a Teehouse movie, you can also expect action and adventure in this book, you can also expect rhyming rants, suspicious cows, the ever delightful Mr Big Nose, as well as lot of Andy’s. Possibly one of my favourite treehouse books, not only because the writing is funny, but despite having the same basic formula for six books now, this is still an original story that goes in directions you didn’t even know it could take. I can only imagine what another 13 storeys is going to involve but I look forward to reading about it.

You can purchase The 78-Storey Treehouse via the following

QBD | Dymocks | Book Depository

Booktopia | Angus and Robertson | Fishpond

Amazon | Amazon Aust | Audible

Wordery | Publisher

The 39-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths

Published: 1st September 2013 (print)/28th Sep 2013 (audio) Goodreads badge
Publisher:
  Pan Macmillan Australia /Bolinda Audio
Pages: 352/2 hours 5 minutes
Narrator: Stig Wemyss
Format: Audiobook
Genre: Junior Fiction
★   ★   ★  – 3 Stars

Andy and Terry’s amazing treehouse has 13 new levels including a chocolate waterfall, a non-erupting active volcano, an opera house, a baby-dinosaur petting zoo, Andy and Terry’s Believe it or Else! museum, a not-very-merry merry-go-round, a boxing elephant called the Trunkinator, an X-Ray room, a disco with light-up dance floor, the world’s scariest roller-coaster and a top secret 39th level that hasn’t even been finished yet!

So what are you waiting for? Come on up!

One thing that can be said about the audiobook experience of the Treehouse series is that Stig Wemyss really enjoys his role as narrator, and with the freedom and challenge of engaging children in an audio book his enthusiasm is a great draw.

Despite this, I do think this would have been a good one to read rather than listen to, there sounds like there would be a great assortment of pictures based on what happens. That is to say it wasn’t still enjoyable. As before, audio prompts, music, and sound effects make this just as enjoyable, maybe even more so; though I do feel like Terry’s drawings are being neglected, considering how much he talks about drawing in the books.

With another 13 storeys added to the treehouse another adventure awaits. Andy tells us what new things they have added to the treehouse, each as exciting and improbably and delightful as the previous things. Andy and Terry once again have a book due but Terry has a solution he’s been working on which naturally causes mayhem.

Terry also got a spotlight moment and a reprieve from being the daft friend, his drawing skills become essential and his illustration skills are commended. There’re also songs in this story, some more poems than songs, but one definite song, which Wemyss has to sing which was…an experience. I’m also learning that there will always be a recap of the book within the book, but thankfully it’s a fast recap.

Griffiths certainly had worked out a rhythm with this series. It’s repetitive, cheeky, silly, and all the fun and gross (but not too gross) things that make kids laugh. Once you get used to the structure of these books they become quite enjoyable, no matter your age.

You can purchase The 39-Storey Treehouse via the following

QBD | Dymocks | Book Depository

Booktopia | Angus and Robertson | Fishpond

Amazon | Amazon Aust | Audible

Wordery | Publisher

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