Gulbahar Shah
THE 13-STOREY TREEHOUSE by Andy Griffiths. Illustrated by Terry Denton Macmillan Children’s Book, 2015, 238 pp., 238.00
November 2020, volume 44, No 11

As I was leafing through the pages of this book, I was struck by how they reminded me of the fairy-tales I used to read as a child. The contents of this work are, of course, diametrically different from those of an ordinary fairy tale. Teeming with caricatures, the book pokes gentle fun at writers and their ilk while creating hilarious scenarios to depict looming deadlines and angry publishers. Our heroes, Andy and Terry, face a deadline for finishing a book that they haven’t even started. Beset by uncertainties, they find ways to procrastinate again and again, very much like the writer of this review. Living in a giant tree house, a thirteen-storey tree house to be precise, with a shark tank and a secret underground laboratory where Terry conducts bizarre experiments like the creation of a giant banana, they get into one ridiculous scrape after another while trying to work. The tree house is surprisingly well equipped, complete with a marshmallow machine that shoots marshmallows into your mouth whenever you’re hungry—now who wouldn’t want that—and a see—through swimming pool. Terry seems to be the enterprising one among the two, turning his neighbour’s favourite cat into a cat with wings or a ‘catnary’, to the utter consternation of Andy.

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