This is one that I read for the Cybils, and which my son sped through after I was done.
The 26-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths. Illustrated by Terry Denton. Feiwel and Friends, 2014.
The 26-Story Treehouse is a prose/graphic hybrid that falls in between Captain Underpants and the Wimpy Kids books on a difficulty scale. Our heroes/authors, Andy and Terry, have built themselves a giant treehouse, which has doubled in size since the first book. I haven’t read the first book, but the story is silly enough that I didn’t feel the need. The story follows a loose plan of explaining how the two boys and their friend Jill met each other. In between, there are adventures in the various rooms of the treehouse and battling against the fierce pirate with the dirty head. As a taste of the action, in one of the more memorable scenes of the book, one of the boys has really disgustingly dirty underwear. He comes up with the brilliant idea of putting the underwear and a fake guy in the shark tank, so that the sharks will get excited and churn the water enough to wash the underwear. Unfortunately, the sharks eat the underwear and get sick. The boys have to call in Jill, with her secret knowledge of where sharks keep their stomach zippers, to save the day.
As you can tell, this isn’t deep, high-quality literature. The artwork is simple line drawings designed to look like a child drew it. It is, however, excellent humor of the sort that kids like. The many illustrations make it easy to get through – it was very empowering for my dyslexic son to be able to read a 345 page book so quickly, when he’s used to taking weeks to finish a book. And so even though dirty underwear and friends making fun of each other is not actually my favorite topic in books, I wholeheartedly recommend these books especially to kids who need a break from more serious reading or who are normally intimidated by longer books. It’s just as important to have books for light recreational reading as it is to have books that will inspire deep thoughts – and this is a good choice for kids in the mood for high levels of silly.