Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Trees and Dreaming

art by Sarah S. Brannen

         Visit Alyson Beecher on Wednesdays for Non-Fiction Picture Books at Kidlit Frenzy.  From her and others, you will discover and want to celebrate terrific nonfiction picture books!  

         There isn't a much sweeter thing than climbing up into a tree, sitting there with the squirrels and birds, peeking out, perhaps in secret, at those below. Bob Redman thought that, felt too confined in his New York apartment, tiny classrooms with narrow halls at school, crowded sidewalks. He raced to Central Park after school, any chance he could, and at age thirteen, began building his treehouses. At first, they were simple platforms as high as he could manage, places to be "away" from the city's busy-ness so he could dream and read. Then he arrived one day, and his "house" was gone. So he built another, a bit more elaborate. Friends helped gather materials, helped build, and joined him sometimes. They were always taken down. However, as Redman grew up year by year, so did those houses in the trees. He built thirteen of them by the time he was caught. That final one was the most elaborate of all: "Five levels and a bridge!"
        One morning he awoke to find several park people there, asking him to come down. No, he wasn't in trouble but was hired to become an arborist for the park, an ending that meant a reward for his passion for trees. Breaking rules is not always a bad thing. 
        Bob Redman worked for the park for a long time, then started his own company, still there, still taking care of trees all over the city. Here is one article about him from the New York Times. Another fun thing is that Shira Boss, the author of this book, is Redman's wife.
       Jamey Christoph has illustrated this story in a pleasant matte finish, showing the look of nature all through the seasons and of course, including lots of beautiful and different trees.


  1. Glad you found and enjoyed this book!

    1. It's a new story to me and yes, I enjoyed it! Thanks, Earl!

  2. I hadn't known about the personal connection of the author! I love family memoirs like this.

    1. I know. Isn’t it great! Thanks, Annette!


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