Those who know me know I ABSOLUTELY LOVE New York City and would move there in a second – if my husband would move there with me! I’m really excited to share Up in the Leaves: The True Story of the Central Park Treehouses (2018, Sterling) with you today. Written by Shira Boss and illustrated by Jamey Christoph, Up in the Leaves is one of the best books I’ve read this summer!
One of the messages I try to convey to my children’s literature students is that nonfiction does not have to be boring or dry. And now I have Up in the Leaves to help illuminate this message.
Boss shares a powerful story about Bob Redman (Boss’s husband in real life) and his adoration for Central Park and its many trees. Escaping into the trees’ leaves, Bob enters a secret world separate from the city’s hustle and bustle. And when the treehouses he builds disappear, he and his friends continue to rebuild treehouses and take in the wonder. Even though his mom questions whether his fascination for trees is suitable for him as a grown up, Bob’s love for the trees endures – and he eventually becomes Central Park’s arborist.
I really love Christoph’s illustrations. His work’s muted grandeur reveals gorgeously city and park scenes. I appreciated the contrast between the human characters’ angularity and the leaves’ softness. The book’s calming tone mirrors the serenity Bob finds in the trees. In a world that seems to not think twice about cutting down trees, we need Up in the Leaves.
A beautifully illustrated children’s picture book, Up in the Leaves is about following one’s passions – as high into the leaves as they may go! You will do well to add it to your bookshelf!
Up in the Leaves earns five stars!