Review – Up in the Tree by Margaret Atwood

Today we have a book ‘for little ones’, reviewed by Keris..

Up in the Tree – Margaret Atwood

First published in 1978, Up in the Tree is a very sweet book. It’s the story of a small boy and girl who live happily in a tree until one day their ladder is taken away. Once they realise they’re trapped up in the branches, they get scared and worry they’ll be “stuck here forever in this HORRIBLE tree.” And then they’re rescued. Once they’re down on the ground they – of course – want to be back up in the tree. But this time, they make some stairs so they won’t have the same problem in the future!

The book is illustrated – and hand-lettered – by the author and the pictures are simple, but very charming. Atwood explains that it was published during the very early days of Canadian children’s publishing and so only has two colours (red and blue) because any more would have been too expensive.

The first time I read this to my 6-year-old son Harry, he asked me to read it again straight away. Since then, he hasn’t let me read it to him at all. He says it’s too sad. It does seem rather melancholy, but I’m not entirely sure why (perhaps it’s simply the thought of two small children living in a tree!). Even so, I really liked it and will certainly be saving it to try reading to Harry again in the future.

An audio CD read by Margaret Atwood is also included, but Atwood has a rather melancholy voice so you may want to avoid that altogether!

Thanks, Keris and thanks to Bloomsbury Children’s Books for sending us a copy.