Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A tree is nice.

You may have seen me rockin' this T-shirt around the Hut:

It combines two of my best-loved things: reading and trees! Lately I've had a total tree fixation. Here are some of my recommendations for anybody else who'd like to climb a tree, read underneath one, or build a treehouse.

Although the Hut is becoming more school-oriented and less summery, there's still some summer left... and plenty of summer-themed books still to read! I am fascinated by Peter Nelson's Treehouses: The Art and Craft of Living out on a Limb. While I'm content to look at the incredible (exterior and interior) photographs of treehouses people actually live in, Nelson also provides advice for constructing your own. Try Treehouses and Playhouses You Can Build and Treehouses and Other Cool Stuff: 50 Projects You Can Build, both by David and Jeanie Stiles, for smaller-scale projects.

We just got in the 2011 Treehouses of the World calendar, by -- who else? -- Peter Nelson. (Did you know we have a ton of 2011 calendars downstairs, including old favorites like Mom's Family Calendar by Sandra Boynton and awesome new ones like color-your-own B. Kliban Cats?) It's full of unbelievable feats of treehouse architecture from (you guessed it) around the world. I'm partial to the redwood forest house, but that may be because I'm partial to redwoods in general.

The perfect inside-your-treehouse or under-a-tree choice is the eponymous classic picture book A Tree Is Nice. Written by Janice May Urdy with Caldecott-winning illustrations by Marc Simont, A Tree Is Nice explores the many pleasures of a tree's company: swinging from branches, sitting in the shade, raking leaves, planting a seed and watching it grow, and more. The luminous watercolors (surrounded by lots of white space to let them breathe) and tree-friendly text make this a great read for indoors or out... but I bet you'll be inspired to play outside, despite the end-of-summer heat.

Soon the leaves will start to change and we'll have a whole different season of wonderful tree experiences to enjoy!

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