"Let's build a tree fort," Russell says to his dad when they move into a house with a big maple tree in the backyard. His dad doesn't know much about building, but after several trips to the lumber store, the tree fort is done. There is no slide, balcony or skylight like Russell imagined, but it is perfect - until he notices another tree fort going up three houses over!
In this subtle, humorous story, Jessica Scott Kerrin explores the idea of keeping up with the Joneses. Quin Leng's lighthearted watercolor illustrations show the unshakable bond between a father and son, as well as the delightful details of two tree forts.
“Jessica Scott Kerrin’s first foray into the world of picture books
has yielded a gentle, beautiful story that is heartwarming and as
perfect as Russell’s tree fort itself. The story is simply and elegantly
told, with an understated quality that renders it even more poignant.” Atlantic Books Today, Fall, 2018
Scott Kerrin has written a delightful story about the genuine love
between a father and son. Quality time shared between two people is more
important than possessions.” Canadian Children’s Booknews, summer, 2018.
“Kerrin includes subtle moments of humor throughout the story line.” Horn Book Magazine, May/June, 2018.
author Jessica Scott Kerrin (Lobster Chronicles series) makes her
picture book debut with a resonating lesson on the importance of not
keeping up with the Joneses and the immeasurable value of presence over
product. Artist Qin Leng embellishes Kerrin’s thoughtful narrative with
whimsical ink, watercolor and pencil crayon illustrations that
emphasize and celebrate the parent/child partnership as collaborators
and adventurers–especially their supportive companionship and wordless
understanding. Together, artist and author affectingly construct The Better Tree Fort that has little to do with its exterior, and everything to do with the love contained within.” Smithsonian BookDragon, March, 2018.
playful artwork, in loose ink lines casually filled with naturalistic
color washes, is a warm complement to this sweet, supportive
father-and-son story. Its message of what matters most—including love
and spending time together—is one many readers will welcome.” Booklist, March, 2018.
“The Better Tree Fort
is the author’s first picture book after numerous acclaimed middle
school novels, and her trademark humour and gentle wisdom rings pitch
perfect in the new form. A witty tale about the dangers of keeping up
with the Joneses, it’s always fun and never preachy, grounded in
relatable and lovable Russell.” Open Book, February, 2018.
story of father-son love is endearing and warm-spirited. Leng’s ink,
watercolor, and pencil-crayon illustrations are softly hued, fluid, and
filled with enough details to engage readers. Time together is truly
wonderful for one father and son.” Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2018