Thursday, April 12, 2018

Up in the Leaves by Shira Boss and Jamey Christoph

Up in the Leaves by Shira Boss and Jamey Christoph is the true story of Bob Redman, a New Yorker who disliked the city crowds as a boy. He liked to climb and loved to escape to Central Park for the quiet. Bob began to climb the trees and hide out in them.

Up and down and up, he explored the trees: the fluffy
pink cherry tree . . . the sticky, pokey pine . . . . 
He slipped through the door of a wide beech.
He stepped up the staircase of a tall oak. 
Each tree was its own world, every limb an adventure. 

Bob liked being up in the trees so much that he started to gather salvaged parts and built himself a treehouse. He'd read in his treehouse, feed the squirrels, sometimes even stay at night to map the stars. Each year, when the leaves fell, his treehouses would be exposed and they'd disappear, taken down by park employees but when the leaves returned he'd build a new one. Over time, the treehouses became more elaborate (the final one was 5 levels) and his friends helped him find salvaged materials and joined him up in the trees.

Eventually, Bob was caught by park employees but the book has a happy ending. He was offered a job as an arborist in the park, climbing trees and trimming them.

Highly recommended - What a terrific story! Lovely prose and cheerful illustrations bring this inspiring true tale to life. While the book is geared to young children, there's an epilogue with a bit more detail and a photo of Bob on the final page so children can see Bob in real life (sitting in a tree, of course!) and tie illustration to reality. On the book flap, you'll also discover that the author is married to Bob. How cool is that? I absolutely love everything about this book. I smiled all the way through it.

©2018 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.


  1. Sounds cute but I love that it’s based on reality. How cool is this story?!

    1. I know! Even if it didn't happen to be true, it would be a cool idea for a story. The fact that it really did happen makes it doubly awesome.


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