I was pretty excited when I came across this book at the library. I’m not sure why it took me so long to figure out that some of our favourite Canadian authors have also written children’s books. My first hint was when I came across a children’s book written by Gabrielle Roy; but since the story seemed to be heading towards shoving some kittens in a bag to drown them my then 2-year old daughter and I never finished the book. I’m all for realism but a bag of dead kitties isn’t a conversation I’m ready to have just yet.
Up In The Tree, a tale of two children who live up in a at tree is perfect for a very small child. It is written and illustrated (and I believe hand-lettered) by Margaret Atwood. The text and drawings are simple and fun and contain so many things we like: apples, trees, owls and tea. Some ravenous beavers come along and eat the ladder and M was worried about the children – especially when they say, “We’ve run out of pancakes. We’ve run out of tea.” (“Oh no Mummy!”) Our copy also included the audio CD read by Atwood and M must have sat and listened to it about 10x one day. She probably had dreams with a Margaret Atwood voice-over that night.
Up In The Tree is Atwood’s first children’s book, published in 1978. She has published five more – and I will find them all!