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Secret Tree Fort

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  450 ratings  ·  78 reviews
Even a bookish big sister is drawn in by the promise of her imaginative sibling’s spectacular hideaway.

I have a secret tree fort, and YOU’RE NOT INVITED!

When two sisters are ushered outside to play, one sits under a tree with a book while the other regales her with descriptions of a cool fort in a tree that grows ever more fantastical in the telling. What will it take to g
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 12th 2016 by Candlewick Press
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Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  450 ratings  ·  78 reviews

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Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Captures that sibling relationship perfectly that so many of us recall. I love how imagination soars and soars and never stops dreaming. And then a bump in the road, but just a small one, as we're off again on a journey to something awesome. Cause after all imagination x 2 can only lead to bigger and better! ...more
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kidstuff
A girl just wants to read her book in peace. (What's wrong with that, I ask you?)
BUT . . . her sister's wild imagination may prove to offer a more interesting story.
(All right - I guess it's okay to get your nose out of a book every now and then.)
Heather Gunnell
Staff Pick

This is perfect for anyone who has ever had to deal with a younger sibling who won't leave them alone. This story is full of imagination and I just love the sweet ending.
Pernille Ripp
Mar 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Wonderful addition to any classroom library, fantastic inspiration for imagination!
Ana Calabresi
Lovely! Pesky little sisters, the power of imagination.
HOLY COW. THIS BOOK IS PERFECTLY TAILORED TO MY READ-ALOUD STYLE! I can't quite explain it, but it's so totally perfect for me to use in a class visit. I don't know how well it would work for other people, but it's SO PERFECT for me.

Ok, rational thoughts. I love the sketchy illustrations and the big sister/little sister dynamic. I'm also a big sucker for tree houses and homemade forts of all sorts.
Kris - My Novelesque Life
Aug 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Written and Illustrated Brianne Farley
2016; 32 Pages
Candlewick Press
Genre: children's, picture book, adventure, imagination


When two sisters were sent outside to play one finds a nice tree to read under. While the other sister wants to play with her sister. When her sister does not pay any attention she starts to imagine an awesome secret tree fort and telling her every detail. Will her sister notice her? LOVED the illustrations. It reminded me of picture books from my own
Apr 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Ha! The first pages definitely remind me of me and my own sister..... And, it's dedicated to "my favorite sister." This book is cute, clever, and imaginative - a little Where the Wild Things Are meets Bink and Mollie. And, unlike what really happened with my own sister, it has a wonderful, perfect ending. Great picture book. ...more
May 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books, modern
Two sisters are sent outside by their mother on a lovely day. The older one wants to read, and the younger wants to play. How to convince her sister to cooperate? The younger begins a plot to make her sister jealous, talking about her fantastical tree fort that is so out of this world, her sister will have to play with her. The best part? It's MADE OF CANDY!!! ...more
Nov 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I really love this one.
Lesley Burnap
Feb 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Sisters. Imagination. Forts. Books. ☺️
Meghan Hunt
May 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jp-picture-books
I love the illustrations and the imagination of the little girl.
Apr 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
That voice! Those illustrations! The big sister/little sister dynamic. All so good.
It's an outside play date for two girls, but sadly, one doesn't want to go. While the older sister reads, the younger sister tries to entice her to play by building up an "real" tree fort part by part. Her imagination grows wilder with every page, filling it with more creatures, flags, and levels. Despite her enthusiasm for this "secret" fort, she fails to draw in her sister until the very end, when they argue, and makeup. It's a sweet resolution to a story about a "pestering" little sister. Ima ...more
A nice story highlighting how friend or sibling relationships can sometimes be weakened but can always be fixed if wanted. Many children would probably relate to the experiences in the book of one child feeling lonely and wanting the other to play. When the other doesn’t want to they try persuading them by making up stories. Children could use persuasive devices they know to write their own persuasions for the girl who doesn’t want to play. A nice book for year 1-3 children. Children could look ...more
Wonderfully imaginative, celebrates the big sister/little sister dynamic. Plenty of to be examined in the illustrations, which really are necessary to get the full story. Reading the text alone, the reader will lose so much. Great use of color, varying from dull to bright and full spreads of color, to small vignettes on white background. Emotion is very well conveyed.
This book reminded me of my two daughters when they were young. :)
Definitely one to know about and share.
Jennifer Strong
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s, 2017
Forced outside to play by Mom, and a sister who wants to read instead of play, one little girl must use her imagination to build a secret tree fort that gets more and more elaborate.

This is childhood! This story will capture the imaginations of young and old readers alike. My mind worked just like the little girl's when I was young.
Dec 28, 2020 rated it liked it
One sister wants to read, and the other wants to play. The one who wants to play dreams up an elaborate, enticing tree fort (with a view of the ocean and an underwater section and a lot of candy), and after fighting about whether it's real, the sisters work together to plan the fort out.

Feels like a very realistic interaction with a lot of imagination and things to notice in many of the pages.
Debbie Smith
Sep 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book
When sisters are asked to play outside, one wants to read and the other play. In order to entice her sister to stop reading and play with her she makes up exaggerated stories about her fictitious tree fort.

This text felt choppy, and the illustrations didn't impress me. Good idea though.
Lynn  Davidson
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Two children are sent outside to play. One is trying to read, the other wants her sister to play, so she uses her imagination to make her sister want to play with her. A secret tree fort becomes the main interest.

Fun story with great illustrations.
Betsy Ellor Words Unbound
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
This story perfectly captures the dynamic younger siblings know all too well. I love how the story builds both through words and illustrations as the younger sister's imagination dreams bigger and bigger dreams. ...more
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Playful, interesting illustrations. I have four daughters and can relate to the little ones trying to get the attention of the reading big sister. I read it to my 4yo and she was immediately inspired to draw tree forts!
Jo Oehrlein
Dec 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
An older sister who wants to read and a younger one who wants to play.
The younger one decides to entice the older with an incredible tree fort.
Things devolve into a screaming match, but they end up working together to make imagination reality.
Nancy Kotkin
A little girl tries to capture her older sister's attention with increasingly tall tales. Wonderfully portrays the dynamics between older/younger sisters.
Heather Gunnell
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
Staff Pick

This is perfect for anyone who has ever had to deal with a younger sibling who won't leave them alone. This story is full of imagination and I just love the sweet ending.
Vita Lane
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
A sweet and adventurous (at least in one's imagination) story about a sisters' relationship. Lovely lovely mixed media illustrations. ...more
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fun and imaginative book. My four year old loves it and had memorized dinner of the lines. I like the playful illustrations. Well done.
Very cute. Simple storyline.
Jun 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Not the kind of sibling book I’m looking for. It’s fine and I love the imagination games but I cannot get my toddler interested.
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I have a feeling that I'll be rereading this my nephew for months to come. ...more
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Brianne Farley is a recent graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design. Her freelance work has been selected by the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles. And while her work has appeared in McSweeney’s, the New York Times, and elsewhere, Ike’s Incredible Ink is her first book. Brianne Farley lives in Brooklyn.

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