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The Coolest Thing Ever: Literary Tree Houses

A few weeks ago, my wife and I had the chance to take our little guy to a treehouse exhibit hosted at a local botanical garden, Cheekwood, here in Nashville.

Now, you’re probably wondering, Hey, I’m glad you had a nice family outing and all, but what does this have to do with books?

Thanks for asking! The tree houses, you see, were all inspired by literature. Literary tree houses! Now how cool is that?

The funny thing about the trip: I was much more into the tree houses than our two-year-old. He didn’t seem very impressed, plus all the people crowded around annoyed him. He needs his space.

But, since I took a bunch of photos, I thought I’d share a few with you today. Hopefully, unlike my two-year-old, you’ll think these tree houses are super cool.

Let’s take a look, with the passage that inspired each treehouse below the photo:

“The Giver” Treehouse 1993

“Things could change…Things could be different. I don’t know how, but there must be some way for things to be different. There could be colors.” Lois Lowry, The Giver, 1993

The “Walden” Treehouse.

“If you built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854

“The Conch House” inspired by Lord of the Flies.

“His ordinary voice sounded like a whisper after the harsh note of the conch. He laid the conch against his lips, took a deep breath and blew once more. The note boomed again: and then at his firmer pressure, the note, fluking up an octave, became a strident blare more penetrating than before.” William Golding, Lord of the Flies, 1954

“The Jolly Roger” Treehouse

“One green light squinting over Kidd’s Creek, which is near the mouth of the pirate river, marked where the brig, the Jolly Roger, lay, low in the water; a rakish-looking craft foul to the hull…She was the cannibal of the seas, and scarce needed that watchful eye, for she floated immune in the horror of her name.” J.M. Barrie, Peter and Wendy, 1911

The Hobbit hole.

There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something.”  J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, 1937

“The Ocean of Notions”

“He looked into the water and saw that it was made up of a thousand thousand thousand and one different currents, each one a different colour, weaving in and out of one another like a liquid tapestry of breathtaking complexity; and Iff explained that these were the Streams of Story, that each coloured strand represented and contained a single tale.” Salman Rushdie, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, 1991

“The Rainbow Fish”

“The Rainbow Fish shared his scales left and right, and the more he gave away, the more delighted he became. When the water around him filled with glimmering scales, he at last felt home among the other fish.” Marcus Pfister, The Rainbow Fish, 1992

So goes our adventure visiting the land of literary tree houses.

I’ve got to say that going inside the Rainbow Fish was pretty cool. I don’t know if you can tell in the photo, but it’s made up of hundreds, maybe thousands, of CDs.

I think the Lord of the Flies is a novel just made for a tree house, but what about some others? Other possible literary treehouse?

Narnia? Lord of the Rings? Harry Potter?

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17 Comments Post a comment
  1. very very cool – thank you for taking us on this little literary tree house tour

    Like

    September 6, 2012
    • Sure thing. There were only 7 of them. Wish there were more!

      Like

      September 6, 2012
  2. I am so impressed with someone that could make a tree house from a novel. That takes incredible foresight! And I don’t have that, so I really can’t answer the question. Sorry.

    Like

    September 6, 2012
    • Know what you mean. I think Narnia would be make for an awesome tree house though.

      Like

      September 6, 2012
  3. This is great! My favorites are the Walden house and the Hobbit hole. Good stuff.

    Like

    September 6, 2012
  4. dste #

    At first I thought this would be replications of treehouses from books that had treehouses in them. Like The Magic Treehouse, maybe. But this is kind of cool, too.

    Like

    September 6, 2012
  5. Wow what an awesome concept. Surprised there’s nothing Seussical in there. I’d make one from The Little Prince 😀 It’s one of my all time favorite books.

    Like

    September 6, 2012
    • DearStephenKing #

      Good point, Seuss would make an excellent treehouse! I would like to see something inspired by the Sherlock Holmes books, or Stephen King of course!

      Like

      September 7, 2012
  6. DearStephenKing #

    Fantastic! Literature is so wonderful & versatile. I wonder what an Alice in Wonderland inspired treehouse would look like? or Jane Austen? Or, Stephen King?!!

    Like

    September 7, 2012
  7. blitzgirl1310 #

    That is awesome. Thank you for sharing!

    Like

    September 7, 2012
  8. This is lovely — I especially like the Salman Rushdie one. I’m with you about Narnia–thinking either of the Beaver’s house or the Dawn Treader.

    Like

    September 7, 2012
  9. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory would make an excellent tree house!

    Like

    September 7, 2012
  10. atnumber11 #

    That’s awesome! Call me traditional but I love the Walden treehouse the best!

    Like

    September 7, 2012
  11. Reblogged this on Inkings and Inklings and commented:
    I want one…

    Like

    September 8, 2012
  12. sugarplumfairy84 #

    I am thinking Sendak’s. “Where the Wild Things Are” would make an interesting tree house!

    Like

    September 14, 2012

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Great Stuff on the Writers’ Blogs, September 6 and 7, 2012 « cochisewriters

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