Review of Domino’s Tree House

Domino’s Tree House Domino’s Tree House
by Dawn Patitucci; illus. by Francisco Fonseca
Primary    WorthyKids    32 pp.
5/23    9781546002994    $17.99

Domino, playing outdoors on a beautiful day, has a feeling of “not enough.” His discontent leads him to build a tree house, where he lounges and snacks until discontent finds him again. So he builds a tree cottage, then a tree mansion on top of his tree house. Then a tree castle, then skyscraper. Nothing is quite satisfactory, so he builds structure upon structure until he reaches the moon. Fonseca’s illustrations, with delicate lines and crosshatching, have a lovely handcrafted feel. The colors move from earthy greens and browns to brighter yellows and blues as Domino’s structures become more whimsical and far-fetched. Double-page spreads angled from a vantage point above the action provide sweeping ­panoramas that show the heights Domino’s unchecked ­ambition has reached, as well as his increasing isolation as his home, his town, and ­eventually Earth itself recedes and he reaches the moon, cold and dark. ­Realizing that “there was nothing on the moon but moon,” he parachutes back to Earth, where he finds the ­contentment he was looking for in the cool grass and gentle breezes of his own backyard. Playful and ­thought-provoking in equal measure.

Pubissue-From the May/June 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Adrienne L. Pettinelli

Adrienne L. Pettinelli is the director of the Henrietta (NY) Public Library. She has served on several book award committees, including the 2015 Caldecott Committee, and is the author of Helping Homeschoolers in the Library (2008).

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