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This is such a sweet story about working together toward a greater good. What was the inspiration for this story?
Carter: There’s just something about treehouses. They seem to exist in this grand collective childhood we all share—whether or not you actually had a treehouse of your own. I think it’s that universality that drew me to imagining all of the things that makes them so magical.
How did you purposefully create a text that allowed Emily Hughes, the illustrator, plenty of room to create her own visual story?
Carter: There’s a certain amount of restraint required in picture book writing that I find so satisfying. I think that’s the beauty of creating something in this form. It’s like putting together a puzzle without seeing the picture on the box and missing half the pieces. How? You write the heart, the framework, the foundation—so that someone else can come alongside and show you what you can’t see. It’s baffling, really. And incredible.
What’s a page from the book or an excerpt from the story that you’re really excited for readers to see?
Carter: All of them? Each time I read the book I have a new favorite treehouse or a new favorite kid I’d want to be. But as of this split second, I think I’m most excited for readers to see how Emily perfectly introduced aliens into this story. There’s also a tiny bum-bum that is just delightful.
If you could build your own treehouse, what are the five essential items you’d have to include inside?
Carter: Stories, snacks, flashlights, friends, endless time.
Is there anything else you’d like readers to know?
Carter: That this is a book that understands you and your hopes and your dreams and I can’t wait for you to climb up.
Carter Higgins is a librarian at an independent school in Los Angeles. She is the author of A RAMBLER STEALS HOME (HMH, February 2017) and two forthcoming picture books from Chronicle Books, THIS IS NOT A VALENTINE (Fall 2017 with Lucy Ruth Cummins) and EVERYTHING YOU NEED FOR A TREEHOUSE (2018 with Emily Hughes). She is an Emmy-winning visual effects and motion graphics artist. She writes about picture books and graphic design at her blog, Design of the Picture Book. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @carterhiggins.