Sunday, June 30, 2013

Kaline Klattermaster's tree house by Haven Kimmel illustrated by Peter Brown

To be honest when I started this book the voice of Kaline ANNOYED me but after a few pages I was so caught up in his life I found myself ENJOYING all his antics and misunderstandings.  I have put in these capital letters because that is how this book is written.

Kaline's dad has left.  We don't know why but it is  clear early on that dad suffers from an obsessive compulsive personality while his wife, Estelle and son Kaline simply find these behaviours confusing.

With the help of his mother, his neighbor Mr P and two wonderful imaginary brothers, Kaline slowly makes sense of his new life.  Kaline even feels confident enough at the end to tell Mr P about the bullies who are tormenting him and also about his brothers.

"Kaline got to hold Maestro's leash as they walked down the street, and Mr P. asked him question after question.   ... Mr P. asked him if he had any brothers or sisters.  'Yes! as a matter of fact, I have two brothers who live in a tree house, along with their one hundred puppies and their motorcycle and their Santiago Zepplin, which is one of the fastest cars in the world.'  Mr P. clapped again,said, 'Tell me about them! Are these imaginary friends?' Kaline felt a tug behind his ribs. But Mr Putnaminski had said it with such excitement and understanding that Kaline felt like it was okay to say, 'Yes they're imaginary, which is as you know a very perfect kind of thing."

This book reminded me of The curious incident of the dog in the night time but for a younger audience.  It also reminded me of O'Diddy and if you enjoy Kaline Klattermaster's tree house you might like to look for Swashbuckler by James Maloney.

One fun aspect of this book is the invented language words like pangemonia, rememorize, precisedly and diffimult.  Also Kaline loves the old television program The Waltons and so do I.  Finally Kaline finds numbers and dates very confusing and these little moments were quite hilarious.  The cover is also a delight.

Here is a thoughtful review and here is a very detailed review.

Kaline Klattermaster, fresh out of third grade, is one of those kids who TALKS IN CAPITAL LETTERS, has a crazy mother and moves between his imaginary world and the real world with breathtaking frequency.

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