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Wandering In A Darkening Forest

Tuula Pere Author Interview

The Tree House Night is a beautiful picture book with an inspirational message about friendship and supporting those you care for. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

As a child, I was eager to climb trees and build huts. “The Tree House Night” has undoubtedly been inspired by my own experiences sitting on the branches of trees by the house or further afield in the forests of Eastern Finland.

Admittedly, wandering in a darkening forest or climbing higher and higher in a tree sometimes felt too exciting – but survival boosted self-confidence. It was physically challenging, but the most important thing was the close connection with nature.

Most of my childhood adventures I did alone. It seemed most natural because I could make all the decisions when hiking alone. I wouldn’t be my current self without these adventures in nature. The hideaways in the middle of the forest, or high up in a tree, made me realize that I am enough and able to survive alone.

Now, as an adult, I realize what risks my childhood outings involved. Fortunately, nothing happened, and I could also gather authentic experiences for my children’s books! My books don’t recommend just one model for the families, but somewhat alternative ideas, because each family is different.

The individuals are of a great variety when it comes to skills, needs, and interests. Some children need a lot of encouragement. Some need to be protected from their wildest ideas! It’s not easy being a wise parent to support your child in the best possible way.

Childhood adventures have made me the person I am. The same curious child looks at me from the mirror, still ready to try something new and challenging!

What were some driving ideals behind your character’s in this story?

Friendships are essential for children. Experimenting together and sharing ideas and plans with peers is inspiring. Friends can also get support and security from each other as they try their limits.

For this book, I wanted to choose two children of different natures who also have much in common. The other one has more courage and optimism in her adventurous plans. She gets even her more cautious friend to participate in building her dream, a tree house.

It also brings the friends in the book to the limit where their perceptions of appropriate and permissible differ. Due to disagreement, only the braver child stays in the tree house for the night. She stubbornly wants to prove that she is independent and capable of surviving the night alone.

The children in the book are different but still need each other. Despite their controversy, they work together as a team. The friend keeping guard from her bedroom window adds a sense of security for the other child staying outside in the tree house. Testing their friendship in a conflict teaches the two an important lesson and reveals something essential about being a true friend.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The child must be able to make friends with different children. If they have been practicing cooperation since childhood, it helps them for a lifetime. In the end, real-life communities have a place for very different individuals. At least they should have. I like to emphasize how much various personalities, opinions, and skills enrich our lives.

I don’t think only similar kids play best with each other. The differences can also complement each other.

The enthusiastic and brave ones draw the more precautious ones into exciting activities. But a more careful and considerate person can prevent worse damage from occurring when a friend has too much momentum.

It is helpful for strong-willed and creative children to learn to accept that not everyone is enthusiastic about the same things. We have to respect the limits set by another person. For the stronger, louder, and faster persons, it is easy to – accidentally or on purpose – step on the toes of others and block their opinions.

Those who feel somehow superior should realize their individual weaknesses and the fact that they need the help of others, too. There is no weakness or shame in needing other people.

“The Tree House Night” belongs to the I DID IT series. A central theme in all these books is children’s enthusiasm and desire to implement their ideas even when others are not encouraging them. Sometimes children act on the gray zone of what is allowed and forbidden and test their limits. – Why not try to climb a little higher this time! The view might be fantastic.

What can readers expect in book three of the I DID IT series?

In the first book of the series, a child secretly grew her own sunflowers – from seedlings to heights. She even helped them survive the storm at night. The heroic act of this second book is building a treehouse and spending the night up there, against even the opinion of the closest friend.

The next book, “A Special Sweater,” talks about the protagonist who shows creativity and determination in knitting a woolen sweater. He’s not bothered too much, though his mother gives nothing but yarn leftovers. No one thinks he’s getting anything done, as this is his first large knitting – but he struggles to the end. Even the somewhat weird-looking result makes others suspect whether it’s suitable for school. Of course, it is!

So, my readers can expect some fun surprises again in the company of their active peers. And their parents get something to think about in their role as encouragers and supporters.

Author Links: Facebook | Website

Emma and Oliver are good friends. A nice big backyard connects their homes. They love to play all kinds of games together among the bushes and trees.
It will be fun for the friends to build a tree house from some old boards and ropes. But how safe is it to sleep there at night—especially without permission to do so?

The Tree House Night

Emma and Oliver are best friends that live next door to each other. They decide they are going to build a treehouse in the backyard between their homes. Oliver is apprehensive, but Emma encourages him to help her make it. At one point, Oliver decides he is uncomfortable with the treehouse and refuses to climb up and leaves Emma to finish the job herself. Once it is finished, she proudly shows her work off to her parents and tells them she wants to spend the night up in the tree. They tell her no, it is not safe. Later, Oliver climbs up the tree to talk to her and tells her he heard what she said and wants to support her plan. That night when Emma sneaks out to stay in the treehouse, Oliver watches over her from his bedroom window.

The Tree House Night, written by Tuula Pere, is another fantastic work by this author. This excellent picture book focuses on friendship. Two friends who do not always agree still find a way to remain friends and focus on what matters, supporting each other in their dreams and goals. Even though Oliver disagrees with Emma’s plan, he supports her in the only way he can, shining light and watching over her as she sleeps in the treehouse. Knowing her best friend is watching over her gives Emma the strength to overcome her fears of the dark and the noises she hears.

So many children’s books on friendship focus on the good times children have. I like that this book showed that friends do not have to always agree on the same things or have the same goals. Even with these differences, they can still support one another and help each other make their dreams come true. This is the beauty of people. They don’t all have to be the same or have the same ideas and goals to be kind and be friends. This excellent picture book shows children they can be friends with people different from themselves and support one another.

The artwork done by Catty Flores is genuinely superb. The characters have so much personality children who can’t read will still be able to feel Oliver’s mood as he is concerned about things happening. But, equally, Emma’s excitement and confidence radiate off the pages as she builds her dream treehouse. The bond they share shines through the pages, and children will relate to the images presented in this captivating story.

The Tree House Night is a beautifully written picture book with an inspirational message about friendship and supporting those you care for. Children, teachers, and parents will all enjoy reading this remarkable story and will be able to relate to the message that the author has presented.

Pages: 32 | ASIN : B09K6MNF52

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