Margaret Atwood’s little-known children’s picture book

Updated: Jun 25, 2020

It’s a far cry from the likes of The Blind Assassin, Oryx and Crake, and any of the other wryly observed examples of adult fiction which won Canadian novelist and 2000 Booker Prize winner Margaret Atwood critical acclaim, but before her more famous books came Up in the Tree (1978), a three-colour, rhyming picture book, which Atwood wrote and illustrated.

Up in the Tree is the story of two children who make a home in the branches of a tree and feel free to do whatever they want - that is, until their ladder is destroyed and they can’t get down again. There is something delightfully playful and whimsical about the story and illustrations of the children with their tufts of inky hair and wide staring eyes - playful and just a little bit odd, in the way that all of Atwood's very best books are.


Up in the Tree, cover illustration (detail) by Margaret Atwood (1978) via

3 views0 comments