This is the latest installment in a long string of wonderful books from David and Jeanie Stiles. Inside you won't find glossy, double page spreads of extravagant treehouses ... this is not a coffee table book. Rather, it is a how-to book, and the best one available for those that want to build their own whimsical play structure. Inside you will find excellent line drawings and readable explanations of intelligent, creative, and well though-out designs.
David starts with the basics: tools. From there you follow a complete and logical progression to completed treehouse. In between you'll get solid building advice. David has built his designs. He knows how to make life easier for you by using common materials and minimizing cuts. The building advice is spot on throughout.
The huge, huge, huge problem with this book is the 20 or so options David gives you for connecting lumber to tree. They are almost all bad. Never girdle a growing limb with rope or cable. Never use nails. This leaves you with only lag bolting. To be sure, there are other ways. But the only safe and tree-friendly way presented in this book (and any of his other works) is to use lags.
This is the by far the best book to give to a young builder and is probably a treasure to any 8 or 9 year old lucky enough to have a copy. It will get their mind working. The crazy schemes they come up with will amaze you.
The ideas inside this book are great. Fun, imaginative, unique. If you know a young boy (or girl) with a tree, get him this book. And when it comes time to actually build their creation, call an arborist and he'll set you straight about properly attaching it to a tree.