The Clubhouse: Open the Door to Limitless Adventure – Nathan Clarkson, Joy Clarkson, and Joshua Taylor

The Clubhouse Nathan Clarkson and Joy Clarkson
The Clubhouse: Open the Door to Limitless Adventure by Nathan Clarkson, Joy Clarkson, Joshua Taylor
Published by Harvest Kids on August 31, 2021
Genres: Children's
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This celebration of the power of imagination will remind children young and old of the unlimited possibility and potential of creative play.       When you were young, what did you dream of doing? Riding high atop a dragon? Hurtling through space on a rocket ship? Unearthing an island treasure? Sailing on a shimmering sea?   Sibling storytellers Nathan and Joy Clarkson (children of bestselling author and educator Sally Clarkson) invite you and your kids to hang out with them in the clubhouse, a place of boundless creativity where the only limit is your own imagination. Follow along with a fictional boy and girl who turn their play structure into an airplane, a submarine, a cave, a castle, and so much more!   This timeless tale dedicated to the simple, oft-forgotten pleasures of imaginative play will awake wonder in your children and inspire them to dream up their own big adventures!  

This charming picture book involves a brother and sister playing in their clubhouse and imagining all of the amazing things it could be. The rhyming text and intricate illustrations bring to life the different settings that the characters imagine, with their clubhouse serving as a castle, ship, hospital, stage, etc. Near the end, the siblings imagine their clubhouse as a church, and this is the one overt faith connection in the book. The authors, Nathan Clarkson and Joy Clarkson, are a real-life brother and sister duo, and this book’s inspiration comes from their childhood together.

The Clubhouse: Open the Door to Limitless Adventure is a great book for families who want to promote imaginative play and sibling cooperation. However, nothing about the book is preachy or didactic, and it simply focuses on all of the creative things that the children imagine with their simple play space. Also, the detailed, imaginative illustrations from Joshua Taylor involve lots of different subtleties that children can notice over repeated readings. Even though there aren’t specific hidden things to find, like in the Where’s Waldo? series, there are lots of funny and unique details concealed in the intricacies of each drawing.

This book is best for elementary-aged children, since they are old enough to enjoy the detailed illustrations. Parents could also read this with younger ones, but the tiny details and low-contrast colors would make this less appealing to children in earlier stages of development. This is best for school-aged kids, and teenagers and adults will likely enjoy it as well. The Clubhouse celebrates shared imagination in a delightful way, inspiring nostalgia for adults and giving children wonderful ideas for pretending.