1968 – 1970 I read a book about 4 children (2 boys, 2 girls) who lived on the edge of a wood. Their ages ranged from 8 – 12-ish. The setting was not a specific geographical location although the story was written as realistic fiction… with a bit of fantasy thrown in. I believe the author and publisher are English (from Great Britain) because of where I was living at the time and the phraseology used.
Each Saturday the children would visit a wise old man (wizard ?) who lived in the woods behind their home, at the top of a magical tree. His quaint little cabin in the tree was never visible to adults, only children. During each visit, the children would ask what special “place” or “kingdom” had stopped at the top of the tree, which could be reached by climbing a ladder (inside his living room) that went up into the clouds that would settle on top of the tree.
Each chapter in the book told a new adventure the children had in the different magical places that stopped for brief time periods at the top of the tree. Each adventure also taught the children a life skill, or a positive character trait.
One such adventure was of a Carnival, where everyone was riding rides, playing games, purchasing trinkets and sweets. But, the children soon discovered that in this place they could not purchase anything for themselves, but only for someone else. They realized they must work together and pair up to enjoy the day by learning what each other would like and then making the purchases for the other person. At the end of the day, when they come back down the ladder to the wise man’s living room, he talks with them about what they learned.
I wish I could recall other adventures, but it HAS been 50 years!
I believe the book was newly published at the time, so circa 1966-68?
Here’s hoping that someone knows (or can find) the title/author.