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Reading to My Kids – Book Review: Magic Tree House Series

When we went to Vermont, my goal was to bring a Ramona book with us to read a chapter or so to the kids each night before bed. (They’re used to made-up stories from Mike…I’m just not that creative!)

I forgot to bring the book.

Step in Uncle Jason. He brought a book over (without knowing what my goal was) saying that Cousin Grey really likes the series, had we heard of it? I hadn’t, but I’m SO GLAD that he introduced us to it!

I’ve heard that The Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne currently has about 45 books it it. (Yikes!) And I hear that she’s still writing. So we should be set for a while!

The first in the series is called Dinosaurs Before Dark. This one is the must-read since it sets up the whole series. In a nutshell: Annie and Jack find a magical tree house. It’s full of books that transport them to places when they make a wish on a picture in a book. For example, in the first book, Jack opens a book in the tree house and sees a dinosaur. He wishes he could see one in real life and Viola … he does.

We read this over 3 or 4 nights while in Vermont. Two to three chapters a night. And the kids couldn’t get enough. They begged for me to buy the book so we could have it at home – not realizing that there are more in the series and they could have new adventures with Annie and Jack. I hopped onto ebay and did my thing…we now have 15 of these books (mostly in order…)

We started reading the second one, The Knight at Dawn, a few days ago. Since we’re home now – and nothing compares to Daddy’s bed time stories – I’m reading to them before Daddy gets home from work…and they’re choosing another chapter over turning the TV on (be still my beating heart!)

Other than my kids really enjoying these books, the thing *I* like about them is that there’s an actual plot. It’s much better (for me) than reading the same silly little book over and over (not that there’s anything wrong with That’s Not My Princess…), and I’m finding that I want to know what’s going to happen next too!

Thank you, Ms. Osborne, for writing such wonderful stories for my whole family to enjoy!

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3 Responses

  1. Yay! Great review. Everyone should read these books. 🙂 My kids have learned so much from them. And as you pointed out – the books have an actual PLOT!

  2. They sound like a lovely way to ease into chapter books. I’m impressed by them from your review. Isn’t it great to have sibs to find some of the things that you haven’t yet.

  3. From my days of classroom teaching, I know dozens and dozens of kids who have loved reading these books. And even though I own most of the series (purchased to put in my classroom library) I’ve never read a single one. I’m sure my kids will be into them in a couple of years, and once they get there, I’ll dive right in too! 🙂

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