Monday, November 7, 2011

Dinosaurs Before Dark (Magic Tree House 1)

Dinosaurs Before Dark (Magic Tree House 1) 
By:  Mary Pope Osborne
Illustrated by:  Sal Murdocca
ISBN:  9780679824114
Published July 28, 1992 by Random House
Available Format:  Hardcover, Paperback, ebook, Audiobook

My Rating:  ★★★★☆

Goodreads’ Synopsis:  Where did the tree house come from? Before Jack and Annie can find out, the mysterious tree house whisks them to the prehistoric past. Now they have to figure out how to get home. Can they do it before dark . . . or will they become a dinosaur's dinner?

My son introduced me to the Magic Tree House series when he brought one of the later books home from the library one day.  They read them at school quite often, and he was always raving about the stories, so I bought a set of forty-two books from Scholastic last month.  We have been eating these babies up for our bedtime reading! 

They are super easy for him to read on his own if he wants, but then they are fun for me to read to him if he is tired—and he always manages to go to sleep right after the last page.  The illustrations are the perfect supplement to the story without bogging it down too much.  And the adventures themselves are fantastic.

My only complaint is that the wording can get a bit boring at times.  There are a lot of “saidisms” (he said, she said) throughout, and I can just see how the story could be totally spiced up by adding in a bit more creative language here and there.  I understand these books are for young readers, but why not challenge them a bit more and give them a better introduction into higher level reading material?  We’re still at the beginning of the series, so maybe the author does shake things up a bit after she has more experience under her belt. 

Either way, I know we will be finding out!  I definitely recommend this as a starter chapter book series.  You will be just as hooked as your kids…

This review can apply to the other books of the series that we have read so far:

Stay tuned for more from this series...