MAGIC TREE HOUSE
DINOSAURS BEFORE DARK
MARY POPE OSBORNE
published by Random House for Young Readers
released May 2001
review by Lucas
The Magic Tree House books may be for very young readers but I think they are fun and quick to read. I learn new vocabulary words from each book. We have the entire series and I've decided to reread them.
Book 1 Dinosaurs Before Dark
Plot of the Book
One day as Jack, an eight year old boy, and his little sister Annie, who is seven, are walking through
the Frog Creek on their way home. They discover a tree house in the highest tree of the forest. (Remember, this is the introduction to the series, we discover how the kids find the 'magic tree house' in the first book). Annie decided to climb up the tree. Jack, more cautious than his sister, is less interested in the tree. He eventually joins her. When the reach the top and enter the tree house they discovered it was chock full of books! Annie found a book about dinosaurs and when she wished to see a real live
Pteranodon, she and Jack are whisked back to the dinosaur age. When they arrived, Annie left the
tree house to meet a Pteranodon she named Henry. They became friends. Jack eventually overcame his
fear and came out of the tree house. While exploring Jack found a gold medallion and Annie found many
dinosaur nests. Unfortunately, they also found a giant T-Rex. Yes a giant 'terrible lizard'. King of the
Dinosaurs! After running to the tree house, Jack found he had left his backpack with the book
about dino's and his notes on the hills outside. He has a book about Frog Creek which
will allow the kids to return home in the "magic tree house".
Jack left the tree house to find the backpack. He tells Annie to stay in the tree house
where it is safe. Yikes!! The T-Rex spotted him. Will Jack find his backpack and get back to the
tree house alive or will he become a snack for a hungry dino?
Read the book to find out!
Important vocabulary words from the book:
PTERANODON- 'winged and toothless' A flying reptile. Not a dino but a close relative
STAMMERED: to speak with sudden involuntary pauses
MUTANT: relating to, or resulting from change or mutation
SLUNG: to arrange or suspend something with a strap
MEDALLION: generally, a circular object that has been sculpted and rendered with an insignia
definitions are from Webster's Student Dictionary
I think the entire series by Mary Pope Osborne will encourage kids to read. Mom tells me any book that
doesn't have profane language or questionable material and encourages kids to read is a good book.
I give this series 5 stars.
I would like to add, I used this book for a book report last year (4th grade). My teacher had us put our information on a covered cereal box. We used the front of the cereal box for the title, author and an illustration of the book. The back of the box contained the plot of the book, vocabulary words and my review of the book. The top, bottom and right side of the box were made to look like a closed book. The left side of the box listed the title of the book, In other words, the cereal box was made to look like a book. Doing things like this made the book report more fun. My fifth grade teacher has us making a 'book report cube'. The book I'm using is Percy Jackson and the Titan's Curse.
I'll post my review after I'm done my report.