Magic Tree House Collection Volume 1: Books 1-4: #1 Dinosaurs Before Dark; #2 The Knight at Dawn; #3 Mummies in the Morning; #4 Pirates Past Noon (Magic Tree House (R)) Audio CD – Audiobook, March 14, 2006
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From the Inside Flap
5 hours, 40 mintues
Just in time for the holidays enjoy eight "Magic Tree House chapter books in a special CD gift set. As an added bonus, listen to an interview with the author and reader, Mary Pope Osborne.
These eight stories, currently available as two retail volumes on cassette with a combines price of $36.00, are being offered now along with the interview in a 5-CD set at a special price of $30.00.
About the Author
Mary her husband Will spilt their time between an apartment in Greenwich Village, New York and a cabin in Pennsylvania. They own a terrier named Bailey, who sleeps on the top of Mary's desk every day while she writes!
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I got these for my 5 year old. He’s ahead of his kindergarten class, reading at a 1st/2nd grade level so I thought I should get something a bit more challenging to stretch his mind and decided to search for some beginner chapter books. I read many reviews as always before purchasing and chose this book series 1-4 and it was an amazing price! Very happy about that!
So I had my son read it and he LOVED it. I told him 2 pages and then bed time. He asked to read another page so I let him. Then he asked to finish the chapter so I let him. Then he asked to read the next chapter and I just had to stop and told him he can read more tomorrow. I’m so happy he enjoys reading this. I’m explaining punctuation and quotations and asking him questions as we go among to make sure he’s understanding what he’s reading. And he absolutely loves loves loves it. I included pictures of the pages as that’s one thing I was looking for when looking at the other reviews which I didn’t see any. So I included some for those that would like to know what they look like. Some pictures-very detailed and descriptive but some pages have no pictures which force their little brains to paint their own pictures in their minds. Simply AWESOME! I definitely will be purchasing the next set of books soon.
That being said, I do have a few qualms. First of all, I strongly agree with the reviewers that criticized the author/editor for letting these books be published with so many grammatical errors! Children learn by example, and reading incomplete sentences, misspelled words, proper nouns that are not capitalized, and loosely structured paragraphs makes it hard to teach proper mechanics. These books could have been phenomenal if not for the poor grammar!.....I myself debated on whether or not to use these for a while, and then decided that that I could use the errors as a jumping off point to teach some basic rules of grammar. Each day I put a couple of selections out of the book on the board, and asked the kids to fix it. We worked on ways to improve the writing, but honestly, it was a lot of extra work! I would have rather had the grammar be correct in the beginning, and then I would have been able to use the book as an example of good sentence structure.
Also, I may be old fashioned (even though I'm young), but I do not like some of the ways that the characters respond to each other, such as by saying, "Oh, don't be stupid" and things like that. I know kids talk to each other this way, but I want to build an atmosphere of mutual respect, and some things just kind of hit me as bad examples, even if I am being a bit too picky.
Honestly, I would say that I my kiddos and I enjoyed the companion Fact Tracker books a lot more than the actual Magic Tree House ones. The grammar isn't perfect, but it is a lot better, and the paragraphs are more clearly defined, so I didn't feel the need to 'correct' it for them. Since the books are nonfiction, they also fit nicely into science and history lessons, and you don't need to read the Magic Tree House books first!
In addition, I would recommend the Boxcar Children series--although these may seem a little daunting for some beginning readers to read all on their own. The chapters are a little longer and there are more words on a page, but the adventures are just an interesting, the grammar is correct, and the characters are good role models. I only wish that there were 'fact tracker' books to go along with THAT set!
In conclusion, like many other reviewers have said, these are "great books, but poorly written." I have heard that the books farther on in the series are better, and I hope that this is true...but I don't know if we will continue on to find out.
Every once in a while there is a "scary bit" that we need to discuss briefly, but on the whole, it's a safe choice for the youngest of independent readers. Be careful, though - once they're hooked on the first set, they want ALL the books!
Pluses - paperback, very nice for small hands, and that is all. Next is only contras. Tiny font, with small spacing, pages are black and white and smelly (!!! Yes, these books have an awful odour!) Paper is grayish thin stuff, mostly used for free spam, crowded in your mailbox. I know, there is a tradition of making kids books as bad and cheap as possible, and to sell them with greatest profit, but why not making a better quality! Nobody cares? Why, what's bad for you, not good for your kids, really
Top international reviews
- The story itself has mistery, humour, educational content and lots of imagination.
- The curiosity about what will happen next encourages further reading.
- The personality of the two siblings.
The only negative side is, perhaps, that the stories are too short.