Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Review - Dinosaurs Before Dark (The Magic Tree House, Book 1) (4/5 stars)

Reading Level: Children’s
Genre: Adventure
Size: 80 pages
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Release Date: July 28, 1992
ISBN: 978-0679824114
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Magic Treehouse Series
Source: Bought
Rating: 4/5 stars

I read this book with my six year old son. He was very excited to get the first Magic Tree House book and I was very curious since I have heard a ton about this series. This is a great read for younger children and children just learning to read.

Jack and Annie find a magic tree house in the woods near their house. When they go up in the tree house they find it’s filled with books. When Jack takes down a book about Dinosaurs and starts to read it when him and Annie are magically transported to a land filled with dinosaurs.

This was a very short beginning chapter book suitable for young kids. The plot is straightforward, yet still engaging, interesting, and magical. Beginning readers should be able to follow along and even read some of their beginning sight words throughout.

I would classify this mainly as an adventure book with elements of magical realism (since they travel from a magic tree house).

Each chapter has a couple pages of pictures, so this makes wonderful transition book between picture books and chapter books. The pictures are well done and fun.

The book is also a bit educational since the book Jack brings along on their time traveling trip has interesting facts about Dinosaurs in it.

The story seems to be aimed a bit more at young boys because Jack is really the main character. But Annie is there too (his younger sister) and girls should find it easy to engage with her character as well.

Overall my son really enjoyed this book. It was a bit too simple for an adult, but I didn’t mind reading it and thought the story was decent. Definitely recommended for reading with young children, or for children who are ready to transition to reading beginning chapter books on their own. I am glad that we picked this up and foresee many more Magic Tree House books in our future!

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- 150+ Reading Challenge

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