September 14th, 2010

The Magic Treehouse Series

Recommended Ages:  4-8

I have to give props to the Husband, since he is the one who started getting this series of books for Elise. At age 5, she’s sounding out words and can (finally!) sit through a story and actually listen. I’ll admit, I had my doubts that she would be into chapter books with only the occasional black-and-white illustration. But, wow, the girl is in serious love with these books.

The Magic Tree House involves brother and sister Jack and Annie (8 and 7, respectively) who discover a, duh, Magic Tree House which can take them to the places in their books. This leads to an adventure per book where the dynamic duo travel to various places and times in history (e.g. The Olympics in ancient Greece, pirates, the Lakota Indians on The Great Plains, an Egyptian queen, the moon…), overcoming challenges and completing special missions. Along the way, kids can learn facts from those times. The stories are full of magic, adventure, and are absolutely riveting for Elise (and I imagine they would be for boys her age, as well).

Now, some parent-critics of this series take issue with the fact that Osborne uses incorrect sentence structure-using sentence fragments and starting sentences with And or But. Le Gasp. I don’t know any proper person who does that. *ahem*  Personally, I’m of the camp that believes that good writing today can and does bend the grammar rules of Ye Olde Rigid Times. Also, I seriously appreciate the love of books that Elise has developed due to this series. Reading is a treat for her now, she begs for more chapters, and I’m a fan of anything that encourages that.

We’ve gotten through the first 19 books so far, reading about 2-3 chapters a night together (there are 10 chapters per book). You can buy the books individually or in sets.  Our dilemma now: after #20, get the next set or start over from #1 just to make the goodness last longer?

A great beginner reader’s series of books. Sentence fragments and all.

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This Weeks Tip

For a creative way to limit your kids time in front of the TV… give them a small sum of money each week (over and above their allowance, if they get one). Each time they watch a television show, charge them a dime. They’ll begin editing their own TV watching!