I have recently discovered the captivating world of the Magic Tree House books by Mary pope Osbourne
And I'm so happy that I did since I have found each enchanting book I've picked up to whisk me away on a little adventure of sights and sounds unknown other than in the imagination
anyone's imagination, young and old alike.
In this book, Dolphins at Daybreak (which I just bought as a little extra Christmas gift for one of my grandsons), the adventure is one far different than those I have read until now
.I'm like a kid with these books and just couldn't wait to read,(and review it), before wrapping and packing it up in his gift bag.
For those of you not familiar with these stories, they all revolve around two children, Jack and Annie, who found a mysterious Tree house in the Frog Tree woods near their house in Pennsylvania. The tree house was put there by the enchantress Morgan le Fay, who comes from the realm of King Arthur and Merlin the Magician
. This tree house seems to mysteriously disappear at times and then reappear
. the house takes them to the places Jack and Annie need to go to by making a wish while they hold a book about that place in their hands and say," I wish we could go there".
At any rate, apparently the tree house had been gone from their woods for a while
One night both Jack and Annie had the same dream about Morgan so they thought that might be a sign that they would find her and hoped the house was back
and so she was. They were so happy to see her. Morgan had sent them the dream so they could go on another mission
It seems she needed their help to collect books for Camelot's Library
they were eager to help but she told them they had to be Master Librarians in order to gather the books
Oh well, they said
but you can be Master Librarians if you pass the "test" she said
What kind of test, they wanted to know. It seems they must be able to show they could do research and find answers to hard questions by solving four riddles
she handed them a piece of paper, more like an ancient scroll along with a book.
The riddle was on the paper and the book would help them find the answers. She handed them the book called Ocean Guide
while holding this book they made their wish and soon the wind started to blow and the house began to spin...Morgan disappeared but the book and the paper stayed behind.
This time instead of being whisked off into magical or historic times, they must go into the middle of the ocean
But first the tree house makes its landing on what seems like a beach
they unroll the mysterious scroll to find a riddle;
Rough and gray as rock
I'm plain as plain can be
But hidden deep inside
There's a great beauty to me
What am I"
After looking in the book they discover the answer is a Coral Reef and realize that they had landed on a reef not a beach and, by reading on, learn what a coral reef really is. There certainly were some interesting things to be found on this reef
Annie soon finds a strange looking machine half in the water and half out. Was it a special kind of boat they wondered and looked it up in the book until they found that it was a mini submarine
against their better judgment they enter the mini sub and, though jack told her not to touch anything, Annie pressed a switch
the sub took off, leading them into another daring adventure, this time, one that teaches them about the creatures of the sea
each sighting they see, they look up in the magic book. Sting rays, giant clams and two Dolphins, who seem to be as curious about them as they are about the Dolphins
In the sub they find a journal with hand written information on each page, as if it were part of some research. So Jack made his own list of all he saw and what he learned by reading the magic book and the notes made in the research book.
But trouble was brewing when they discovered in the journal that the metal of the sub had cracked so it had returned to shore
.guess they had better do something they thought, especially when they saw the giant octopus who had come out of hiding to investigate them by grabbing on to the sub, oh, oh, the sub started to leak and soon they spotted a very hungry Shark
could they be saved? Would they be saved by the two Dolphins they saw earlier? And would they solve the riddle Morgan needed?
What I love about these books is that they teach a child to research what they read, to make their minds think and wonder about what they are reading without it seeming to be a learning tool or chore, but just another adventure, and this book, Dolphins at Daybreak is certainly quite an voyage, a wonderful underwater thrill ride for all young readers.
Another thing I find so special about these books is the short prologue the author Mary Pope Osborne writes in each book about how and why she wrote the story in the first place along with little statements by children who read and review the books at her request. I also enjoy the black and white illustrations in each book, emphasizing what is being read
She's quite a clever writer and has found a new fan. Even if I am an adult!
This book is 67 pages
paperback edition $3.99
Other Magic Tree House books I've reviewed:
Take a trip to Paris
Night of the New Magicians
Visit King Arthur
Christmas in Camelot
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