Magic Tree House Books Entertain and Inform and Pandas
I love the the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne. Not only are they excellent for elementary grade students, but they make great read-alouds to share with my 4 year old. He eagerly sits still through chapters at a time due to the fast pace of the books and their fascinating content. I appreciate that each of the Magic Tree House books takes children to a different place in time or the world, and sometimes both.
A Perfect Time for Pandas (#48 in the series and also a Merlin Mission) follows Jack and Annie as they travel to China looking for a certain type of food for Merlin’s penguin Penny. (That may sound a little odd, but if you’ve read the books, or you’re under the age of 12 it makes perfect sense.)
While in China Jack and Annie are in a major earthquake as they strive to save the pandas. Once again this is a thrilling adventure that teaches kids about China, pandas and earthquakes.
In addition to the fictional Magic Tree House books, Mary Pope Osborne has teamed up with her sister, Natalie Pope Boyce to write a series of nonfiction books, the Magic Tree House Fact Tracker books. These often are linked by topic to one of the fictional books. The companion Fact Tracker to A Perfect Time for Pandas is Pandas and Other Endangered Species.
Pandas and Other Endangered Species does a great job teaching children about pandas and a few other endangered animals such as orangutans, sloths, and snow leopards. My son and I were fascinated, and a little heart broken, to learn about baby pandas after the death of the baby panda born at the National Zoo, but I appreciated being able to learn about pandas together.
Real black and white photos and pencil illustrations are on almost every page. I think this book does a good job teaching factual information in an almost story-like manner with the pictures and margin commentary by Jack and Annie. If you have a child who loves Magic Tree House, the Fact Tracker books are a great way to introduce them to nonfiction writing.
A Perfect Time for Pandas
By Mary Pope Osborne
Hardcover, 114 pages: $12.99
Pandas and Other Endangered Species
By Mary Pope Osborne andNatalie Pope Boyce
Paperback, 107 pages: $5.99
|Easy to Read
|Quality of Illustrations
|Appealed to Both Boys and Girls||5|
|Kept My Children’s Interest||5|
|I Would Purchase This Product for My Family||yes|
|I Would Purchase This Product as a Gift||yes|
All ratings on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.
Meet the Reviewer!
Janice Richardson is an elementary
school teacher turned stay-at-home
mom of three energetic little ones,
ages 4, 2 and 5 months. She enjoys
playing with her family, being outdoors,
and eating chocolate. Janice blogs
about some of the activities she and her
children enjoy at babybrainstorm.blogspot.com.
One of her goals is to someday visit
each of the 50 states and each continent.