Friday, October 30, 2015

Review: Dinosaurs Before Dark (Magic Tree House #1) by Mary Pope Osborne

Jack and Annie are ready for their next fantasy adventure in the bestselling middle-grade series—the Magic Tree House!
Where did the tree house come from?
Before Jack and Annie can find out, the mysterious tree house whisks them to the prehistoric past. Now they have to figure out how to get home. Can they do it before dark . . . or will they become a dinosaur's dinner? 
I love books like this one that both tells a story and teaches kids about different subjects.

In Dinosaurs Before Dark, Jack and Annie discover a tree house filled with books. Without meaning to, they end up Cretaceous period. There they meet and interact with different dinosaurs.

I thought the concept was pretty cool. A tree house filled with books, plus kids going on an adventure, can be explained by some as just the kids imagining that the books come to life. Here, the tree house reminds me of the Magic School Bus, but there's no Miss Frizzle. Jack and Annie just have the books and their wits.

Aside from introducing the kids and the magic tree house, a mystery is also introduced. It seems that someone else has been into the Cretaceous period ahead of them. This person has left behind a medallion with the letter M. I'm curious to see if the medallion is significant in some way (a marker, a calling card?).

The kids in the book are quite likable. Annie is a sweet and friendly child, while Jack is more scientific and realistic. While I liked Annie's attitude, I could relate more to Jack. Had I been in that period, I'd probably be taking notes too.

I'll definitely be reading the next books in the series some time in the future.


  1. It teaches kids a few things about Cretaceous period dinosaurs.
  2. The concept is interesting.
  3. It looks like a promising series. 


  1. I would have liked it if there had been more dinosaurs or facts about them. 


  1. You like the Magic School Bus.
  2. You like educational children's books.
  3. Your child is interested in dinosaurs. 



Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

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