Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Book Review. The Magic Treehouse Series

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

The Magic Treehouse Series of stories by Mary Pope Osborne.  (aka the Jack and Annie books in our home due to the names of the two main characters.) 

 5 STARS.  Our Suggested Age Range: 4-10

EDUCATIONAL/FANTASY.  Children (and moms), will learn about everything from dinosaurs to gorillas, and from ancient China to the Great SanFrancisco earthquake of 1906 and the Titanic.

OUR THOUGHTS: We all like these books so much that we have the full collection of paperbacks and get new ones as soon as they come out.

MOM:  I like them because they are great stories that are both educational and fun, so the kids don’t mind learning.   I can’t count the number of times the kids have said, “I learned that in a ‘Jack and Annie’ book.” 
JAROD: (age 8):  “I like the books because they have lots of adventure and they always escape stuff.”
MAKENNA: (age 8):  ”I love Jack and Annie because of the adventure, and because there’s usually animals in them.”

A brother and sister, (Jack and Annie).  Ages 7 and 8, respectively.
Join Jack and Annie as they discover a magic treehouse in the woods near their home.  They travel all over the world and across time where they meet intersting people (like Thomas Edison and Leonordo DaVinci) and help solve problems wherever they go.  Young readers learn about everything from dinosaurs to knights and from ancient China and Egypt to the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 and the Titanic.
Currently as of Jan. 2010 there are 43 books to this series.  Each one covers a different time and place in history.  They are available in paperback, harcover and also on audio CD.
We first heard about these books when the twins were 4 and we were looking for stories on CDs that they could listen to on long car rides.  They loved them and we eventually ended up getting all the books on CD before they could read.
There is a great Magic Treehouse website featuring information about all the books, games, and links for further information on the different topics.
There are also Research Guides available to enhance the learning from each Magic Treehouse book.

Kids Book Reviews

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

We have lots of kids books in our home.   Too many books as far as any reasonable storage solution (like a bookshelf) will allow.  So as the twins have gotten older, and their love of reading has grown we have begun going to our local Southern Lehigh public library once a week to check out about 20 books.

This has served to keep us from going broke and from having every wall in our home lined with bookshelves.

So far we have book collections from when I was a kid like Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and Laura Ingalls Little House on the Prairie Series (am I dating myself here?)  There are Roald Dahl stories and Boxcar Kids books handed down from their cousins.   And we have some of the twins favorite collections like The Magic Treehouse and Hank the Cowdog series.  Plus, we have bought them a few of their favorites that they’ve read from the library.   See what I mean…lots of books.

So why am I telling you this?  Well, because it dawned on me that a ‘book review’ of kids books by both a boy and girl (and an overview from mom) might be helpful for someone looking for good books for the kids in their lives.

We’ll feature a series or favortie book each week and we’ll let you know what each of the twins thought of it so you get a boy and girl perspective, and I’ll let you know what mom thought of it. 

And if it’s a book your kids have read too, we’d love to have you add your thoughts in the comments!