Ok, YA fans, I don't normally do this, but in a funny little fluke I received the latest Magic Tree House book for review from Random House---and I'm so very glad I did! It's led to some great reading time for my little guy, Declan, so I thought I'd do a quick review of it for those of us with kids, little brothers and sisters, etc! :D
A Crazy Day with Cobras by Mary Pope Osborne
publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
released: December 10, 2010
hardcover, 128 pages
intended audience: ages 9-12 (but my kindergartner loves to read these together with me!)
Description: Merlin’s beloved penguin, Penny, has been put under a spell! Jack and Annie must find four things to break the spell. The first is a rare and precious emerald. When the magic tree house whisks them back to India over four hundred years ago to search for the jewel, they discover an amazing and exotic world filled with great danger.
Will Jack and Annie find what they’re looking for? Will they avoid the wrath of the all-powerful Great Mogul, survive a crazy ride on a wild elephant, escape an attack by king cobras—and make it back to the magic tree house alive?
Review: This is such a fun series for kids! You get history, adventure, magic, and exploration all wrapped up in one. While the recommended age for these is listed as 9-12, my five year old has quickly fallen in love with these and we're in the process of working our way from the beginning of the series. We read a chapter a night before bed, and it's amazing to see how much these enthrall him, even without pictures of every page. He asks questions, he comments on their actions, he has me defining words he doesn't understand---it's pretty amazing to see how much these get his mind working! The second time through A Crazy Day with Cobras (because, yes, as soon as it was over, he flipped back to the beginning and asked to start it over) he was actually trying to read it all by himself. He talked about it for days after---it was so funny to hear my little guy talking about Jack and Annie's adventures in India, The Great Moguls, and ambassadors (which he pronounces "em-bass-ders"), and shrinking potions. This one book gave him a whole new arsenal is his stock of imaginary play ideas!
This book was accompanied by a non-fiction book about cobras, so we were able to learn even more about these fascinating creatures when the adventure was done. I say, if you've got kids, little brothers or sisters, any kids that you babysit for---or anyone around between the ages of 5 and 10---get them started on the amazing world of Magic Tree House!
Check out the cool website for this series! http://www.magictreehouse.com/