Magic Tree House #01: Dinosaurs Before Dark

by Mary Pope Osborne

Paperback, 1992



Call number




Scholastic (1992), 68 pages


Eight-year-old Jack and his younger sister Annie find a magic treehouse, which whisks them back to an ancient time zone where they see live dinosaurs.

User reviews

LibraryThing member annajamieson
In Mary Pope Osborne's Dinosaurs Before Dark, the characters Jack and Annie adventure back in time to when dinosaurs lived on earth. This book is a part of the Magic Tree House series that is loved by many children. It is a transitional book that includes some illustrations. It is a great read for
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children who are moving from independently reading picture books to chapter books. Children will love the adventure and mystery of this book!
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LibraryThing member hem143
Join these adventurous siblings as they travel back in time to when dinosaurs roamed the land! A great transition book for children learning to read. A little more advanced than picture books however not quite to the level of a chapter book this is a perfect story to instill and continue a love of
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LibraryThing member KristalKangasHanes
Eight and a half year old Jack and his seven year old sister Annie find a wonderful tree house in the woods near their home. This tree house is filled to the brim with books, and as Jack is reading about dinosaurs he utters a wish that he could see one alive. Suddenly the world begins spinning and
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Jack and Annie are magically transported to the age of dinosaurs. They encounter a docile Pterandon that eventually becomes a brave hero, a colony of Anatosauruses with nests of young, and a Tyrannosaurus Rex that hunts Jack and nearly catches him! In this first of the Magic Tree House series, Jack and Annie learn that the tree house can transport them to a different time and place. Jack takes meticulous scientific notes of their adventure and Annie's curiosity helps them see more than Jack would by himself. This is a first in a series. Written for young readers as perhaps their first adventure in a chapter book this book includes a few rich pencil drawn illustrations. This series is a great jump off into the world of chapter books.
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LibraryThing member tamilarson
Jack and Annie find a tree house that transports them away, a fun adventure for 2nd graders... the perfect beginning reader chapter book.
LibraryThing member Mluke04
This is an example of a fantasy because the main character travel through time by opening books. The characters are able to enter the books they read and become part of the story.
The plot in this book is simple but effective. The book starts with the children finding the magic tree house filled
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with books. Jack opens a book about dinosaurs and the tree house takes them to the time of the dinosaurs. The children have a chance to explore until the climax of the story-they are being chased by a Tyrannosaurus-Rex. When they make it to the tree house the resolution of the story begins. It is a simple plot, but well-suited to it's audience (it is an early chapter book).
Media: Water color, pen
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LibraryThing member smilz23
Annie and Jack stumble across a tree house filled with books. When Jack opens a book about dinosaurs and wishes to see one, they are transported to the time when dinosaurs roamed the earth. This chapter book is enhanced by the drawings of the dinosaurs. This is also the first in a series of
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adventure stories that begin in the magic tree house.

Classroom connections: This would be a good suggested personal reading book for students. In addition to sharing an adventure with brother and sister these books teach small lessons about the times and places they travel to.
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LibraryThing member skeeterbo
I liked the book because it was about dinosaurs, and I like dinosaurs. It was sort of funny, and it was surprising! I am looking forward to Book #2!
LibraryThing member pjbailey
This was the first "Jack and Annie" book that I ever read, and it was very exciting.
LibraryThing member artlibby
On the way home from school, Jack and Annie stumble upon a curious tree house that whisks them back into the time dinosaurs roamed the earth. Jack has a hard time keeping his little sister out of trouble as her curiosity leads them further and further into their shared adventure of the prehistoric
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past. They are unsure of how the tree house traveled back in time, and they need to figure out how to get back home for dinner before a dinosaur decides to feast on them! Pictures accompany the story, and the book unfolds through short chapters that are perfect for newly independent readers. The themes of responsibility and curiosity run through the story. The first in a series, the ending of this book beckons readers to wonder, where will Jack and Annie go next?
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LibraryThing member lisabankey
Using the LeapPad technology with this story gives this book new dimension. This is a way to interact with the book as well as read it. For struggling readers this is a way to find out what a word is quickly and get the story read without having to stop.

Dinosaurs Before Dark is Mary Pope Osborne's
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first book in the popular series The Magic Treehouse. Here Jack and Annie travel back in time in their magic treehouse to the days of dinosaurs.
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LibraryThing member mmburks
This is the first book in the Magic Tree House series. It is about two siblings who find a magic tree house in the woods. This tree house takes them on adventures through books. On this adventure they go back to the time of dinosaurs.
LibraryThing member rsamet
This series about two siblings who discover a magic tree house filled with books that can transport them to other times and places, goes beyond fun adventures--it is a wonderful way to introduce kids to the importance of observation and taking notes about important details. In this, the first in
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the series, Jack and his little sister Annie realize that making a wish to see something in a book within the Magic Tree House will take them there. They find themselves in a time and place filled with dinosaurs, most of whom are friendly, but some of whom are not. Jack takes notes about the wonderful things that they discover, like a scientist or explorer would do, while Annie is adventurous and sometimes gets herself into trouble. Both kids are clever and figure out how to get back home, where miraculously no time has passed. They agree to keep the Magic Tree House and their adventures a secret so that they can continue to explore the wonders contained within the books. Sprinkled liberally with great illustrations and weighing in at only 68 pages, this is a great beginning chapter book for girls and boys in 1st through 3rd grade, but is also suitable for younger advanced readers. It could also be used within the classroom to teach children how to take notes about important ideas.
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LibraryThing member eewil110
a wonderful adventure story! Very fun and quick to read. Very imaginative.
LibraryThing member msequeira06
Genre: Fantasy because the children find a magic tree house that leads them to a land of dinosaurs. The fact there is a magic tree house and they experience dinosaurs are both very fanciful ideas and definitely not reality.
LibraryThing member linnaea44
Annie and Jack are very realistic characters who have a very imaginative, funny, and scary adventures. Students typically like dinosaurs, and this is an exciting way to learn about them. Traveling in a tree house to an imaginary land would be interesting to everyone. Reluctant readers will want to
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finish this book. Pretty easy chapter book, great for beginners.
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LibraryThing member PrincessAshley
Children’s Novel (Series)

‘Dinosaurs Before Dark’ is the first in the Magic Tree House series. Although I was not able to find mention of any awards for this book or series, I did notice that ‘Magic Tree House’ has been turned into a musical. Most of the books also end up on at least one
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best sellers list when they first come out and are used extensively in schools. (They even come with accompanying research guides on the topics introduced in the books).

In ‘Dinosaurs Before Dark’ Jack and his sister discover a strange tree house filled with books. While investigating they are transported far into the past by a book. They learn many facts about dinosaurs and Jack notes down first hand experiences in his handy notebook. Both children have to work together to find a way home before their mother starts to worry, and with a little help from a new friend they manage.

‘Dinosaurs Before Dark’ is a lovely story, and both Jack and Annie are extremely believable and likable characters. I love how the author weaves interesting facts into a fanciful story filled with magic and finished off with a hint of mystery; it keeps the reader in suspense which encourages you to keep reading the series. Osborne does a masterful job of writing a story that both children and adults will approve of. The Magic Tree House series is now on book #42 and still going strong; the appeal that was evident in the first book must carry throughout the series for it to be this popular.
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LibraryThing member ruthe002
First book in the Magic Treehouse series. Great, easy first chapter book. Exciting read for young readers.
LibraryThing member clstone
'Dinosaurs Before Dark' is the first in the series of "Magic Tree House" books. The short chapter book is great for young readers and tells the tale of a pair of siblings that find a tree house in the woods behind their house. Jack and Annie climb the tree house and find tons of books there. They
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open a book about dinosaurs and are immediately taken to a faraway land. This story tells the journey of Jack and Annie's adventures in the land of the dinosaurs and how they get back home.
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LibraryThing member adwirth
This book is about 2 siblings who find a tree house by their house. The younger sibling, Annie, convinces herolder brother Jack to climb the ladder with her to explore the tree house. In it, they find that it is full of all kinds of books. When Jack looks at a picture in one book and wishes he was
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there, his wish comes true. The kids experience their first adventure with real dinosaurs.
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LibraryThing member justineaylward
Historical, adventurous stories! Plus they seem to be never ending! About a brother and sister who find a mysterious tree house that is really a time machine! Let the adventures begin!
LibraryThing member JenniferHauschildt
Jack and Annie find a tree house filled with books near their house. Jack opens the dinosaur book and wishes he could see a real dinosaur, so the treehouse spins and brings them back to prehistoric times. They meet nice dinosaurs like the pteranodan and scary dinosaurs like the T-Rex. They even saw
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nests of baby dinosaurs. They had quite an adventure. They found another book that brought them back home. They decided to keep the treehouse a secret, so they could have more adventures.

Personal Reaction -

This was a good book. My son read this series in 2nd or 3rd grade, so it was fun to read something that he was interested in. This is a chapter book, but short enough to keep readers entertained. After reading it, I understand why kids like to read series books, because I want to know what their next adventure will be too.

Classroom Extension Ideas -

- This would be good for a teacher read aloud in class. It might get the kids interested in starting the series.

- This would also be good for a small group book. The kids could each write a short summary of the book, and also describe an adventure that they think Jack and Annie should take.
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LibraryThing member jenflock
This enjoyable time-travel fantasy is a successful beginning chapter book. Jack and his younger sister find a tree house filled with books. When he wishes he could really see the Pteranodon pictured in one of them, it appears at the window. The children have been transported back to the Cretaceous
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period. They begin to explore and are soon threatened by a Tyrannosaurus. The Pteranodon comes to their rescue, and they figure out enough about the magic that carried them back in time to be able to use it to return home. There is plenty of suspense and magic here, and enough dinosaur information to please science buffs.
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LibraryThing member elenaazad
Siblings Jack and Annie are playing in the woods near their home in Pennsylvania when they discover an impressive-looking tree house at the top of a gigantic oak tree. They climb the rope ladder to find, much to their excitement, that the tree house is full books of all kinds. Jack, who is a fan of
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dinosaurs, begins looking through a book about them and wishes out lod that he could see a real one for himself. Suddenly, a fierce wind picks up the tree house and transports Jack and Annie to the time of dinosaurs.

"Dinosaurs Before Dark" is fast-paced and funny, a great read for mid-elementary schoolers who are leaving easy-readers behind. The adventure is full of danger but not enough to worry or scare the reader; the near-misses keep the action going. Also, Jack and Annie are like any other siblings, in that they continually get frustrated with one another but, of course, never fail to help each other out of sticky situations. Many children are easily able to identify with this and will appreciate the dinosaur-focus as well.
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LibraryThing member AndrewSorrelli
Great action and time travel.
LibraryThing member mopbroek07
Age: Intermediate

This book is a good example of both fantasy and science fiction. It is fantasy because two children could not have adventures with dinosaurs in reality. However, it is also science fiction because of the element of time travel through the magical tree house.
The author utilizes
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both background and integral settings in this book. In the present time when Jack and Annie are discovering the tree house, they could be in any forest at any time, creating a background setting. However, when they travel back to the age of the dinosaurs it is an integral setting, because the timeframe is essential to the appearance of the dinosaurs.
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Original publication date



0590623524 / 9780590623520

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