Dinosaurs Before Dark, Book #1 in the Magic Tree House Series

Dinosaurs Before Dark – a Review of a Highly Popular Children’s Book

100_9201The first of the Magic Tree House series, Dinosaurs Before Dark (titled Valley of the Dinosaurs in the U.K.) is a highly popular children’s book written by Mary Pope Osborne. 

The book, Dinosaurs Before Dark, is fun and educational, and helps children learn to read by using short, simple, and easy to understand sentences. Illustrations and a fun plot keep young readers entertained and engaged in the story, one that fills their imagination and teaches a bit about history at the same time.

The dinosaurs in this book are of the friendly sort and each time Jack and Annie encounter these friendly dinos, they gather scientific facts. The excitement of the story builds as readers are first introduced to a somewhat “mysterious” tree house that is packed with books. As Jack begins reading and hoping to see a Pteranodon, a flying reptile related to the dinosaur,  the story unfolds into a magical adventure. Jack and Annie are transported back in time, to an era when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

In their adventures, Annie and Jack encounter a flying Pteranodon and name him “Henry.” The fun and sometimes heart-pounding adventure sends the brother and sister fleeing back to the magical tree house after encountering a huge Tyrannosaurus Rex. Jack soon realizes that his backpack, which contained the dinosaur book he had been reading, was left down in the colony of Anatosauruses.  When he leaves to retrieve the backpack, Annie sends Henry, the Pteranodon, to save him.

The characters portrayed are full of personality; while Jack is an intelligent little boy who loves reading and learning interesting facts about dinosaurs, Annie loves animals and seems to have no fear as she delves further into the adventure. In Dinosaurs Before Dark, Annie convinces Jack to do things he would never do without her insistence, including riding on the back of a flying dinosaur! 

Brief, simple to read, and valued for the education and entertainment the book provides, Dinosaurs Before Dark is a great choice for children beginning to read chapter books, usually at the end of 1st grade, 2nd grade, and 3rd grade.







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