Dinosaurs Before Dark (Magic Tree House, #1)
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Dinosaurs Before Dark (Magic Tree House #1)

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3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  14,642 ratings  ·  1,180 reviews
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?

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Paperback, 80 pages
Published June 15th 2010 by Random House for Young Readers (first published July 1st 1992)
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Killer Rabbit
Tree house to adventure
When I was a kid, we made a dill weed fort in the vacant lot across the street. From that home base, we imagined great and wonderful adventures. But they weren't anything near as good as riding a Pteranodon, which is just one of the neat things that Jack and Annie do in this story!

My older daughter's first grade teacher introduced our household to the Magic Tree House series. (Thanks, Jody!) Before the year was out, our daughter had read every book, and was eagerly awaitin...more
Tea Jovanović
Divan serijal knjiga za malu decu... o avanturama brata i sestre koji u svojoj kučici na drvetu pronalaze knjigu i listajući je prenose se u drugo vreme i u tom vremenu doživljavaju avanture... pa malo idu u prošlost a malo i u budućnost i u svakoj knjizi deca se lepo zabave i ponešto novo nauče... Serijal je veliki hit u svetu već godinama, doživeo je mnoga izdanja a i naša deca su te knjige veoma lepo prihvatila... Autorka je divna, imali smo prilike da se družimo s njom davne 2005. tokom sajm...more
Lstirl
Dinosaurs Before Dark (Magic Tree House Series #1) by Mary Pope Osborne,

A good transition into chapter books for the new reader.

While formulaic, predictable, and not particularly clever, this series serves the purpose of providing adventure at a fast moving pace for the new to chapter book set. The predictable nature of these books adds to their appeal as it makes them easier to comprehend and also helps them stay familiar. Kids of this age can be easily daunted by books and tend to be drawn to...more
Jess
Beginning reader
For grades 1-3

Jack and his sister Annie discover a book-filled tree house, and, when Jack opens a book about dinosaurs, discover that it can magically transport them back in time to see real dinosaurs.

Organized into ten short chapters, with a full-page illustration per chapter, this is a highly appealing story for early readers. The text is clear and concise, with a fairly simple vocabulary but with characters and plot that will keep readers hooked. The black and white illustrati...more
Carol
As an adult, I'd have to say this is not five star reading material. However, it rates five stars because my second grader eats these books up, and is getting a glimpse of loads of different places and historical events.
Nicole
The first book in the Magic Tree House series is an exciting beginning to the time-traveling adventures of 8½ year old Jack and his 7 year old sister Annie. Osborne builds this excitement deftly, first introducing the mysterious tree house full of books that then transporting them on Jack’s inadvertent wish to see a Pteranodon in one of the books to the Cretaceous period when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. The sibling’s encounters with various dinosaurs prove heart pounding, as some of them are not...more
Brad
This is a cute, inoffensive little adventure story that winds up offending me anyway simply by being present in the world. What sort of a grump am I, eh?

I was looking for something a little easier for my dyslexic girl. She'd been struggling with some bigger books, and she needed a burst of confidence to help her get back to where she wanted to be, so I found this book, saw how easy it was and brought it home for her.

Mission accomplished: she blew through it, had fun, and moved straight back to...more
Heidi
Ages K-4
Brother-and sister team Jack and Annie transport through space and time in a book-filed magic tree house in the woods behind their neighborhood. I first tried reading from Lions at Lunchtime, but quickly realized that it referred to important events and objects from this first book of the series, Dinosaurs Before Dark. I read aloud this book to my Kindergartener, and she loved the characters and action, which moves along at a fast pace. Osborne builds suspense and strong imagery, a feat...more
Denise
Some of my students in Phoenix, as well as my little cousin, have been big fans of Magic Tree House. This was the first time I'd read any of the books, and it was a good book. I did not have the depth a book requires for me to give it anything more than three stars, but that's not Mary Pope Osborne's purpose in this book, so I don't mean that as a criticism. What I had heard about Magic Tree House (and what I now can agree with having read the first book) is that the beauty of the series is how...more
Sandie
Okay, Elliott and I love these books!! I have always read to Elliott, and so we have an amazing assortment of childrens' books. But when Elliott was approaching Kindergarten I could tell he was ready for just a little bit more. We got a CD of this book read by the author Mary Pope Osborne in a 'mighty kid's meal' at Wendys!! one of the only times that I ever agreed to getting the 'toy suprise':O) This is the first book in a long series of amazing books of adventure, magic, and true and factual h...more
Karissa
I read this book with my six year old son. He was very excited to get the first Magic Tree House book and I was very curious since I have heard a ton about this series. This is a great read for younger children and children just learning to read.

Jack and Annie find a magic tree house in the woods near their house. When they go up in the tree house they find it’s filled with books. When Jack takes down a book about Dinosaurs and starts to read it when him and Annie are magically transported to a...more
Emily
This review goes for the entire series. Any books that can keep my almost-4-year-old so interested and excited that we can discuss them in the car, at breakfast, at lunch, before bed, guess what might happen next, say, "this is kind of like what happened in our book," and that we actually have to have a stack of the next few sitting here "just in case," is a 5 star in my book.

Each one takes Jack and Annie into the pages of a new book. We have learned about (and wanted to investigate further) mu...more
Alexa
I don't really know how to rate children's books like this one. I didn't particularly like it, but I can see the things that would make children like it. The story was imaginative and creative and when the t-rex showed up, it became scary and exciting. Mostly I felt that Annie seemed like a fun kid and Jack needed to get the stick out of his rear end.
Hailee Gorges
"Dawn of the Dinosaurs" is the first book in this series by Mary Pope Osborne. The books starts off when Jack and Annie find this tree house while walking in the woods in Frog Creek. They decide to see what is inside the mysterious looking tree house. Inside they found a whole bunch of books. Jack found a book about dinosaurs, and starts thinking how cool it would be to see a dinosaur in real life. Before they knew it Jack and Annie were taken back in time to prehistoric times. They first encoun...more
Beth
I was looking for a book series that my six-year-old new reader might enjoy listening to (and down the road, reading to himself) and the Magic Tree House books fit the bill perfectly. It probably helped that the first book featured dinosaurs (his favorite subject), but everything about it seemed to be just his speed--the language, subject matter, interactions between the siblings Jack and Annie, the intensity of peril the kids face, etc., were all pitch-perfect for him.

I enjoyed the book myself...more
Danielle
The Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne is full of adventure and interesting facts that young children will enjoy reading about. In the first book of the series Dinosaurs Before Dark, we are introduced to the two main characters Jack and Annie who live in Frog Creek, Pennsylvania. Jack is a very smart boy who loves books and learning new and interesting facts, and Annie is his adventurous sister who isn’t afraid of anything and seems to have a special connection with animals. The story...more
Christi
Genre: Historical fiction

Summary: This is the first book in a series about a time-traveling duo who are transported in time by a magic tree house full of books, to the day of dinosaurs. They have a mission and have to discover clues that lead the reader on an interesting and informational journey.

Critique:

A. Style and information value
B. Mary Pope Osborne not only writes her books like she has done valid research on each subject, she writes non-fiction counterparts to many of her books that sh...more
Denise
This was my 6 year old son's first step into the world of chapter books. It has been a long time for me, as I no longer really read children's or young adult literature for my own amusement. We read it together, as he still occasionally needs help with the bigger words, proper nouns and rule breakers. I had forgotten how chapter books are prone to fragments masquerading as complete sentences. Other than that, though, we both enjoyed the experience.
For my son, this was an amazing new adventure. A...more
Sarah Sammis
Last year Sean and Ian read the first eight Magic Tree House books together. Now that Sean and I have read a bunch of the later ones together I've decided to go back and read the first eight. The book that launched the series is Dinosaurs Before Dark.

In Dinosaurs Before Dark Jack and Annie have never seen the tree house before. They don't know who owns it or how it got Frog Creek. They do, however, figure out the basics of making it take them places. They end up going so far back in time that th...more
Kirei
How could this book not get a good rating??? It is so popular and responsible for so many kids reading.

Having said that, I, as an adult, didn't find it interesting. I think my son found parts of it interesting, but he wasn't mesmerized.

A couple of things I didn't like: Mary Pope Osborne (the writer) often uses sentence fragment. Come on, I know it is easy reading, but I was always taught not to use fragments.
Another thing is that at the end, Annie and Jack (the main characters) agree not to te...more
Kathryn
I do not believe in punishing parents or teachers who read to their children or classes. This book is tantamount to punishment in my opinion since it was so incredibly boring and simple to read aloud. I almost fell asleep. Yet this series is an excellent early reader teaching tool. The writing is perfect for beginners. My 5-year-old thought this was entertaining and each chapter held his attention, which I am grateful for. Any book accomplishing this without numerous pictures and bright colors w...more
Nick Handrich
I read “Dinosaurs Before Dark” by Mary Osborne. One day Jack and his younger sister, Annie, decided to go adventure in the wood near their home. They eventually came across magical tree house. Jack, having a fascination with dinosaurs, chose a book about them and wished he could see one in real life. They then got sent back in time, to the time of the dinosaurs, where they got to see all sorts of neat things and dinosaurs.

There are two main characters in this book, Jack and Annie. Jack is the ol...more
Amanda Allen
I think the boy would go straight to 5 stars. It's a simply story, obviously. It's for the tots, but he LOVED it. He demanded to sleep with it each night and was excited to read it. We'll be reading on in the series and he's already excited for the next.
Charsia
Jan 23, 2013 Charsia rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: kids who are just starting to read chapter books and like adventure
Recommended to Charsia by: Vanessa Wendland
This is a great chapter book! Lots of adventure, so I love it. It's fun to see what the characters are thinking. Jack and Annie find a magic tree house that takes them back 65 million years ago and they find many different dinosaurs. I really liked the part where they run from a T-Rex to make it home before dark!
Laura (booksnob)
Jun 09, 2008 Laura (booksnob) rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Families. Great read aloud!
Believe it or not this is my second time reading this as an adult. My son loved this series and now I am starting it with my daughter who is equally intrigued. I love the combination of history and mystery and the fact the books always teach the child something interesting.
Sarah
This is the first book of a wonderful series. I read the series aloud to my kindergarten class every year. It is just right for their listening level. It is about a 2-3 grade reading level. No language or inappropriate behavior. Teaches history and geography.
Paulaann
Antonio loves this series. It is great for kids with a high reading level and young age. (Antonio is 6 and was reading the Harry Potter books. I think those are too dark for his age... maybe in a few years) This series is very entertaining and educational.
Lisa
We took this series on a car trip with my 4 year old daughter. While the stories got a bit dull for us grown ups, my daughter loved every minute of it. When we got home, she grabbed the CD's and headed straight to her room to listen to more!
Kirsten
I have been reading these with my 3 year old and he really enjoys the series. They spark the imagination and have pictures every few pages which he loves. I have caught him playing with his toys pretenting they are Jack and Annie on an adventure.
Blake
“Dinosaurs before Dark”, is the first book of the Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osborne. The book starts off with siblings, Jack and Annie, exploring through the Frog Creek woods. They discover an old tree house with a ladder. They go into the tree house and find that it is filled with all kinds of books. Jack picks up a dinosaur book and wishes to see a pteranodon. Suddenly, the tree house starts spinning rapidly and when it finally stops they see they are in an open plain filled with di...more
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Mary Pope Osborne has channeled a lifelong love of exploration and travel into one of the most popular children’s book series of the past two decades. With her fantastic Magic Tree House series, Mary Pope Osborne keeps the good times rolling for kids all over the world.
More about Mary Pope Osborne...
The Knight at Dawn (Magic Tree House, #2) Mummies in the Morning (Magic Tree House, #3) Pirates Past Noon (Magic Tree House, #4) Night of the Ninjas (Magic Tree House, #5) Dolphins at Daybreak (Magic Tree House, #9)

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