11/18/14 ** Okay, I know that the Magic Tree House books are wildly popular. I can generally count on them to engage kids who otherwise claims that they don't read. However, why do some publishers continue to think that the quality of writing doesn't matter for young children?
I was annoyed with the book from the start.
Writing/illustrations: The dialogue was stilted.Some of the illustrations were inconsistent - life vests on the character in some images but not others.
Characterization: I wasn't able to identify ways the characters changed over time.
Gender roles: The younger sister stood by while her brother solved all the problems. She whined and commanded her brother to come up with a spell but didn't do so herself.
Positives: There was a clear message to avoid killing animals in the interests of science.
There are better choices.