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Dinosaurs Before Dark by Mary Pope Osborne

Dinosaurs Before Dark (1992)

by Mary Pope Osborne

Other authors: Sal Murdocca (Illustrator)

Series: Magic Tree House (1)

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4,835143957 (3.8)41

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Showing 1-5 of 138 (next | show all)
I love these children's chapter books because I think they are an excellent way of incorporating factual information with a great story. I also think that this collection of chapter books is an entertaining way to introduce a factual topic. For instance, the facts stated are incorporated within the language of the story. When Annie and Jack come across a triceratops, they are afraid they are going to get eaten. Jack considers his dinosaur book, and he looks inside to find the triceratops page. The book tells them that it is an herbivore, or plant-eater. When Jack reads this information, the author puts it in a bold black ink and a different font. This way, the reader knows this is the factual information in the text. I thought this was a great and obvious technique to show contrast between story and facts.
I also liked the authors use of dialogue in this story. Since this was the first book in the series, the only two characters conversing were Jack and Annie. Further into the series, they will meet different historical figures, the creator of the tree house, and others they will communicate with. The author did a great job using the dialogue throughout the text. In addition, the dialogue always had phrases to describe how that person was saying the dialogue. For example, the author would say "Annie whispered" if she was amazed or "Jack screamed loudly" if Jack was scared.
In addition to dialogue, I liked how this series introduced the idea of inner dialogue. When the characters would think to themselves, their thoughts would be written in italics. This way readers could decipher between what was being though and what was being said. For example, on page 52 the text reads, "Okay, though jack. Don't think! Just do it!" Lastly, this chapter book incorporated colored illustrations. A lot of chapter books either have images in black and white, or they have no images at all. This chapter book gave illustrations of numerous different dinosaurs and adventures. The dinosaurs drawn were accurate to pictures found in informational text. For example, the T-Rex still had short arms, a large head, and razor-sharp rows of teeth. It made the story come to life! I think the overall message of this book and this series as a whole is that learning is exploring. Learning can happen through adventures and discovery, and it can be fun! ( )
  ToniPritchard | Sep 12, 2017 |
I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! :) ( )
  azpandas | Aug 21, 2017 |
Being almost a decade and a half since a read any book from this series I figured start at no.1 is always best. This specific story will trill dinosaur enthusiasts from mid-elementary students on up. The book has historical elements as it educates the reader about dinosaurs and the time period. There are many other books in this series by Osborne, I particularly remember enjoying the one about Pompeii.
  AlecA1994 | Aug 2, 2017 |
8-year-old Jack and his younger sister Annie find a magic tree house, which whisks them back to an ancient time zone where they see live dinosaurs.
  jhawn | Jul 31, 2017 |
This book is about a brother and sister find a magic tree house that takes them to prehistoric times. The get to explore and see all the different dinosaurs. I liked this book because they were my favorite books growing up and I love dinosaurs. The reading level for this book is fourth grade through sixth.
  ShaneKadrmas | May 5, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 138 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mary Pope Osborneprimary authorall editionscalculated
Murdocca, SalIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
For Linda and Mallory,
who took the trip with me.
First words
"Help! A monster!" said Annie.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Dinosaurs Before Dark is the US title
Valley of the Dinosaurs is the UK title.
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Eight-year-old Jack and his younger sister Annie find a magic tree house, which whisks them back to an ancient time zone where they see live dinosaurs.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679824111, Paperback)

Jack and Annie's very first 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?

Visit the Magic Tree House website!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:43 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

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.

» see all 4 descriptions

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