Jack and Annie travel around in a magic tree house, doing missions for the wizard Merlin. This book has them headed back in time to Renascence Venice, Italy. Here they had to put together Merlin’s clues to save Venice from a terrible flood. They encounter a famous painter and they ride on the back of a winged lion statue to meet the god, Poseidon, in their journeys.
This series is wonderful. I like how you get to go on an adventure every time and you also learn about whatever time/place the characters are visiting. Jack and Annie are a fun duo, although they are not dynamic characters. They do not change over the course of the books, but that is normal in juvenile series. I think the educational value still makes them good for young readers.
“Characterization is sketchy and older children will find the plot predictable, but readers just past the easy-to-read stage will find it satisfying. It should attract those who devour Ruth Chew’s books” (Sherman 1992).
This book or any of the other ones would be great for a craft program. The kids could make magic tree houses out of Popsicle sticks and talk about the series. It would be a fun way for fans of the books to come together.
Osborne, M. P. (2005). Carnival at Candlelight. New York: Random House.
Sherman, L. L. (1992). Review: Magic Tree House. School Library Journal. 38(9), p. 70. Retrieved from EbscoHost.