Christmas in Camelot (Magic Tree House Series #29)

Christmas in Camelot (Magic Tree House Series #29)

4.4 151
by Mary Pope Osborne, Sal Murdocca

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The Magic Tree House series has become a staple for inspiring kids to read. Christmas in Camelot is a very special Magic Tree House book. Here, author Mary Pope Osborne uses the literary skills for which she’s known to create a longer, more in-depth story featuring the characters kids have come to love. The result is magical: a fast-paced but detailed,…  See more details below


The Magic Tree House series has become a staple for inspiring kids to read. Christmas in Camelot is a very special Magic Tree House book. Here, author Mary Pope Osborne uses the literary skills for which she’s known to create a longer, more in-depth story featuring the characters kids have come to love. The result is magical: a fast-paced but detailed, easy-to-read story. Jack and Annie go on a quest to save Camelot, a quest that will prove to a beleaguered King Arthur that children and imagination really can make a difference.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews
Celebrate the wonder of the Middle Ages with this enchanting addition to the Magic Tree House series! When Jack and Annie receive a Royal Invitation to spend Christmas in Camelot, they expect feasting and fun with King Arthur and Queen Guinevere. But instead, they find themselves on a quest to recapture the kingdom's joy and save Camelot from being forgotten forever.
Publishers Weekly
What could be more exciting than a Christmas Eve quest back in the time of King Arthur? Young listeners are swept into historical fantasy as author Mary Pope Osborne reads her own bestselling works on the audiobook Christmas in Camelot, which includes the Magic Tree House titles Christmas in Camelot and Magic Tree House Research Guide #2: Knights and Castles. ( Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
What a wonderful adventure awaits readers who accompany Jack and Annie on their thrilling trip to the Otherworld in a quest to save Camelot. Jack and Annie, the brother and sister team of the author's "Magic Tree House" series, receive an invitation to spend Christmas Eve in Camelot. They mistakenly believe the invitation was sent by Morgan le Fay, their trusted friend from past adventures. Once they arrive, however, Morgan sadly informs the children that Camelot is dying because of a dark wizard's evil spell. The Christmas Knight arrives and tells the children and that Camelot will be lost forever unless someone travels to the Otherworld to recapture its joy. Annie and Jack meet the challenge and begin an incredible and exciting journey. Children familiar with the "Magic Tree House" series will love this new addition. This book is a compelling introduction to the series for the uninitiated. The excellent prose and black and white illustrations combine to make this a fantastic book from start to finish. 2001, Random House, $11.95. Ages 8 to 10. Reviewer: Jeanne K. Pettenati
School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-In this series installment, Jack and Annie are transported to the legendary kingdom, which has been put under a dismal spell by King Arthur's enemy Mordred. To bring joy and hope back to Camelot, the youngsters volunteer to journey to the Otherworld in order to bring back the Water of Memory and Imagination that will break the spell. This isn't really a Christmas story, but rather a rousing adventure tale filled with dancing fairies, white stags, and hideous beasts. Jack and Annie undertake the rigors of the quest with enthusiasm and aplomb, and if it all seems a bit too easy, fledgling fantasy readers and fans of the series shouldn't mind at all.-E. M. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Anyone who hasn't yet heard of the Magic Tree House has evidently spent the last several years on another planet (at Midnight on the Moon, perhaps?). Judging from this latest series entry (the first in trade hardcover), the popularity of these transitional chapter books is richly deserved. Jack and Annie, the brother-and-sister pair from Frog Creek, Pennsylvania, here take their 25th magical journey in Morgan le Fay's magic tree house. This time, however, instead of traveling to actual places and times in history, they find themselves at Christmas in Camelot--a Camelot sadly transformed from a place of celebration and laughter to one from which joy has been robbed and magic banished. Their quest is to travel to the Otherworld to bring back the Water of Memory and Imagination in order to restore Camelot to its former glory. While the launching of the quest is rather labored--Mordred's involvement in Camelot's plight is explained quickly and not altogether satisfactorily--once Jack and Annie get going, the story moves along at a good clip, full of magical talismans, rhyming clues, Otherworldly foes, and a happy ending. If the kids accomplish their tasks rather easily-well, this is a book for younger readers, and it makes a terrific introduction to the more complex fantasies to come. Osborne (Kate and the Beanstalk) never dumbs down the language for her young readers, instead introducing a rich vocabulary while seamlessly providing contextual clues for decoding: "Miraculously, the silver cup still brimmed with water from the cauldron. Not a drop had spilled out." Black-and-white spot illustrations are scattered throughout, although frequently a page turn is required before thereader sees the scene being described-a minor design quibble. An almost entirely pleasing offering; if Osborne and her publisher can produce another 25 of this quality, chapter-book readers will truly have been well served.

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Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Magic Tree House Series , #29
Sold by:
Random House
Sales rank:
420L (what's this?)
File size:
5 MB
Age Range:
6 - 8 Years

Read an Excerpt

Sunlight had faded from the late-afternoon sky. Puffy snow clouds were moving in.

"Let's hurry. I'm cold," said Jack.

He and Annie were walking home from school. Their Christmas vacation was just beginning.


"Wait, " said Annie. "Look."

She pointed to a white bird sitting on a bare tree branch at the edge of the woods. The bird was staring straight at them.

"It's a dove," said Jack.

"It's a messenger," said Annie, "from Morgan."

"No," Jack said, afraid to get his hopes up. They hadn't seen Morgan le Fay in a long time. He really missed her.

"Yes, " said Annie. "She has a mission for us. I can feel it."

In the hush of the cold twilight, the dove spread its wings and flew into the Frog Creek woods.


"Come on!" said Annie. "The tree house is

"You're just hoping!" said Jack.

"I'm knowing!" said Annie. She ran into the woods, following the white dove.

"Oh, brother," said Jack. But he took off after Annie.

Even in the growing darkness, they easily found their way. They zigzagged between the bare trees and ran over the frozen ground until they came to the tallest oak in the woods.

"See?" said Annie', pointing to the top of the tree.

"Yeah, " whispered Jack.

There it was: the magic tree house.

"Morgan!" shouted Annie.

Jack held his breath, waiting to see the enchantress at the tree house window. But

Morgan did not appear.

Annie grabbed the rope ladder and started up. Jack followed.

When they climbed inside the tree house, Jack saw something lying on the floor. It was a scroll, rolled up and tied with a red velvet ribbon.

Jack picked up the scroll and unrolled it. The thick, yellowed paper shimmered with large gold writing.

"Wow, Morgan sent us a really fancy note," said Annie.

"It's an invitation, " said Jack. "Listen."

"Christmas in Camelot!" said Annie. "I don't believe it!"

"Cool" whispered Jack. He pictured a beautiful, glowing castle lit with candles and filled with knights and ladies feasting and singing.

"We're going to celebrate Christmas with Morgan and King Arthur!" said Annie. "And Queen Guinevere!"

"Yeah, said Jack. "And the Knights of the Round Table, like Sir Lancelot!"

"Let's go!" said Annie. "Where's the book?"

She and Jack looked around the tree house for a book about Camelot. The only book they saw was the Pennsylvania book that always brought them home.

"That's strange," said Jack. "Morgan didn't send a book about Camelot with the Royal Invitation. How does she expect us to get there?"

"I don't know, " said Annie. "Maybe she forgot."

Jack picked up the invitation. He read it again. He turned it over, hoping to find more information. The back of the scroll was blank. He handed the invitation to Annie.

"She must have forgotten," he said.

"Darn," said Annie, staring at the gold writing. "I really wish we could go to Camelot."

The tree branches rustled.

The wind began to blow.
"What's happening?" said Jack. "I don't know-" said Annie. "Wait a minute," said Jack.
"You were holding the invitation, and you made a wish. The wind blew harder. "That must have made the magic work!" cried Annie. Jack felt a surge of joy. "We're going to Camelot!" he said. The tree house started to spin. It spun faster and faster. Then everything was still. Absolutely still.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Meet the Author

MARY POPE OSBORNE is the author of the New York Times number one bestselling Magic Tree House series. She and her husband, writer Will Osborne (author of Magic Tree House: The Musical), live in northwestern Connecticut with their three dogs. Ms. Osborne is also the coauthor of the companion Magic Tree House Fact Trackers series with Will, and with her sister, Natalie Pope Boyce.

SAL MURDOCCA has illustrated more than 200 children's trade and text books. He is also a librettist for children's opera, a video artist, an avid runner, hiker, and bicyclist, and a teacher of children's illustration at the Parsons School of Design. Sal lives and works in New York with his wife, Nancy.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Brief Biography

Goshen, Connecticut
Date of Birth:
May 20, 1949
Place of Birth:
Fort Sill, Oklahoma
B.A., University of North Carolina

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