Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #23: Snakes and Other Reptiles: A Nonfiction Companion to Magic Tree House #45: A Crazy Day with Cobras

Overview

Track the facts with Jack and Annie!
 
When Jack and Annie got back from their adventure in Magic Tree House #45: A Crazy Day with Cobras, they had lots of questions. Can snakes really be charmed? What reptile has the deadliest venom? What do Komodo dragons eat? How do you tell alligators and crocodiles apart? Find out the answers to these questions and more as Jack and Annie track the facts.

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Overview

Track the facts with Jack and Annie!
 
When Jack and Annie got back from their adventure in Magic Tree House #45: A Crazy Day with Cobras, they had lots of questions. Can snakes really be charmed? What reptile has the deadliest venom? What do Komodo dragons eat? How do you tell alligators and crocodiles apart? Find out the answers to these questions and more as Jack and Annie track the facts.

Filled with up-to-date information, photos, illustrations, and fun tidbits from Jack and Annie, the Magic Tree House Fact Trackers are the perfect way for kids to find out more about the topics they discovered in their favorite Magic Tree House adventures. And teachers can use Fact Trackers alongside their Magic Tree House fiction companions to meet common core text pairing needs.

Have more fun with Jack and Annie on the Magic Tree House website at MagicTreeHouse.com!

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kristi Bernard
Reptiles have been around for a long time. You can't escape them even if you try because they are on every continent except Antarctica. If you hate them you will learn to love and appreciate them once you've read Osborne and Boyce's book. If you love them you will be delighted to learn even more about them. Osborne and Boyce discuss all of the species in the reptile family. In regards to myths, readers will learn that snakes in Egypt were considered gods and in Greece they were a sign of healing and wisdom. If you were wondering how many different kinds of snakes there are around the world Osborne and Boyce teach readers about snake families such as Colubridae who are harmless, and Boidaie and Pythonidae which have strong muscles to better squeeze their prey before they devour them. There are plenty of pictures here to show off all of the animals. Lizards, crocodiles, turtles and tortoises are covered to name a few. Readers will find fun facts in sidebars and helpful resources to find out even more information. Osborne and Boyce even discuss why it is so important to save snakes and reptiles. Many are considered to be endangered species because their natural habitats are being destroyed. Readers will also learn about the medicinal value of snake venom and how it can help to lower blood pressure and slow down the growth of cancer. Parents and teachers will love this guide. Readers will love the index in the back of the book for quick reference to a particular topic or reptile. Reviewer: Kristi Bernard
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375860119
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 1/11/2011
  • Series: Magic Tree House Fact Tracker Series , #23
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 80,810
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: 800L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

MMARY POPE OSBORNE and NATALIE POPE BOYCE are sisters who grew up on army posts all over the world. They are working on more Magic Tree HouseĀ® Fact Tracker books to give Magic Tree House readers facts and information about places, time periods, and animals that Jack and Annie discover in the Magic Tree House adventures.
 
Mary lives in Connecticut. Natalie makes her home nearby in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts. Mary is the author of all the Magic Tree House fiction titles as well as many more books for kids.
 
SAL MURDOCCA has illustrated more than 200 children's trade and text books. He is also a librettist for children'sopera, 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.

Biography

Ever since 1992, Mary Pope Osborne has been thrilling kids everywhere with her delightfully exciting Magic Tree House series. The globetrotting escapades of time travelers Jack and Annie are brimming with adventure and magic (not to mention some subtly placed lessons on history and geography). With a life like Osborne's, it's only natural that she would be capable of bringing such wondrous stories to life.

Osborne was brought up in a military family, and her parents' work led to a lifestyle marked by constant change. "By the time I was 15," she says on randomhouse.com, "I had lived in Oklahoma, Austria, Florida, and four different army posts in Virginia and North Carolina." While many kids would probably feel disoriented by such constant change, Osborne wouldn't have had it any other way. "Moving was never traumatic for me, but staying in one place was. When my dad finally retired to a small town in North Carolina, I nearly went crazy with boredom. I craved the adventure and changing scenery of our military life."

And adventure is exactly what Osborne got! After college, she embarked on a series of daring treks across the globe that would surely give Jack and Annie a run for their money. "For a while I camped in a cave on the island of Crete," she said. "Then I joined up with a small band of European young people heading to 'The East.' We traveled through 11 Asian countries and nearly lost our lives, first in an earthquake in northern Afghanistan and then in a riot in Kabul."

Following an illness she contracted in Katmandu, Osborne returned home to the U.S. trying her hand at a vast variety of jobs: window dresser, medical assistant, Russian travel consultant, waitress, bartender, and an assistant editor at a children's magazine. Although Osborne had unconsciously moved closer toward her ultimate career, she says that her first attempts at writing seemed to come without warning. "One day, out of the blue, I began writing a story about an 11-year-old girl in the South," she recalls. "The girl was a lot like me, and many of the incidents in the story were similar to happenings in my childhood...it became a young adult novel called Run, Run Fast as You Can. Finally, I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up."

She sure did! Since then, Osborne has penned a slew of stories, including picture books, chapter books, middle-grade biographies, and young adult novels; but she is indisputably best known for her wonderful Magic Tree House books, a happy hodge-podge of history and mystery with a time travel theme kids find irresistible. No doubt inspired by Osborne's own highly adventurous life, these exiting expeditions have attracted droves of children and pleased educators by combining compulsively readable storytelling with useful facts about geography and history.

As was written of the series in Children's Literature, "Mary Pope Osborne provides nicely paced excitement for young readers, and there's just enough information mixed in so that children will take away some historical fact along with a sense of accomplishment at having completed a chapter book." As much as Osborne has certainly pleased her readers (not to mention their parents and teachers), perhaps no one is quite as pleased as she. "I'm one of those very lucky people who absolutely loves what they do for a living," she explained. "There is no career better suited to my eccentricities, strengths, and passions than that of a children's book author."

Good To Know

A few fascinating outtakes from our interview with Osborne:

"One of the most defining experiences of my life was traveling overland in an old van through the Middle East and Asia in the early 1970's. One day, when a small group of us were camped in a remote part of northern Afghanistan, we saw a woman riding horseback over the sloping plain. Her long brown hair floated on the wind and she wore a bright gypsy-style dress. When she got closer, I realized she was one of my roommates from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill! Though I didn't even know she'd left the U.S.—and she didn't know I was in Afghanistan, we weren't that surprised to come upon each other. That says a lot about the times we were living in then."

"After 26 years of living in New York City, my husband Will and I now spend most of our time in Northwestern Connecticut, living in a house that overlooks a lake. We kayak and hike with our two Norfolk terriers, Joey and Mr. Bezo. Will's learning Italian, and I've been working with a tutor for two years trying to understand Dante's Divine Comedy. One of my biggest hobbies is reading philosophy and theology. We spend lots of time, of course, on our work. After writing three shows for the Morehead Planetarium in North Carolina, Will's writing a musical based on the Magic Tree House series. I'm writing book # 38 in the series. I also spend a lot of time with my sister Natalie Pope Boyce who works on the Magic Tree House Research Guides. Natalie and our nephews and some of our best friends live nearby in the Berkshires Hills of Massachusetts, so we're up there a lot, too. My only complaint is there is not enough time to do all I want to do. For instance, I'd love to take drawing classes and I'd love to paint the lake we're living on. And I'd love to bird watch and become a better cook and learn about classical music. Maybe sometime in the future...."

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

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    Posted May 20, 2012

    Warriors!

    We need more warriors for the Loveclan. Too many kits are being made and there are not enough warriors to teach th young apprentices the ways of the warriors or the ways of the medicine cats. HELP! Before the Loveclan disappears.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted February 19, 2011

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