Prather’s Pick: A new magic tree house book

Prather's Picks

Kids love the Magic Tree House books, written by Mary Pope Osborne. This week’s column features a brand new book (2020) that’s # 33 in the Magic Tree House series. (There is also the Magic Tree House: Merlin Mission series as well as other books.) This week’s book is illustrated by Ag Ford.

The adventures in “Narwhal on a Sunny Night” teach kids about the narwhals and other whales as well as history of the settling of Greenland, a thousand years ago. A companion book, “Narwhals and Other Whales” is one of the Magic Tree House Fact Tracker books, written by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce.

In this week’s book, two children, Jack and Annie, are sitting on their porch on a warm summer night. Jack is reading “Amazing Facts,” a library book. He tells Annie that the universe may have as many as ten billion trillion stars in it. Both children look up into the sky where the first stars are coming out. That’s when they notice a brightly-glowing cloud right over the Frog Creek woods.

Jack and Annie assure their parents that they will be back in fifteen minutes, in time to watch a movie, and then they leave to check out the cloud. They find that the magic tree house has returned (as it has for many other adventures). “Greenland: the World’s Largest Island,” a book, is on the floor. Inside there’s a black and white map with a huge island colored green. There’s small piece of paper with a poem on it, too.

Part of a rhyme reads: “On your next journey you will land on the shore of an island with icebergs, reindeer, and more.”

Annie says, “I wish we could go there!” and instantly the tree house stats to spin faster and faster. And then, as promised, they land on a shore. The kids find themselves dressed in heavy winter clothes, and Jack’s backpack is now a woolen bag. Inside he finds his notebook and pencil.

The tree house has landed on the shore of an ocean bay. There’s nothing green around, but the kids see mountains all around, water, and lots and lots of ice. Icebergs float in the middle of the bay. There are some seals, too, and a   humpback whale. And then—suddenly—there are narwhals, unicorns of the sea. Their horns are tusks or super-long teeth. The animals look like long tubes with the tusks sticking out. Jack reads from the book. These are mysterious animals that live a long time and cannot live in captivity.

But that’s not all. There’s an orca, a killer whale. A human boy appears, too. He helps the kids rescue a narwhal. The boy is Erikson, and his father is Leif Erikson. Annie and Jack have come to Greenland during the time of the Vikings.

The kids visit the Erikson home but get home just in time for the movie!

This is a great book. You can find it in the children’s room at the Craig branch of Moffat County Libraries with new books.

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