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Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #31: China – Land of the Emperor’s Great Wall

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Title: Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #31: China – Land of the Emperor’s Great Wall

Author: Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce

Publisher: Random House Children’s Books

Number of pages: 128

Type of Book: Non-Fiction

Age: 8+

Buy it here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/magic-tree-house-fact-tracker-31-mary-pope-osborne/1119054505?ean=9780385386357; http://www.randomhousekids.com/books/detail/236086-magic-tree-house-fact-tracker-31-china-land-of-the-emperors-great-wall?isbn=9780385386357

Price: $5.99

MY SUMMARY

This book is the 31st in the Magic Tree House series, an adventure series that takes siblings, Jack and Annie on exciting journeys through time to discover the wonders of the world. Read my review of the first book in this series, Dinosaurs Before Dark here. This book is the non-fiction companion to Magic Tree House #14: Day of the Dragon King. In #14, siblings Jack and Annie visit China during the reign of the Dragon King. This book provides background information to #14. It offers a wealth of information on Chinese history. Readers learn that the Dragon King, Qin Shihuandi united all the states/cities in China and became its first Emperor. He had a burial ground the size of a small city. He was buried with 8,000 terra cotta soldiers to guard his tomb, war chariots, terra cotta horses and lots of weapons (swords, spears and cross bars). Readers also learn how the Chinese invented paper and silk (and refused to share the secret of silk production for about 2,000 years!) This book also introduces readers to the great Chinese Dynasties, philosophers, festivals and the Chinese Language. Does your child know that Mandarin, the official language in China, (and not English) is the most widely spoken language in the world?

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: Everything!! This book could easily have been titled, ‘All You Need to Know About China for Kids’. I loved absolutely everything about it. It’s a valuable resource/ reference tool on all things China for kids (adults too!) with all sorts of information ranging from Chinese festivals (New Year, Moon, Kite, Dragon Boat, etc.) to delicacies (rice, frog legs, chicken feet, etc.) and inventions (paper, silk, tea bag, porcelain, compass).

It’s filled with fun facts, photographs and illustrations. It also provides pronunciation guides for some Chinese words e.g. Xie Xie (SHE – ah SHE – ah) meaning ‘Thank You’. The book also has some pointers on how to conduct research in libraries, museums and using books and the internet! I cannot say how much I love this series. I HIGHLY recommend this book for boys and girls between the age of 7 and 12. The Magic Tree House series has sold more than 100 million books world wide! A testament to its value.

DOWN: None!!!!! 

RATING

5 Stars

TRIVIA

  1. What percentage of the world’s population lives in China? 20%.
  2. Chinese rulers and Egyptian Pharaohs have this in common? They are buried with things they would need for the afterlife such as weapons, food, clothes, jewelry, etc.
  3. China is about the size of ……? The USA!
  4. This has formed a basic part of the Chinese diet for thousands of years: Rice
  5. The most famous Chinese Philosopher?
  6. Fast facts about the Great Wall of China: The first wall was built by the first Emperor of China. It took 12 years to complete and it was 1,500 miles long. 400,000 men died while building this wall. It was also called ‘The Cemetery Wall’. The Great Wall was built in the 16th Century and it is 5,500 miles long.

Visit Jack and Annie here: www.magictreehouse.com

Look inside: http://insight.randomhouse.com/widget/v2/?width=600&isbn=9780385386357&author=OSBORNE%2C%20MARY%20POPE&title=China%3A%20Land%20of%20the%20Emperor%26%2339%3Bs%20Great%20Wall

CHALLENGE: Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #31: China – Land of the Emperor’s Great Wall

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Write a 600-word essay on any of the following: a. Chinese Terra-cotta Soldiers, b. The Great Wall of China, c. The Chinese New Year (8 – 9 year olds)

OR

  1. Write a 1000-word essay on any of the following: a. Confucius, b. The Himalayas, c. The Dragon King (10-12 year olds)

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 8-12 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book. Answers must be submitted before 12:00am on Sunday, June 26th 2016.

 

I hope you enjoyed reading today’s post.

Xie Xie

 

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Title: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Author: William Shakespeare

Publisher: Usborne Publishing

Number of pages: 64

Type of Book: Fiction, Classic, Play

Age: 4 – 8

Buy it here: http://product.chelisbookazine.com/product/a-midsummer-nights-dream-young-reading-series-2/; https://www.amazon.co.uk/Midsummer-Nights-Dream-Usborne-readers/dp/0746063334/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1464543391&sr=1-2&keywords=a+midsummer+nights+dream+usborne;  Free Download here: http://shakespeare.mit.edu/midsummer/full.html

Price: N580; 4.99GBP

MY SUMMARY

This play has four interconnecting plots/stories.

  1. The Duke of Athens, Theseus is about to marry the Amazon Queen, Hippolyta whom he has just conquered in battle. He orders four days of festivities to celebrate his impending marriage.
  2. Hermia, daughter of Egeus, an Athenian, refuses to marry Demetrius (against her father’s wishes) because she loves Lysander. Egeus asks the Duke to sentence her to death, based on an ancient Athenian law that requires a daughter to marry a suitor approved by her father or face death. Meanwhile, Helena, Hermia’s friend loves Demetrius. So basically, Helena loves Demetrius who loves Hermia who loves Lysander (Yes, Shakespeare has a thing for love triangles, rectangles and all)
  3. Oberon, the King of Fairies wants to take his wife Titania’s ward as a page but Titania refuses. Angry, he puts a magic potion (juice from a flower) on her eyes to make her fall in love with the first creature she sees when she wakes up. His plan: watch her fall in love with an animal in the forest and then shame her into giving him the young boy.
  4. A group of actors, the Mechanicals, is contracted to perform a play during the Duke’s wedding however, they do not know the first thing about acting so they retire to the forest to practice.

The play is set in the enchanted forest. After the Duke Theseus rules that Hermia must marry Demetrius, face death or become a nun, she decides to elope with Lysander and they find their way to the enchanted forest. Helena learns of this plan and tells Demetrius who gives chase. Helena in turn runs after Demetrius. Oberon spies Helena running after Demetrius and feeling pity for her decides to give Demetrius the magic juice from the flower to make him fall in love with Helena. He enlists the help of Puck a mischievous fairy who mistakenly puts the juice on Lysander’s eyes. Lysander wakes up to see Helena and promptly falls in love with her. An enraged Oberon attempts to correct Puck’s mistake, so the juice is administered on Demetrius who also falls in love with Helena. Of course chaos erupts as suddenly both men who entered the forest loving Hermia now love Helena. Meanwhile, the same mischievous Puck, turns the head of one of the Mechanicals, Bottom, into a donkey’s head causing his fellow actors to abandon him. Queen Titania, wakes up after the juice has been spread over her eyes and falls in love with Bottom. J

Read the story to find out how all fours stories/plots were resolved.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: Humour! Puck, the mischievous, was the major highlight. He made this book fun and made me laugh out loud a couple of times. Watch out especially for the part where Queen Titania wakes up and starts professing undying love to Bottom, the donkey-headed man! I loved this story a lot as a child (even though it took a while for me to GET it!) This book however, is much better than the one I read as a child. It is easy to read and not as long.

DOWN: It may be a tad confusing for 4-6 year olds because of the interconnecting plots plus the fact that the play seems to be riddled with characters.

RATING

4 Stars

TRIVIA

  1. This play is one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Read the story here (the original version): http://shakespeare.mit.edu/midsummer/full.html
  2. Visit William Shakespeare here: http://www.shakespeare-online.com

CHALLENGE: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

 CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

1. Read the information above, then answer the following questions (6-8 year olds)

  • This little person caused a lot of trouble in this story?
  • Is there a play-within-a play in this story?
  • Who is Oberon?

OR

2. Draw and colour a man with a donkey’s head (4-5 year olds)

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 4 – 8 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book.

Answers must be submitted before 12:00am on Thursday, June 2nd 2015.

Next Book of the Week:

MY NIGERIA: People, Places and Culture by Constance Omowumi Kola-Lawal

 

 

 

 

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Wangari’s Trees of Peace

March 3rd is Wangari Maathai Day/Africa Environment Day.

Wangari Maathai was the first woman to earn a Doctorate degree in East Africa and the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize but she’s best remembered as the woman who motivated Kenyan women to plant over 300 million trees in Kenya. Wangari’s Trees of Peace tells Wangari’s story in a simple way making it quite easy for children to read.

Africa Environment Day was established by the Organization for African Unity (OAU) to raise awareness about the environmental problems in Africa.

To commemorate this day, we have changed the book of the week to Wangari’s Trees of Peace. The Emperor’s New Clothes will be reviewed next week.

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Title: Wangari’s Trees of Peace

Author: Jeanette Winter

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Number of pages: 32

Type of Book: Creative Non-Fiction; Contemporary, Series

Age: 4 – 8

Buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/Wangaris-Trees-Peace-Story-Africa/dp/0152065458

Price: $15.07

MY SUMMARY

Wangari grew up near Mount Kenya. There were lots of trees and different types of birds to see everyday. She had the typical rural African childhood. She went to the farm, to plant and harvest sweet potatoes, maize, etc.; she fetched firewood for cooking, etc. Wanagari loved Kenya. But she had to leave because she got a scholarship to study in the United States.

When Wangari returned, many years later, there were no more trees in and around her home. She was worried that Kenya would become a dessert since people were cutting down trees without planting new ones.

Read the book to find out how Wangari saved Kenya from becoming a dessert and how she grew millions of trees in a few years.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: It’s an inspiring story and will help children see that one person can make a difference in the world.

DOWN: It has a bit of violence: “They hit her with clubs” and this line is followed by an image of people hitting a lady with clubs and droplets of blood falling from her forehead.

RATING

5 Stars

TRIVIA

  • Wangari used these to change the world around her. Trees! 

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

Team the reading experience with a visit to http://www.greenbeltmovement.org/wangari-maathai to learn more about Wangari Maathai.

CHALLENGE: Wangari’s Trees of Peace

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  • Plant a seedling in a garden at home or in school this week. Write a short 300 word essay on the planting process and take a picture (7-8 year olds)

OR

  • Draw (and name) two trees you see everyday. (4-6 year olds)

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 4 – 8 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book.

Answers must be submitted before 12:00am on Wednesday, March 9th 2016.

Next Book of the Week:

THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES by Hans Christian Andersen