Monday, February 11, 2008

Carnival at Candlelight

At first I was not sure whether or not I would enjoy reading Carnival at Candlelight. I was convinced that it would just be some corny story of a make believe adventure of two children. I am happy to say that I was proved wrong and I can understand why it is so popular among children today.

I specifically like the fact that it encourages children to use their imaginations even when they might think it won't work. There was a theme of being patient that I also noticed throughout the book. With the way our society is now, everything is so fast paced and hectic. We live in a 'fast food' society where our wonderful technology advancements, as helpful as they may be, have us trained to expect gratification in an minutes time... or less! The children in the book got ahead of themselves a couple of times, but then had to re-trace their steps. Patience is a big thing and children would benefit greatly from learning this practice early on.

When I was trying to figure out how to incorporate this Magic Tree House series into the classroom, I visited the Magic Tree House Web site. There is a link for the Merlin Missions books within the series and on that page is a link to print out your own passport. I am a big traveler myself, so when I found this it really caught my attention. Children can print out their own 'Official Magic Tree House Passport' and collect stamps to put in it after they complete a book in the series. If you click on any of the books listed on the site it will take you to a page that tells a little about the book itself with a short quiz underneath. After answering the questions on the quiz correctly it will give you a link to a stamp you can print out for your passport. This would be a great way to motivate the children to read more of the books.

Throughout the book it gave little definitions and facts about people and places in the story. It helped the two children in getting through their adventure and also allowed the reader to have more insight as to where they were and what it might be like. I enjoyed reading through them and learning a little bit about Venice myself. Overall this book was very enjoyable and I hope to read more of them in the future!

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