Caramel recently started reading the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne. After reading the first two books and their accompanying Fact Tracker books, he decided that he really really likes the second Fact Tracker book on knights and castles that is meant to accompany Magic Tree House #2: The Knight at Dawn. Below he shares his thoughts on why. Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions when needed.
Sprinkles: What do you want to tell us about this book Caramel?
Caramel: It’s nice. There’s lots of pictures. And it has many many facts. The whole book is full of facts. I like that.
S: Yes, I noticed you like nonfiction a lot. You always make sure to share your favorite facts even in your reviews of fiction books. Why do you like nonfiction?
C: Then I know more about the world. And I like learning new things. My middle name should be Curious!
S: I like that! So what kind of facts did you learn from this book?
C: The knights lived in the Middle Ages.
S: Do you know when that was?
C: Not really.
S: Let us look at the book together!
C: 1300s? Ok, I’m reading from page 14:
“The Middle Ages began about 450 AD. They lasted for over 1000 years.”
That is a long time!
S: Yes it is.
S: What other facts did you find interesting?
C: Let me look. The first castles! I’m reading on page 22:
“The first castles looked more like forts in the Old West than like castles in fairy tales. They were built out of wood. These castles were usually built on a mound of earth called a motte.”
S: Was that one of your favorite facts?
C: Yep. And I learned about tournaments. Then I was curious and wanted to learn more. So I saw a video from the History Channel that showed people fighting with lances today. It’s called jousting. There are men in full armor, on horses, and the horses have armor too. And the men have lances. A lance is a very long stick with a sharp end to poke your enemy with. But in a tournament, it is enough to push your enemy off their horse.
S: Would you want to be in a jousting tournament?
C: I’m a bunny! How would I carry a lance and ride a horse? I’m too small for that.
S: It also kind of looks violent, right?
C: Yes, but there are rules against actually hurting one another. And the horse. You cannot hit the other guy’s horse!
S: That sounds fair. So what else did you like about this book Caramel?
C: I like that the book is all about facts, but sometimes on the sides of the book, there is Jack and Annie from the Magic Tree House books, and they tell us things.
S: Yes, I saw them on the margins too. What kinds of things do they say?
C: Annie for instance says at some point that it wasn’t fair that only boys could be knights. She’s right, of course!
S: Yes, that’s true. Girls couldn’t do many things back then.
C: But today girls can do so much more! They can do anything! The person who wrote the Magic Tree House books is a girl, for example!
S: And she does write really well, doesn’t she?
C: Yes, and I’m looking forward to reading more of her books.