Magic Tree House: Palace of the Dragon King
200 B.C. China during the Han Dynasty. In this Magic Tree House adventure, Jack and Annie visit ancient China at the time of the Dragon King, the first emperor. This trip has rather more substance to it than the usual three or four facts that Jack notes down about his visits – a tribute to the superiority of Chinese civilization at that period. Amongst other things, the children learn about the forced labour used to build the Great Wall of China, silk weaving, something of the Chinese way of life and are nearly trapped inside the emperor’s newly constructed tomb with the famous terracotta army.
Philippe Masson’s illustrations, always good, are particularly evocative here. He has plainly done his homework. He gives us realistic scenes of Chinese rural life, with peasants ploughing fields with oxen; conscripts being rounded up and marched off to build the Great Wall; street market scenes; and some terrific pictures of what’s inside the imperial tomb. For 5 plus.
– Elizabeth Hawksley
I thought the book was very good because everyone helps Jack and Annie to find what they need, which is the old Chinese book. In this story, they are in China where the Dragon King lives. I thought, when I was looking at the pictures with Dad, that the silk weaver was trying to catch Jack and Annie but she was actually trying to help them. I found it really freaky when they got into the Dragon King’s tomb – because I thought there were going to be loads of skeletons instead of knights. But I thought it was very clever that the knights weren’t real, and were painted. I thought it was weird when the silk went out of the bag by itself and showed the children the way to the stairs.
I preferred this book to the others because it had knights in and I liked all the crickets.
– Louis McNulty