What are your opinions about these two book series for children?
Rainbow Magic - http://www.rainbowmagiconline.com/uk/index.html
The Tiara Club - http://www.tiaraclub.co.uk/
DD is 4, and saw these in the library the other day, got pretty excited about them, and we got two to try out. I think it's supposed to be for grades 1-3 (she's in JK), and these might be too advanced for her, but they do look cute and interesting (I'll admit, I loved looking at the website with her to see all the different kinds of fairies, and their names, and what they represent).
Do your kids read these? What do you like/dislike about them? Are there any other series for pre-schoolers that you can recommend? We usually read story books, but I'm having more trouble lately finding ones that keep her interested and aren't too baby-ish.
Dd loved both those series. I found Tiara Club very strange, there is a lot about being perfect princesses and being nice no matter what. Rainbow Magic I liked better, but they are a little boring to read and since the goblins are boys and the fairies are girls, seemed to give dd the message that boys are scary and not fun to play with.
I haven't found any great alternatives. Some kids like Magic Treehouse but dd never got into them. Secrets of Droon was better, although there is a lot of fighting, might not be as good for a 4 year old. Disney fairy chapter books we both liked, and they also have princess chapter books now.
Yes, I know what you mean about the perfect princess stuff. Not the greatest lesson...
I'll check out Magic Treehouse. The site looks good from my two second peek.
My DD (also a Miriam) and I started reading the RAinbow Magic just shortly after she turned 3. She's just turned 5 now and we are still reading them; but thankfully they are interspersed with a lot of other chapter books. I thought they were a decent introduction to the idea of a chapter book but so so so very formulaic and so so so very boring for me to read. The writing was - acceptable, I'd say, the plots identical, the goblins only a bit scary for a while but even DS who was just past 1 when we started reading them (he got to listen to all of them too!) wasn't very scared.
We've also burned through 40+ Magic Treehouse books, at DS's behest (he started asking for those when he was 2.5 as we had the first 30 thanks to their older cousin). Honestly, not sure I like them that much better. I'm not that fond of the interaction between Jack and Annie (the brother and sister featured in the books). I find the writing to be worse, and they are still very formulaic. They do offer the bonus of having lots of interesting historical and natural settings and fact that my kids enjoy though.
We are now reading an assortment of things; we've read the Sarah, Plain and Tall series which might seem too 'grown-up' in its themes, but they both enjoyed this and even deigned to watch the TV movie, a rarity since they are typically scared of movies. We've read Pippi Longstocking which is somewhat horrifying when read from a politically correct 2011 viewpoint but can be enjoyable if you're young. We've really enjoyed, and I highly recommend, the Canadian Flyer series. This is such an identical idea to the Magic Tree HOuse that I"m not entirely sure how the author hasn't been sued, but I find it so much better. Better written, plot lines less formulaic, bonus for being set in Canada. The interactions between the two main characters, friends Matt and Emily, are much more positive than the brother/sister interaction in MTH. We've also read The Moffatts, The All-of-a-Kind Family, and one of our most recent favourites has been the Anna Hibiscus books by Atinuke. These are great in that they are chapters books but each chapter is a stand-alone story and I also love the fact that they tell the story of a girl growing up in Africa, which is not something my kids would get to hear much about from other chapter books.
I could probably go on about other ones we've tried but I'll stop hear for now!
Right after I posted that, I googled JK and Kindergarten and got some hits that indicated it must be that. For some reason, I've never heard of junior kindergarten, but when I first saw the thread title I was thinking JW when I read JK, and I thought there might be a content restriction, or something.
Haha, sorry for the mixup. No, not JW here. JK is in fact Junior Kindergarten, meaning she's 4 (JK and SK are the pre-grade 1 grades, if that makes sense). I didn't realize that the US doesn't have this.
Thanks for the suggestions, renaissanceed! I'm totally going to add those to my list and see what our library stocks. We've recently read one Magic Treehouse book, which she LOVED (the suspense is the one about the Raven King was great). I know what you mean about all those books being formulaic, and so boring for me, though. But I'll suffer through it, if it means fostering a love of reading. :D