Many Magic Tree House books now have a companion, nonfiction research guide meant to expand on the information in the adventure book. Teachers often employ them in the classroom. This one is called "Leprechauns and Irish Folklore" and is written by Mary Pope Osborne's big sister, Natalie Pope Boyce, with Osborne consulting. Explore LI Kids talked to Boyle from her home in Stockbridge, Mass.
WHAT IS THE REASON FOR THE RESEARCH GUIDES?
"We are really striving all the time to give children the idea that nonfiction is as exciting as fiction."
WHAT'S ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTING THINGS YOU LEARNED FROM WRITING THEM?
"That polar bears can cross 3-inch-thick ice by flattening out their bodies and redistributing their weight. That is just an amazing thing."
WHAT'S IT LIKE WORKING WITH A SISTER?
"We get along very well. We both have different privileges. I have the older sister privileges that were established when we were born. She has the younger sister privileges of doing this for many years. I really listen to her carefully."
WHAT'S THE HARDEST PART OF WRITING THE GUIDES?
"The biggest challenge is trying to simplify extremely difficult concepts, such as trying to explain how a tsunami builds up with a third- to fifth-grade vocabulary."