Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Magic Tree House Series

UPDATE 4/6/11: There is now a series of books based on the Magic Tree House books, but with a definite Christian slant. Click here to read our reviews of the books in the Imagination Station series.

Almost every school library - and many church libraries - carry Mary Pope Osborne's massively successful Magic Tree House books. As of 2008, the series had sold over 2 million copies. Ideal as a read-t0-me books for preschoolers and early grade school kids, or as illustrated first chapter books for newer readers of about 7 or 8, the books are easy to read, packed with adventure and action, and teach history and natural science in a fun way. There are even go-with, nonfiction research guides to accompany many of the books.

But despite the many positive things about the ever-growing Magic Tree House series, some Christian parents and teachers wonder whether they are appropriate for their kids. To help you determine whether the series is right for your child, school, or church, we (Erin and Kristina) compiled a list of every book currently in the series, along with possible items that might concern some parents.

In no way do we intend to tell you whether or not your kids should read the Magic Tree House books. We both feel reasonable Christian parents may choose to allow their children to read the entire series, part of the series (omitting certain titles that bother you as a parent), or none of the series. It's all a matter of what you are comfortable with.

Instead, we hope this compilation will help you determine which, if any, of the books you think are suitable for your children, saving you from reading them all. (Although they are short, quick books, and we encourage you to read at least one or two to discover for yourself how you feel about them.)

While our list mostly features things in the series we think some parents might not like, please remember each book has its positive features, too. These are fun, educational books that really "hook" many kids into reading. In addition, any features Christians might find particularly positive are underlined.

GENERAL NOTES

*
In the Prefaces (written for those who've not read the other books in the series) of books #4 - 28, Morgan le Fay is mentioned as an "enchantress" and/or a "magical librarian."

* From book #4 onward, those familiar with the original Camelot story may be disturbed to find Morgan le Fay portrayed so positively. Historically, she's an evil character, but in Osborne's books she is benevolent.

* The "Merlin Missions" books (book #29 onward) target a slightly older audience than the original Magic Tree House books. These books are longer and have more complex sentence structures. The overall educational element in many of them isn't as strong, but the magic element is stronger than in books #1 - 28. In the Merlin Missions books, Jack and Annie, the main characters in the books, often rely on magical solutions instead of their own creativity and resourcefulness.

POTENTIAL CONCERNS

#1 Dinosaurs Before Dark: Old earth theory is mentioned when the author states dinosaurs "vanished 60 million years ago." Protagonist Annie says a "magic person" created the "magic tree house."

#2 The Knight at Dawn: Jack says of Annie (his little sister), "I'm going to kill her." In the days of knights, Annie holds up a flashlight and says: "My magic wand! Get down or I'll wipe you out!"

#3 Mummies in the Morning: A prominent character is a ghost needing The Book of the Dead to move on to her next life. A cat leads the kids out of pyramid; Annie says it does this by "magic."

#4 Pirates Past Noon: Refers to parrot as "a magic creature." The bird later turns into Morgan Le Fay. Jack says he's read she's a "witch." She tells him not to believe everything he reads and that she's an "enchantress." She says she put a "spell" on the tree house and that she's turned into animals in all the previous stories in order to help them in their adventures.

#5 Night of the Ninjas: Morgan announces she's under a "spell."

#6 Afternoon on the Amazon: The kids try to free Morgan from a "spell." Annie lists things they've found to break the spell: "Moonstone...Mango..." The author concludes: "It sounded like a spell."

#7 Sunset of the Sabertooth: Morgan is under a "spell." Old earth theory is mentioned. A book the kids read says cave men might "have been led by a sorcerer or 'Master of the Animals.'"

#8 Midnight on the Moon: Mentions the spell over Morgan and the kids say "moonstone, mango, mammoth bone, mouse" over and over until the spell is broken. Merlin is called "the greatest magician who ever lived."

#9 Dolphins at Daybreak: Morgan's magic lets the answer to a riddle appear on a scroll.

#10 Ghost Town at Sundown: Morgan's magic lets the answer to a riddle appear on a scroll. Mentions a "real" ghost met in ancient Egypt and prominently features a cowboy ghost.

#11 Lions at Lunchtime: We found no potentially problematic sections in this book.

#12 Polar Bears Past Bedtime: Morgan sends a dream to an Eskimo so he will help the kids. The Eskimo later says "we always thank the animal spirits." He talks of a ceremony "to honor the spirit of the polar bear." When Jack and Annie copy a polar bear's actions to save their lives, they thank the bear spirit, bowing to the bear, then dancing for him. The author says the Northern lights appear "like a genie coming out of a magic lamp." The kids wonder if the lights are the bear's spirit.

#13 Vacation Under the Volcano: An old woman "soothsayer" can "see into the future." The kids run across a temple built for Jupiter where the author says people "worshiped many gods and goddesses. Today we call these 'myths.'" When it looks like the kids will die in Pompeii, Annie lifts a scroll to the sky and says "Save us, story!" Hercules appears and saves them. Later, Jack looks to the sky and tells Hercules thanks.

#14 Day of the Dragon King: The kids go to ancient China where evil spirits are readily acknowledged. The roofs are curved to ward off spirits who can only travel in straight lines. The kids hide in a burial ground because the guards are afraid of the spirits there. Dragons are said to be brave and powerful. Morgan tells the kids: "In your darkest hour, only the legend will save you." The legend tells of a magical ball of silk, which later shows Jack and Annie the way out of a tomb maze.

#15 Viking Ships at Sunrise: Jack holds up a scroll and says, "Save us, story!" A sea serpent appears and saves them. This book also offers lots of positive info about monks. The author says: "Christian monks in Europe - especially in Ireland - made decorated, or 'illuminated' manuscripts...Scholars today praise the brave Irish monks who helped keep Western civilization alive." In the notes after the story, we learn St. Patrick converted Ireland to Christianity and that monks "made beautiful manuscripts to reflect the glory of God."In the notes after the story, we learn St. Patrick converted Ireland to Christianity and that monks "made beautiful manuscripts to reflect the glory of God."

#16 Hour of the Olympics: One character says the "olive tree is our sacred tree which is why Olympic winners wore a crown of olive leaves." Nike, the goddess of victory, is mentioned. "Most important Olympic god" is said to be Zeus. The kids visit his temple. The athletes, we're told, went to temple and swore to Zeus they'd trained well and would obey rules of the games. Plato is a central character in this book and is called "one of the greatest thinkers who ever lived."

#17 Tonight on the Titanic: Features a dog that's "under a spell." Annie says of the dog: "I think he has a touch of magic." The kids are described as "good luck," similar to a good luck charm. The author references "legend," saying musicians played until the ship went down and their last song was "Nearer My God to Thee."

#18 Buffalo Before Breakfast: A dog is under a spell. A lady in white appears and disappears, saving the kids from Bison stampede. She's described as a "spirit" or "ghost" and a "messenger of the Great Spirit." Smoking a pipe to join with "the Great Spirit" is mentioned and the Great Spirit is called "the source of all things." One character says: "There are many [spirits]...wind spirits, tree spirits, bird spirits...Sometimes they can be seen. Sometimes not." Praying to the Great Spirit is also mentioned. Annie says: "The Great Spirit won't ever vanish...It will always take care of Black Hawk's people." After the story, information on the legend of the woman in white is given. In the notes after the story, the author states "the U.S. Army was at war with the Native Americans of the plains. They knew the Native American way of life could not survive without bison. So they decided to kill all the herds." However, killing bison was never official policy of the Army - although it's true some Army officers felt it better to kill the bison than to have the Indians survive on them, others went out of their way to ensure the safety of bison.

#19 Tigers at Twilight: A dog is "under a spell." The kids wonder how a blind man could know so much that seems to require vision; Annie says: "The one great voice of the forest told him." Notes at the back of book talk about Hinduism and one of its goddesses.

#20 Dingoes at Dinnertime: The dog is still "under a spell." The kids find a glowing cave painting of a snake and two human hands. When rain comes and ends a wildfire shortly afterward, Annie says it was "magic...The glowing hands and the snake...somehow they brought the storm." Later, they receive piece of bark as a gift - it has the same painting. They learn the Aborigines' "Rainbow Serpent" sends rain. The "magic snake" supposedly also created the world and ceremonies for it are mentioned. Morgan says "there is mystery, magic, and wisdom in the traditions of ancient peoples." Spells and Morgan's spell book are mentioned. An Aborigine legend of the creation of Australia is presented in the notes after story.

#21 Civil War on Sunday: Annie calls a flash in the woods "magic." (Jack calls it lightening.)

#22 Revolutionary War on Wednesday: Prologue mentions spells.

#23 Twister on Tuesday: Prologue mentions spells.

#24 Earthquake in the Early Morning: Prologue mentions spells. King Arthur asks if the kids are magic. They say they are not, but that Morgan is.

#25 Stage Fright on a Summer Night: Prologue mentions spells. Morgan tells the kids they are "going to learn magic." Annie asked if they are going to become magicians: "Will you teach us charms and spells?" Morgan says: "There is a magic that does not need charms or spells...You'll find a special magic on each of your next adventures...To find a special magic,/You must step into the light/And without wand, spell, or charm,/Turn daytime into night." In this case, she is speaking of the magic of the theatre. Annie steals a bear, wanting to save him from a bear fight. Later, Shakespeare pays for the bear.

#26 Good Morning Gorillas: Jack and Annie use "the magic of sign language" to communicate with wild gorillas.

#27 Thanksgiving on Thursday: Jack and Annie discover the "magic of community" and Squanto tells them to "be kind to those who feel different and afraid." Osborne explains, "[some pilgrims] wanted freedom to worship God in their own way...not the way the king of England made them." There is no mention of Christianity, specifically, and Osborne notes other pilgrims just wanted a chance at a new life.

#28 High Tide in Hawaii: Prologue says Jack and Annie will "learn the art of magic." (The magic of friendship, as it turns out). Hawaii is said to have "formed millions of years ago." A native is said to chant to a volcano goddess. (In the notes after story, we learn a bit more about the goddess.) The kids are declared "Magicians of Everyday Magic" because they've learned about the magic of theatre, animals, community, and friendship. They've "learned to find the magic in thing you encounter on earth every day."

#29 Christmas in Camelot: No mention is made of the Jesus or Christian traditions. Instead, Mordred's Dark Wizard places a spell over Camelot, robbing it of joy. The Christmas Knight asks the kids to go to the Otherworld, "an ancient, enchanted land beyond the edge of the earth....where magic first began."

#30 Haunted Castle on Hallow's Eve: The letter from author mentions "Merlin the magician." Annie contemplates being a vampire for Halloween and Jack is about to dress up as a ghoul. The kids are called "Magicians of Everyday Magic." A castle haunted by invisible ghosts and a magic diamond are central to the story. Jack and Annie visit the castle with Teddy, a "young sorcerer" whose parents were an enchanter and a "wood sprite from the Otherworld." Their friend Teddy uses a hazel twig and rhymes to cast a spell. The kids also use twig to turn the Raven King (half raven and half man, due to a misspoken spell) entirely into a raven. Jack lies to the Raven King to try to save Teddy and Teddy lies to Merlin about having a magic twig. In notes after story, author talks of "sacred stones."

#31 Summer of the Sea Serpent: Takes place on Summer Solstice. Jack and Annie meet Kathleen, a "selkie" (a girl who can change into a seal). She uses "magic" rhymes to change them into seals and back into children. Fog is referred to as the "Cloak of the Gray Ghost."

#32 Winter of the Ice Wizard: Takes place on Winter Solstice. A scene where the Ice Wizard replaces his eye is a bit gruesome. He traded his eye to the sisters of fate (also known as the Fates in Greek myth, or the Norns in Norse myth). The Fates are described as witches, "skinny as skeletons, with straggly hair, long noses, huge, bulging eyes, and . . .crooked, bony fingers." The kids use a wind string to control the wind, and the Ice Wizard uses Merlin's staff to change two wolves back into Merlin and Morgan.

#33 Carnival by Candlelight: This book begins with a quote from a Lord Byron poem mentioning the "stroke of the enchanter's wand." Morgan thinks Jack and Annie may be ready "to use magic on your own," but Merlin is cautious about "sharing magical powers with mortals." Teddy and Kathleen make the kids a book of magic spells to use. They also use magic rings to move in and out of time and space. At the Carnival in Venice, Jack and Annie run into a tall woman - who turns out to be a man in costume. Some Roman mythology mentioned, including the gods Mars and Neptune; one person they meet seems to treat Neptune like a real god, not a myth, and the kids bring Neptune to life by imagining him. Annie reads a spell to get them out of a dungeon: "Iron or copper, brass or steel, Bree-on-saw! Bro-on-beel!" Later, they say a similar rhyme to bring a winged lion statue to life.

#34 Season of the Sandstorms: The kids use a spell book with nonsensical rhymes three times - once to find helpers, once to take a flying carpet ride (a la Arabian Nights), and once to repair a book. Annie lies extensively about where the kids are from. When the kids hear a strange whistling sound in the dessert, the ruler of Baghdad tells them: "Some say it is magic...But I believe that all things in have their reasons..." Annie is disappointed it's not magic. Aristotle is called "one of the greatest philosophers of all time" and the kids work hard to protect his "wise" writings for the world.

#35 Night of the New Magicians: The kids must find the secret of success of four well-known "magicians" before an evil sorcerer (Merlin in disguise) does. The "magicians" are Thomas Edison, the "magician of light," Gustave Eiffel, the "magician of iron," Louis Pasteur, the "magician of the invisible," and Alexander Graham Bell, the "magician of sound." The kids pass a model of a Buddhist temple and a model of a Muslim mosque. Jack and Annie use two spells: One to make their bicycle spin into the air ("Whirl and twirl and swirl and spin/tee-roll-eye-bee-eye-ben"); a similar spell makes Merlin disappear to his own time.

#36 Blizzard of the Blue Moon: Jack and Annie are given a book of spells as they try to find the unicorn Dianthus, who is a source of magic in the Underworld. She is in a 15th century tapestry hanging in the Cloisters. The kids use three spells in this book, using nonsense words. Jack and Annie are given a magic wand shaped like Dianthus' horn.

#37 Dragon of the Red Dawn: Teddy and Kathleen, young "enchanters," have magic blue rings to transport them from place to place. When Tokyo goes up in flames, the kids use the magic wand of Dianthus to summon the Cloud Dragon to make rain fall and put the fire out.

#38 Monday with a Mad Genius: Leonardo da Vinci mentions his theory that fossils were created by the earth being flooded "eons ago." Annie uses the wand of Dianthus to "make us fly like birds." Later, da Vinci tells Annie he could never fly before because he was missing the "spirit" of the bird. Da Vinci tells kids the secret to happiness is curiosity.

#39 Dark Day in the Deep Sea: Morgan believes "four is the magic number that will ensure success." The kids use the wand of Dianthus to make some scientists experimenting on animals "hear the truth." After using the wand, the sailors hear an octopus say, "Let me go home. I'm no monster." The secret of happiness is to "conquer fears by having compassion for all living creatures."

#40 Eve of the Emperor Penguin: Jack and Annie use the wand of Dianthus to find the fourth secret of happiness. Jack asks the wand to "save Merlin, Annie and me." Old Earth theory is used to explain the development of Antarctica as a continent. Annie and Jack lie about their reasons for being on an expedition for adults. The secret of happiness is to care for others who need you.

#41 Moonlight on the Magic Flute: Enchanters Teddy and Kathleen give Jack and Annie a magic flute. It can save them from danger and whatever they sing while it is playing will come true. They use it to save Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart from a leopard and lead the rest of the zoo animals back to their cages. Annie calls Jack a "dummy," but later apologizes.

#42 A Good Night for Ghosts takes place on the Eve of All Saints day (Halloween). Jack's research book says the Eve of All Saints is a good night for ghost sightings. Jack and Annie take shelter, with Louis Armstrong, in a haunted blacksmith shop in segregated New Orleans. The ghosts of ten pirates haunt them, but Annie plays a magic trumpet and Jack sings, and the ghosts leave.

#43 Leprechaun in Late Winter: Jack and Annie use a magic Irish whistle and a meet with a leprechaun. The magic whistle transports a central character to the Shee (Irish for faeries) in an enchanted forest. They see many animals who are said to be people under spells. The faerie queen tells of the faerie's origins, as the tribe of the Tuatha de Danaan.

#44 A Ghost Tale for Christmas Time: Jack and Annie help a discouraged Charles Dickens find inspiration to write A Christmas Carol. When Jack plays a magical violin, three ghosts appear out of the mist and remind Dickens of his childhood. These ghosts make Dickens see the value of writing and form the basis for the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come in A Christmas Carol.

#45 A Crazy Day with Cobras: Teddy, a young enchanter from Camelot, has accidentally turned Merlin's prized penguin into stone. He asks Jack and Annie to help him recover four objects to reverse the spell. To find the first item, they travel to India, to see the Great Mogul who built the Taj Mahal. While there, they drink a potion to become smaller, in order to escape a king cobra and find their lost emerald rose.

# 46 Dogs in the Dead of the Night: Jack and Annie must find a flower in Switzerland, to help break the spell that has turned Merlin's penguin to stone. While in the Alps, they are rescued from an avalanche by Saint Bernard dogs from a monastery. Later, the children drink a potion, and become St. Bernard dogs for an hour. Nothing specifically Christian is mentioned about the monastery, but Jack learns to balance worry and responsibility.

#47 Abe Lincoln at Last: Jack and Annie are still trying to rescue Merlin's pet penguin. In order to break the spell, they must help Abe Lincoln as a young boy, and later encourage him on the eve of the Civil War. Jack and Annie are told they must "trust the magic" when they drink a potion. They also learn that sometimes sad things happen, but they will eventually make sense--if not in this world, "maybe in a world beyond this world."



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23 comments:

Barbara Cumming said...

What an AWESOME ministry and a great resource! I decorate cakes and have been asked to make a "Magic Treehouse," and I'm so thankful to have come across your website! THANK-YOU!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this review, it is very useful!!!

Milwaukee Christian Magician said...

I just happened upon this page, and the series looks fun. The potential concerns listed are worth noting though. Obviously, I perform "magic" for a living and do so in many churches each year -- parring the illusions with object lessons to present a Biblical truth.

Mixing "real" magic and evolution into a story to present truth seems like it could be confusing though.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for these reviews; I have had concerns about these books which are mandatory reading in my children's school, but no one would believe me. I picked up one of the early books in the series and noted Annie's comment to Jack as a large rabbit runs by "...that's a sign that Morgan's nearby...". In medieval symbolism the hare running was the sign of the presence of a witch. Just that one reference showed me this author sure knows what she's doing. Our kids are being fed this symbolism in a deceptively innocent context; parents have to ask, "What is the motive here and do my kids have to be manipulated?"

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this site. My daughter recently started reading this series for a class in a Christian co-op. I took for granted the content was reviewed and approved to be age and content appropriate.

However, last night she read a sentence in The Knight at Dawn #2 on page 14 - which stated, "You're nuts". Tonight she started to read Chapter 4 on page 24, and the first sentence *which was noted in your review* was "I'm going to kill her".

I am shocked by the content. I appreciate the time you have taken to forewarn us on the upcoming books.

Leslie Stander said...

Thank you so much! This is really a wonderful resource to which I will refer often and will forward to my friends. Bless you!!

Kimberley said...

Thank you SO, SO much for this. My daughter brought the book back to her teacher after checking it out from her school library and the teacher asked for a note from me explaining WHY I believe it's considered magic!!

Michelle Sherlin said...

WOW!!! I so wish I had stumbled upon this site a long time ago. My 8 year old avid reader in enamoured with ANY Magic Tree house series book and this is super super helpful!!! Thank YOU!! I wonder where I can find a similar story series with less "magic" in it! I will skim your site! Thanks again!

Kristina Seleshanko said...

Thank you for the great response to this post. Please keep your eyes open here at Christian Children's Book Review, because next month a new series will be released that's very much like the Magic Tree House series but with a Christian slant.

Kathy in Rockford, IL said...

Wow! Thank you so much for offering this website! My son is 7 and has been bringing these books home from the school library (a great private Christian school). I would try to read the books before my son finished them and they had to go back, but didn't always get to it. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! Now I can feel confident in helping him decide which ones in the series will be the best to buy or check out. The books are fantastic for creating an excitement for reading, which I love, but I never wanted to blindly build our library. I can't say thank you enough...and I will definitely recommend this website to friends. :o)

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful blessing you are to all of the thoughtful, concerned parents who felt uncomfortable but didnt quite know how to address it as anything legitimate! We really appreciate the time and research you put into this! My husband and I will not have these books in our home. Mysticism is rampant in this world,and though we are in this world we dont have to be of it! Ive just got to find an alternative now...

Kristina Seleshanko said...

Anonymous, be sure to check out the Imagination Station series; at the top of this page, there is a link to our reviews of this similar-to The Magic Treehouse set of books.

Anonymous said...

While these books may have some concerns, they can also be an awesome tool in teaching your child between right and wrong. Children need to be taught how to defend their faith on a daily basis. What better way than to teach them from a children's book series! Media puts all sorts of things out there in front of our children. (Video games, Disney movies, PBS television, computer games etc...) It is the parent's job to teach them right from wrong. Speaking from experience, I sheltered my oldest child too much and she wasn't ready to defend her faith in high school.

by Mama B said...

Thanks. I'm going to look into the Imagination Station books. My son is an early reader, and at 6 I'm not interested in bogging him down with explanations about why what he's reading is fun but wrong.

Anonymous said...

This is a series called The MAGIC Treehouse Books. Obviously, one should expect the presence if magic in the series. Commenters above, why are you surprised that there are magical elements in these books?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: I don't think people are surprised by there being magic in these books. Clearly there would be. I think it's more a question (for me at least) as to HOW the magic is portrayed and what worldview I want my children to subtly be picking up. For example, there is magic in The Chronicles of Narnia, but I have no problem with my children reading those. C.S. Lewis was a christian and his life glorified the Lord. An author's worldview can't help but come out in their writing, even if just subtly. I was not so sure about these books though, and now I'm glad I didn't get them.

CCBR: THANK YOU SO MUCH for this review. My kids are avid readers and I find it difficult to stay ahead of them in finding books I feel are appropriate for their maturity level. Keep up the good work! Very much appreciated!

Anonymous said...

I agree with a previous post that stated AWESOME MINISTRY. So helpful...my 5 year old is amazing with one book and I was uncomfortable it the theme. This definitely settles it....on to more Christian based literature.

Holly said...

This week I read Thanksgiving on Thursday to determine if it was appropriate for my 5 year old. In this story, Jack and Annie lie, and Squanto lies/decieves on their behalf. What was most disturbing about this is the way it was dealt with in the story. As the reader, you are rooting for their lies to be believed, and releived when Squanto lies for them. Their lies are necessary for the story to continue, and therefore are seen as good. Squanto implies there is a distinction between deceiving and lying - that although he deceived he did not lie, and what he did is depicted as a good act. This is not a concept I want to introduce to my kids at a formative age. We can discuss similar themes - such as the ethical dilemma of Christians hiding Jews from Hitler's army - when they are older. For now, I prefer to stick with the importance of being truthful.

Anonymous said...

As a Christian and a home educator, I do not see a problem with these books. My kids LOVE the plot and learn a lot from these stories. I use the less then Christ like words in each book As a biblical learning opportunity. When the book mentions magic, I pause and teach about what the bible says about that issue. Happy reading

Anonymous said...

I would like to point out that Jack also says "I'm going to kill her" in the first book, not just the second. We would have been happy to read these aloud to our kids as we could deal with these issues (or skip a line) as they came up. But as our daughter, 5yo, would now be reading them alone, we are going to skip. We have enough trouble with sibling fighting without giving them new lines to say!

Anonymous said...

I find it amusing that some of you are upset about the "I'm going to kill her" comment, when the bible is full of infanticide, child killing, and masses of races being slaughtered in the name of god. And you're upset about a little magic that incorporates history along with fiction in order to get children interested in learning and reading. Not to mention the fact of countless acts of 'magic' in the bible. But...that's ok, suurrrre.

Anonymous said...

I too have a huge problem with Jack saying, "I'm going to kill her". It appears in more than one book and several times in book 2. When I read these books to my kids I skip over many lines, especially ones like these. There's NO NEED to teach kids one more nasty thing to say. And there's no need to teach kids how to be so exasperated that all they can think of is killing someone. (especially in this day and age when kids are seeings tragic examples of other kids bringing guns to school actually killing people!!) I also don't like Jack's eye rolling and impatience with Annie, which occur throughout the series.

Anonymous said...

It sure sounds like the series presents so much relativism; it disturbs me that the idea of God is being mixed with other spirits, and all are depicted as sort of being true on the same level. Add to that the magic elements, and this sounds like a lot to wade through with a child. The fun and entertaining factor make it even more difficult; we are a culture that often values entertainment above truth, and entertainment then often becomes our truth. While the Bible mentions magic and whatnot, it is not for entertainment value; it is for the purpose of showing how destructive and contrary to God's ways such things are.