The Magic Key

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The Magic Key is a series of books published for children as part of the Oxford Reading Tree, from Oxford University Press. The books are written by Roderick Hunt, illustrated by Alex Brychta, and primarily follow the lives of three children, Biff, Chip and Kipper Robinson, their parents and grandmother, and their dog, Floppy. The series was first published in 1985 with a set of 30 stories, and there are now over 300. It is used by more than 80% of schools in the United Kingdom, and has been translated into numerous languages in over 120 different countries.[1] In 2000, it was made into a television series, produced by the BBC.[2]

Audience[edit]

The books are aimed at children from four to the age of nine, and could form part of an English language syllabus in line with the National Curriculum, designed to help children learn to speak and read Standard English.

Adaptations[edit]

The books were developed into a television series consisting of 26 episodes, each featuring a different story, plus helpful hints towards teaching children good use of English.

The series was shown as part of the BBC Schools segments in the morning, then transferred to CBeebies in 2004, and shown during 2004 and 2005. It was also sold on DVD as a whole series.

Characters[edit]

  • Kipper Robinson
  • Biff Robinson
  • Chip Robinson
  • Mum
  • Dad
  • Floppy the dog
  • Gran
  • Wilf and Wilma Page
  • Anneena Patel
  • Nadim Shah
  • Mrs. May

TV tie-in book titles[edit]

  • The Patchworker
  • Troll Talk
  • Tumbleweed Desert
  • The Flying Circus
  • Fabulous Fancy Foods
  • Underwater World
  • The Demon Drill
  • Lug & the Giant Storks

Television series[edit]

The Magic Key
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes26
Production company(s)HIT Entertainment
Collingwood O'Hare

In the television show, Floppy wears a collar around his neck with a golden key upon it. The key is magic, as the title suggests, and seems to do some strange things whenever Floppy wishes for something. It starts to glow and transports the children, Floppy and sometimes their grandmother through a vortex to other worlds, where they have exciting adventures, such as dealing with trolls in an underground cavern, being characters inside a computer game, or finding the Fountain of Youth and when the adventure is done, they get a gift and the key glows and they all go home. In the books the key is kept in a box which opens the door to a dolls house and Floppy does not go on all the adventures.

As well as Biff, Chip and Kipper Robinson, four other children also appear in the stories and occasionally find themselves in the adventures caused by the Magic Key, namely Wilf and Wilma Page, Nadim Shah (whose mother and father own the local corner shop which features in a couple of the stories), and Anneena Patel.

Episodes[edit]

Number Name Publishing date Plot summary
1 HMS Sweet Tooth September 4th 2000
2 Lug & the Giant Storks September 11th 2000
3 The Rook King September 18th 2000
4 Clutterland Band September 25th 2000
5 Troll Talk October 2nd 2000
6 The Patchworker October 9th 2000
7 Code Calling October 16th 2000
8 Zandoodle & the Wheezlebang October 23rd 2000 Labels: Chip, Kipper and Floppy find themselves in a place called Wizworld. When Kipper pulls a cork off of one of the wizards bottles, a whirlwind comes out and turns the Wizards vacuum cleaner into a giant vacuum which sucks up Chip and Floppy! Now It's up to Kipper and the Wizard to stop it before Wizworld becomes barren.
9 Biff of the Jungle October 30th 2000
10 Nadim's Machine November 6th 2000
11 The Flying Circus November 13th 2000
12 Fraser the Eraser November 20th 2000
13 The Anneena Academy November 27th 2000
14 Dragon Land December 4th 2000
15 The Queen of Hearts December 11th 2000
16 Floppy & the Puppies January 8th 2001
17 The Giant & the Knee Nibblers January 15th 2001
18 The Cream Cake Mystery January 22nd 2001
19 Master Hansel & Miss Gretal January 29th 2001
20 The Sound Monster February 5th 2001
21 Tumbleweed Desert February 12th 2001
22 The Stone of Contentment February 19th 2001
23 The Demon Drill February 26th 2001
24 Fabulous Fancy Foods March 5th 2001
25 The Fountain of Youth March 12th 2001
26 Underwater World March 19th 2001

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Series Creators of Oxford Reading Tree, Roderick Hunt MBE and Alex Brychta, receive the prestigious Outstanding Achievement Award in this year's Education Resources Awards" (PDF). Oxford University Press. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
  2. ^ Williams, Elaine (22 September 2000). "TV holds Magic Key". Times Educational Supplement. TSL Education Ltd. Retrieved 18 July 2009.

External links[edit]