Country of origin
No. of episodes
No. of seasons
The Magic Key by Sandra Timms
HIT EntertainmentCollingwood O'Hare
The Patchworker, Fabulous Fancy Foods, Fraser the Eraser, Lug & the Giant Storks, Floppy and the Puppies
Oxford reading tree stage5 the magic key
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. Additional characters such as their parents, their grandmother and their dog, Floppy, appear in the books, but may sometimes appear once or not at all in certain books
- Oxford reading tree stage5 the magic key
- TV tie in book titles
- Television series
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. In 2000, it was made into a television series, produced by the BBC.
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.
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 video as a whole series. It currently airs on JimJam every late at night from 1 December to 30 April each year. There are two versions; the original 14 minute version with the helpful hints of teaching children good use of English and the edited 10 minute version without them, which is often seen on JimJam, most likely to avoid wasting time and to fit their timeslot.
TV tie-in book titles
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 transports the children and sometimes their grandmother, 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. 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.
- HMS Sweet Tooth- 4 September 2000
- Lug & the Giant Storks- 11 September 2000
- The Rook King- 18 September 2000
- Clutterland Band- 25 September 2000
- Troll Talk- 2 October 2000
- The Patchworker- 9 October 2000
- Code Calling- 16 October 2000
- Zandoodle & the Wheezlebang- 23 October 2000
- Biff of the Jungle- 30 October 2000
- Nadim's Machine- 6 November 2000
- The Flying Circus- 13 November 2000
- Fraser the Eraser- 20 November 2000
- The Anneena Academy- 27 November 2000
- Dragon Land- 4 December 2000
- The Queen of Hearts- 11 December 2000
- Floppy And The Puppies- 8 January 2001
- The Giant And The Knee Nibblers- 15 January 2001
- The Cream Cake Mystery- 22 January 2001
- Mister Hansel And Miss Gretel- 29 January 2001
- The Sound Monster- 5 February 2001
- Tumbleweed Desert- 12 February 2001
- The Stone of Contentment- 19 February 2001
- The Demon Drill- 26 February 2001
- Fabulous Fancy Foods- 5 March 2001
- The Fountain of Youth- 12 March 2001
- Underwater World- 19 March 2001