The Magic School Bus (book series)

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The Magic School Bus is a series of children's books about science, written by Joanna Cole and illustrated by Bruce Degen. They feature the antics of Ms. Valerie Frizzle and her class, who board a sentient anthropomorphic Type A school bus which takes them on field trips to impossible locations, including the solar system, clouds, the past, and the human body. The books are written in the first person from the point of view of an unnamed student in "the Friz's" class. The class pet Liz, a lizard, accompanies the class on their field trips.

Since the Magic School Bus books present scientific facts in the form of stories in which fantastic things happen (for example, the bus turns into a spaceship, or children shrink to the size of blood cells), each book has a page at the end detailing in a humorous manner which parts of the book represented scientific fact and which were fanciful storytelling.

History[edit]

Craig Walker, vice-president and senior editorial director at Scholastic Co., stated that the concept began with the idea of combining science with fictional stories, and Joanna Cole (who had written both science and humor before) and Bruce Degen were then approached with creating such a series. Walker also states that his own memories of school field trips and of a teacher he had once, served as further inspiration.[1]

The first book "At the Waterworks" was written in 1985 and published the following year.

Cole and Degen started a new series called Ms. Frizzle's Adventures in 2001, which teaches social studies. There are now three books in that series. Microsoft Home started publishing Magic School Bus software in 1994.

Scholastic Entertainment, the American Meteorological Society and the Children's Museum of Houston created a Scholastics the Magic School Bus Kicks Up a Storm, a 2,600 sq ft (240 m2). traveling exhibit funded in part by the National Science Foundation, which premiered at the Children's Museum of Houston in 2003 (a copy of it opened in New Jersey the month after that).[2]

Characters[edit]

In the original books, Ms. Frizzle's class had a larger number of students (or "characters") and consisted of Tim, Arnold, Ralph (changed to "Ralphie" on the show and later books in this series), Dorothy Ann, Wanda, Phoebe, John, Carmen, Gregory, Amanda-Jane, Florrie, Shirley, Michael, Phil, Molly, Rachel, Alex, Carlos, and Keesha (19 students). Phoebe was first introduced in the 1987 book, The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth, and Carlos and Keesha were added in the 1994 book, The Magic School Bus In the Time of Dinosaurs.

The homework assignments of all the students were seen in the books. In the TV series, these assignments were included in early episodes and were usually presented by Dorothy Ann.

List of books and merchandise[edit]

The original series[edit]

  1. The Magic School Bus At the Waterworks
  2. The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth
  3. The Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body
  4. The Magic School Bus Lost in the Solar System
  5. The Magic School Bus On the Ocean Floor
  6. The Magic School Bus In the Time of the Dinosaurs
  7. The Magic School Bus Inside a Hurricane
  8. The Magic School Bus Inside a Beehive
  9. The Magic School Bus And the Electric Field Trip
  10. The Magic School Bus Explores the Senses
  11. The Magic School Bus And the Science Fair Expedition*
  12. The Magic School Bus And the Climate Challenge

Notes: *The Science Fair Expedition released 20 years after At the Waterworks because the series had its anniversary.

Chapter books[edit]

  1. The Truth About Bats
  2. The Search for the Missing Bones
  3. The Wild Whale Watch
  4. Space Explorers
  5. Twister Trouble
  6. The Giant Germ
  7. The Great Shark Escape
  8. Penguin Puzzle
  9. Dinosaur Detectives
  10. Expedition Down Under
  11. Insect Invaders
  12. Amazing Magnetism
  13. Polar Bear Patrol
  14. Electric Storm
  15. Voyage to the Volcano
  16. Butterfly Battle
  17. Food Chain Frenzy
  18. The Fishy Field Trip
  19. Color Day Relay
  20. Rocky Road Trip

Scholastic Reader Level 2[edit]

  1. The Magic School Bus Has A Heart
  2. The Magic School Bus Gets Caught In a Web
  3. The Magic School Bus Gets Recycled
  4. The Magic School Bus And the Missing Tooth
  5. The Magic School Bus Fights Germs
  6. The Magic School Bus Gets Crabby
  7. The Magic School Bus Explores the World of Bugs
  8. The Magic School Bus Weathers the Storm
  9. The Magic School Bus At the First Thanksgiving
  10. The Magic School Bus Arctic Adventure
  11. The Magic School Bus Lost in Snow
  12. The Magic School Bus and the Shark Adventure
  13. The Magic School Bus Builds the Statue of Liberty
  14. The Magic School Bus in a Bat Cave
  15. The Magic School Bus Comes to Its Senses
  16. The Magic School Bus and the Wild Leaf Ride
  17. The Magic School Bus and the Butterfly Bunch
  18. The Magic School Bus Rides Into Space
  19. The Magic School Bus Rides the Wind
  20. The Magic School Bus in the Rain Forest
  21. The Magic School Bus Sleeps for the Winter
  22. The Magic School Bus Explores the World of Animals
  23. The Magic School Bus to the Rescue: Blizzard
  24. The Magic School Bus to the Rescue: Forest Fire
  25. The Magic School Bus to the Rescue: Earthquake
  26. The Magic School Bus to the Rescue: Flash Flood
  27. The Magic School Bus Inside Your Mouth
  28. The Magic School Bus Explores the Ocean
  29. The Magic School Bus Flies with Dinosaurs
  30. The Magic School Bus Takes a Moonwalk
  31. The Magic School Bus Flies From the Nest
  32. The Magic School Bus Blasts Into Space
  33. The Magic School Bus Gets Cleaned Up

TV Tie In Books[edit]

  1. The Magic School Bus Gets Ants in its Pants
  2. The Magic School Bus Going Batty
  3. The Magic School Bus in the Haunted Museum
  4. The Magic School Bus Gets all Dried Up
  5. The Magic School Bus In the Arctic
  6. The Magic School Bus Meets the Rot Squad
  7. The Magic School Bus Blows Its Top
  8. The Magic School Bus Answers Questions
  9. The Magic School Bus Inside Ralphie
  10. The Magic School Bus Gets Programmed
  11. The Magic School Bus Kicks Up a Storm
  12. The Magic School Bus Plays Ball
  13. The Magic School Bus Plants Seeds
  14. The Magic School Bus Ups and Downs
  15. The Magic School Bus Gets a Bright Idea
  16. The Magic School Bus Butterfly and the Bog Beast
  17. The Magic School Bus Makes a Rainbow
  18. The Magic School Bus Gets Baked in a Cake
  19. The Magic School Bus Out of this World
  20. The Magic School Bus Taking Flight
  21. The Magic School Bus Takes a Dive
  22. The Magic School Bus Gets Cold Feet
  23. The Magic School Bus Shows and Tells
  24. The Magic School Bus Spins a Web
  25. The Magic School Bus Gets Planted
  26. The Magic School Bus Gets Eaten
  27. The Magic School Bus Wet All Over
  28. The Magic School Bus Goes Upstream
  29. The Magic School Bus In A Pickle
  30. The Magic School Bus Hops Home
  31. The Magic School Bus Sees Stars
  32. The Magic School Bus Looking for Liz (sticker book)

A Science Fact Finder Book[edit]

  1. Skeletons Fact Finder
  2. Bats Fact Finder
  3. Field Trip Facts

Ms. Frizzle's Adventures[edit]

  1. Imperial China
  2. Medieval Castle
  3. Ancient Egypt

Liz series[edit]

  1. Liz Finds a Friend
  2. Liz Takes Flight
  3. Liz Looks for a Home
  4. Liz Sorts It Out
  5. Liz on the Move
  6. Liz Makes a Rainbow

DVDs[edit]

  1. AND THE ENVIRONMENT - Rocks and Rolls & Holiday Special
  2. AND THE FLYING ANIMALS - Going Batty & Butterfly and the Bog Beast
  3. BIG AND SMALL - BATMAN The Busasaurus & Gets Ants in its Pants
  4. EXPLORES CELLS AND MOLECULES - Meets Molly Cule & Goes Cellular
  5. EXPLORES INSECTS - Beehive & Spins A Web
  6. EXPLORES NEW HABITATS - In The City & Get Swamped
  7. EXPLORES THE HUMAN BODY - Works Out & Makes A Stink
  8. FOOD - Meets the Rot Squad & Gets Ready, Set, Dough
  9. FOOD CYCLE - Gets Eaten & Goes to Seed
  10. GETS A BOOST - Getting Energized & Revving Up
  11. GETS ROCKING - Out of this World & Blows its Top
  12. GETS TO SHINE — Gets a Bright Idea & Makes a Rainbow
  13. GOES ON A FIELD TRIP - In The Arctic & Goes Upstream
  14. HABITATS AND DESERTS - Hops Home & All Dried Up
  15. THE HUMAN BODY - Inside Ralphie & For Lunch
  16. IN MOTION - Taking Flight & Flexes Its Muscles
  17. IN THE AIR - Kicks Up a Storm & Gets Lost in Space
  18. IN THE WATER - Ups and Downs & Wet All Over
  19. LEARNS ABOUT MICROBES AND REPTILES - In A Pickle & Cold Feet
  20. LEARNS ABOUT PLANTS AND FORESTS - Gets Planted & In The Rain Forest
  21. LEARNS SOMETHING NEW - Cracks a Yolk & Gets Programmed
  22. LEARNS TO BUILD - Under Construction & Shows and Tells
  23. LIGHTS UP - Sees Stars & Gets Charged
  24. PHYSICS - Plays Ball & In the Haunted House
  25. TESTS THE WATERS - Goes to Mussel Beach & Takes a Dive
  26. UNDER PRESSURE - Goes on Air & Gains Weight
  27. SUPER STAR POWER - Gets Planted, Goes Cellular, Sees Stars & Taking Flight
  28. TAKES A DRIVE - Goes to Mussel Beach, Gets Swamped, Takes a Dive & For Lunch
  29. TAKES FLIGHT - Kicks Up a Storm, Taking Flight, Hops Home & Gets Swamped
  30. HUMAN BODY - For Lunch, Inside Ralphie, Flexes Its Muscles & Gets Planted
  31. BLAST OFF FROM SPACE TO SEA - Wet All Over, Ups and Downs, Rocks and Rolls, Gets Eaten, Meets the Rot Squad, Gets Ready, Set, Dough, Gets Lost in Space, Out of This World, Gains Weight, Goes Upstream, Butterfly and the Bog Beast & Plays Ball
  32. FIELD TRIP FUN & GAMES - The Busasaurus, Cold Feet, Goes Upstream, Plays Ball, Shows & Tells, Works Out, Gets Ants in Its Pants, Butterfly and the Bog Beast, In a Beehive, Gets Eaten, Rocks and Rolls, Gains Weight
  33. THE COMPLETE SERIES - All 52 episodes from the 4 season run

VHS[edit]

  1. Flexes Its Muscles
  2. Gets Lost In Space
  3. Gets Charged
  4. All Dried Up
  5. Hops Home
  6. Inside The Haunted House
  7. Inside Ralphie
  8. Gets Eaten
  9. For Lunch
  10. Blows Its Top
  11. Plays Ball
  12. Goes To Seed
  13. Kicks Up A Storm
  14. Going Batty
  15. Creepy Crawly Fun
  16. Greatest Adventures
  17. Under Construction
  18. Out Of This World
  19. Gets Ants In Its Pants
  20. Gets Planted
  21. Butterflies!
  22. Ready, Set, Dough
  23. Meets a Rot Squad
  24. The Busasauras
  25. In The Rainforest
  26. Makes A Rainbow
  27. Taking Flight
  28. In a Pickle
  29. Getting Energized
  30. Cold Feet
  31. Ups and Downs
  32. Magic School Bus Holiday Special
  33. Spins A Web
  34. In A Beehive
  35. Shows and Tells
  36. Gains Weight
  37. Lost in the Asteroid Belt

Individual books[edit]

The original Magic School Bus books are:

  • The Magic School Bus at the Waterworks (ISBN 0-590-40360-5, 1986)
    • Topic: the water cycle and the waterworks
    • Ms Frizzle's class is going with her on the most boring field trip, to the waterworks. At least that is what they think until they discover how interesting things always happen on Ms Frizzle's trips. After going through a tunnel, all the children find themselves in scuba diving outfits. On the top of a bridge the bus rises up in the air and into a cloud. Once in the cloud, the class finds that water droplets are growing, and they are shrinking. The class rains and lands in the water purification system. Eventually it takes them back to Walkerville Elementary, where they come out of the faucet in the girls' bathroom. Later, they see the bus outside and wonder how it returned from the cloud.
  • The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth (ISBN 0-590-40760-0, 1987)
    • Topic: geology
    • Ms Frizzle's class is starting a unit on geology and for homework every student has to find a rock, and bring it to school. The next day every child except Phil has an excuse, so Ms Frizzle decides to take the class on a field trip to collect rocks. The class starts digging until they, with the help of the magic bus, dig all the way through the center of Earth. They collect many rocks and learn about the different types. Phoebe Terese first appears in this book as the "new kid". Before the show was even in production, the Magic School Bus appeared on PBS, because this book was featured on Reading Rainbow.
  • The Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body (ISBN 0-590-41427-5, 1989)
    • Topic: the human body
    • Ms Frizzle's class is going to the museum to see an exhibit on the human body. However they stop for lunch at a park and Arnold takes too long to eat. When Ms Frizzle tries to hit the horn to tell him to hurry, she "accidentally" pushes a strange little button on the dashboard and the class finds itself inside a human body, but they are unaware that it is Arnold's. They go through the digestive system and brain and out through the nose.
  • The Magic School Bus Lost in the Solar System (ISBN 0-590-41429-1, 1990)
    • Topic: the solar system
    • Arnold's know-it-all cousin Janet, is coming on the field trip this time. They are going to the planetarium to see a show about the solar system, but it is closed for repairs. On the way back to school, they blast off and fly into outer space. They visit all the planets and learn about them, but in the asteroid belt, they lose Ms Frizzle and find themselves lost in space. The rocket bus featured in this book has become a symbol of the Magic School Bus series.
  • The Magic School Bus On the Ocean Floor (ISBN 0-590-41431-3, 1992)
    • Topic: the ocean
    • Ms Frizzle's class is learning about the ocean. It is really hot and the children just want a break. They are thrilled when she says they will take a trip to the ocean. However, when she gets to the beach she starts to drive into the water and they realise that when Ms Frizzle says "ocean" she means "ocean". Believing the bus is in trouble, Lenny the Lifeguard decides to try to save the children and instead finds himself accompanying them on the field trip.
  • The Magic School Bus In the Time of the Dinosaurs (ISBN 0-590-44689-4, 1994)
    • Topic: dinosaurs
    • The children are turning their classroom into Dinosaur Land for Parents' Night, as they are studying dinosaurs. Ms Frizzle receives a letter from an old high school friend who is now a paleontologist and she decides to take the class on a trip to the dig. When she discovers that they are missing the bones of some Maiasaurs, she turns the bus into a time machine to travel back to the age of dinosaurs to find the bones. The class sees dinosaurs and learns the name of the different periods of the era and other information. This is the first time Ms Frizzle's first name is mentioned, and it is the first appearance of Carlos Ramon and Keesha Franklin, although Keesha was first seen in The Magic School Bus: On the Ocean Floor.
  • The Magic School Bus Inside a Hurricane (ISBN 0-590-44687-8, 1995)
    • Topic: weather
    • The class is going to the weather station to learn about weather. However, on the way there the bus turns into a hot air balloon. Eventually they find themselves inside a hurricane. Ms Frizzle's radio proves an annoyance to Arnold in this book, as it seems to know his name.
  • The Magic School Bus Inside a Beehive (1996)
    • Topic: bees
    • The class is now learning about insects and Ms Frizzle is taking her class on a trip to meet a beekeeper, but they beat the beekeeper there. While they are waiting, Ms Frizzle accidentally pushes a small lever which turns the bus into a tiny beehive and the class (including Ms Frizzle) into bees. They explore the hive and learn about bees, but can they save the hive from a bear?
  • The Magic School Bus and the Electric Field Trip (1998)
    • Topic: electricity
    • The children in Ms Frizzle's class were sure that there was nobody like her, but that was before they met her niece, Dottie Frizzle. Dottie accompanies the class on their field trip to the town power plant. There the bus turns into a dump truck, and pours the children into the plant. They shrink and travel through the Walkerville electric system.
  • The Magic School Bus Explores the Senses (1999)
    • Topic: the five senses
    • The class is learning about the senses and they are going to sing a song for an important teacher meeting. However, Ms Frizzle's personality and clothes make the class forget. Ms Frizzle thinks the meeting is tomorrow, but it is really today. So Mr Wilde, the assistant principal, decides to catch her so he can tell her about the meeting. He decides to get in a bus that just happens to be the magic school bus. The class decides to accompany him. They cannot let him drive that bus, not all by himself. Mr Wilde accidentally shrinks the bus and soon he and the class find themselves on a trip exploring the senses. Mr Wilde soon becomes obsessed with driving the bus and forgets all about finding Ms Frizzle, but the class does not. Ms Frizzle's mother appears in this book.
  • The Magic School Bus and the Science Fair Expedition (ISBN 0-590-10824-7; 2006)
  • The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge (ISBN 0-590-10826-3; 2010)
    • Topic: climate change
    • Ms. Frizzle takes the class on a flight in the bus over the arctic, showing them how the polar ice caps have melted since Ms. Frizzle's old copy of Our Wonderful World was published. They travel around the earth, observing the impacts of global warming and alternative energy sources. Returning to their home town, Ms. Frizzle gives the class special goggles to observe the greenhouse-gas molecules in the air. When the students return to school, they discuss things people can do to save energy and reduce carbon emissions.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lodge, Sally (2006-07-27). "Two Decades of Fun and Learning on the Magic School Bus". Publisher’s Weekly. Retrieved 2012-10-03. 
  2. ^ McCallum, Cheryl D.; L. Nazarani; The Children's Museum of Houston (2007-01-04). "Scholastics the Magic School Bus Kicks Up a Storm Museum Exhibit". ams.confex.com. American Meteorological Society. Retrieved 2009-03-23. 

External links[edit]