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The Magic School Bus


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About the Author

Joanna Cole has been creating books about the Magic School Bus for more than twenty years. She is a recipient of many awards, most recently the National Endowment for the Arts Foundation Award for Outstanding Service to Public Education. She lives in Key West, with her husband.

Bruce Degen is the bestselling author and illustrator of the beloved, perennial favorite Jamberry and numerous award-winning books for children. He is also the illustrator of the highly-acclaimed Magic School Bus series by Joanna Cole.


Gr 1-4‘Nobody can organize a field trip like the indomitable Ms. Frizzle! This time out she introduces her class to the insect kingdom via an excursion through a honeybee hive. Garbed in bee costumes complete with antennae, and sprayed with the proper pheromones, the students are accepted by the workers and allowed to perform such chores as foraging for nectar and pollen, building honeycombs, making honey, and feeding larvae. They also have the opportunity to observe typical honeybee behavior. The field trip ends with a bit of drama when a bear tries to raid the hive. A plethora of pseudo school reports provide additional information on the topic. Degen's colorful and amusing cartoons heighten the adventures. Clearly written and well organized, this new title presents accurate scientific information leavened with a touch of humor that is never condescending. The character of the magical Ms. Frizzle is as well developed and intriguing as ever. Charles Micucci's The Life and Times of the Honeybee (Ticknor & Fields, 1995) provides greater detail on honeybee behavior, but Cole's title is more tightly organized. It lacks the close-up color photography provided in Heiderose and Andreas Fischer-Nagel's excellent Life of the Honeybee (Carolrhoda, 1986) but it provides much the same general information and will be a good companion volume. This title will leave the legion of fans of the "Magic School Bus" series clamoring for more.‘Karey Wehner, San Francisco Public Library

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