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The Magic School Bus


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About the Author

Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen, the author and illustrator of the Magic School Bus books, have collaborated for twenty years, bringing humor and true kidlike curiosity to science and learning. Booklist heralded Ms. Frizzle as "the wackiest, wisest teacher in picture books." Two MSB titles have been named School Library Journal Best Books of the Year, and they have won countless state book awards, from New York to Nebraska.


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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