The Magic School Bus Series by Scholastic

The Magic School Bus by Scholastic is a series of books and DVDs that teach children about science in a fun and entertaining way. It is not a new series (it’s been around since the late 1980s, I think) but it is a terrific way to introduce your child to science and to get them interested. I bought Gavin two books from the series from Popular:

They were about RM15 each for a soft copy book filled with interesting facts and information shared through an entertaining story about a group so students and their teacher Ms Frizzle who take amazing science trips on their magical school bus. The layout of the book is a little chaotic. On each page, they have the text for the main story, they have speech bubbles from the children and Ms Frizzle talking, and they have little boxes filled with interesting facts about the book subject. It makes it a little difficult to concentrate on the story with so many distractions, but I find it reads best if you start with the story first, then go through the book a second and third time to pick up the other bits of information. You can use the book as a story to be read from cover to cover, or as a talking point while you flip through the pages and discuss what is happening in the pictures.

Gavin, as usual when it comes to anything new, was disinterested and insisted that he didn’t want to buy the books. I overrode and bought them anyway. While we were walking through the shopping mall, he got tired and asked to sit in the pram. Then he grew bored and asked to look at the books. A little while later, he was pointing to the other books in the series that were printed on the back and asking me to buy them for him. So now we’re looking for Inside the Human Body, Explores the Senses, and Inside the Earth.

The Magic School Bus has been turned into a television series as well. DVDs as well as VCDs (which I have seen in Speedy at Ikano Power Center) are available. Here is a sample of the TV series from Youtube. This is part 1 of The Magic School Bus Gets Lost in Space:

Gavin, unfortunately, has declined to watch the series on TV claiming that the pictures on the VCD case look “scary”, but he is okay with the books. Well, that works for me as well, so I wasn’t too fussed. I’m not exactly sure what about it looks scary because they look just like the pictures in the book.

The books are not easy to find locally. So far I have only seen them at Popular in Ikano Power Center with limited titles. They are also available on the Book Depository with free shipping world wide. After conversion, it’s actually cheaper (albeit slightly) to buy it from the Book Depository!

You can also find The Magic School Bus online games and activities on their website.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of Figur8.net (a website on parenting, education, child development) and RightBrainChild.com (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

6 thoughts on “The Magic School Bus Series by Scholastic

  1. They are really easy to find here. If you don’t mind second hand in decent condition, they go for as low as S$1.90-2.90. I’ve been collecting the whole set for the kids.

    I’m not too fond of Arnold in general nor his rude cousin with that irritating voice in this episode, so have not let the kids watch it again although the older one did enjoy it and asked to watch more.

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    1. Hey, that’s great. I don’t think we need the whole set – yet. Gavin’s been rather selective about which ones he wants. We don’t watch the series, so haven’t encountered annoying Arnold yet. :-p Anyway, I’m glad he likes reading the books. Probably better than him watching the series.

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  2. Hi Christina, If you dont mind, can you tell me where to find second hand series for the Magic School Bus? Thanks.

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  3. Regarding the “scary”-looking characters, I was getting that a lot recently too as LM started to refuse to read certain books. When I tried to analyse the content, they all featured monsters. Gruffalo, Three Billy Goats Gruff, and even Humpty-Dumpty with slightly bulging eyes, are no longer welcomed. In other books, she quite often would point to a character in the picture and say that she doesn’t like it. It is probably something developmental?

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  4. Hi Irene,

    If you’re in Singapore, sometimes there is a secondhand book fair at Thomson Plaza. They have it every few months or so. I’ll drop a note here next time they are here. They have a lot of second hand books in good condition for a really good price.

    Cheers,
    Christina

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  5. LM’s Mum – Yeah, Gavin doesn’t like The Gruffalo story either. It’s funny you should mention the bulging eyes because I was so surprised when he told me he didn’t like his Thomas pillow case. He would call it the “scary” Thomas. For the longest time I couldn’t understand it since he was crazy about everything Thomas. Then hubby started noticing that all the Thomases that he was afraid of were the ones that had bulging eyes. He also hates the chicken flavoured Twisties packet because of the “scary” chicken (who also has bulging eyes).

    I can understand some of his fears… Like being afraid of snakes after we found a reticulated python in our house. But some of them I can’t understand – like random images that have nothing scary about them, at least not that I can see.

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