'Magic School Bus' series celebrates its 25th anniversary

The book series featuring science teacher Ms. Frizzle and her unusual field trips has 58 million books in print in 10 languages.

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    Destinations Ms. Frizzle's students have traveled to via the transforming magic school bus include a beehive and the land of dinosaurs.
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It must be the hardest-working bus of all time: this year, the Magic School Bus book series, which has also been adapted into a TV series, celebrates its 25th anniversary.

The books tell the story of wacky science teacher Ms. Frizzle, who takes her class on unusual field trips using the transforming Magic School Bus. The first field trip for her class was to a waterworks, in “The Magic School Bus at the Waterworks,” which was published in 1986. Other destinations in the series written by Joanna Cole and illustrated by Bruce Degen have included outer space, the ocean floor, a hurricane, and inside a human body.

Scholastic, the book’s publisher, is sponsoring several events and promotions to celebrate the book series’ anniversary. A 25th anniversary field trip event will be held on Oct. 20 along the Hudson River in New York with Cole and Degen present as well as Mrs. Frizzle, and all three will sign books at the Scholastic Store in New York on Oct. 22.

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Scholastic released “The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge” in March. “The Magic School Bus: Dinosaurs” will be released on iPad next month as well as “The Magic School Bus: Oceans” on Nintendo DS. A live show by Maximum Entertainment Productions and The Brad Simon Organization titled “The Magic School Bus – Live! The Climate Challenge” will tour various cities this fall, and a Magic School Bus Scientists’ Club will launch, created by The Young Scientists’ Club. New Magic School Bus activity kits will be released before the end of the year and new Magic School Bus audiobooks will be released in 2012.

The children’s TV series, for which Lily Tomlin won an Emmy for voicing Ms. Frizzle, is entering its 17th season.

Molly Driscoll is a Monitor contributor.

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