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.