Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor

The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor

Joanna Cole
Illustrator:   Bruce Degen 
Picture Book  Series
For ages 6 to 8
Scholastic , 1994   ISBN: 978-0590414319

Miss Frizzle’s students are working on their ocean science projects. Though most of them are enjoying learning about oceans, it is so hot that they feel tired and they wish they could go swimming. Then Miss Frizzle announces that they are going on a class trip to the ocean the very next day. It looks as if they might be able to swim after all!

The next day the children come to school in their bathing suits and carrying beach paraphernalia. They are eager to get down to the water “for a day of fun in sun.” When they get to the beach Miss Frizzle drives their bus across the sand heading straight for the water, and then into the water. Before they have time to do anything about their situation, the bus has turned into a submarine and they are travelling under the waves. Miss Frizzle explains that “the best way to learn about the ocean is to see it close up.” Who knew that she means exactly what she said.

After they have traveled far out, Miss Frizzle and her students leave the bus (they have diving suits and air tanks) to explore the ecosystems of the ocean. They learn about all kinds of bizarre and wonderful creatures in the deep oceans, on coral reefs, and more.

Children who like wild adventures and learning about interesting things, are sure to enjoy this Magic School Bus title. The narrative is engaging, and as always, Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen find creative ways to provide their young readers with lots of information about the book’s topic.