Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Magic School Bus Inside a Hurricane

The Magic School Bus Inside a Hurricane

Joanna Cole
Illustrator:   Bruce Degen 
Picture Book  Series
For ages 6 to 8
Scholastic, 1995   ISBN: 978-0590446877

Ms. Frizzle's class are studying weather these days. Everything is weather-ish in their classroom and then Miss Frizzle announces that they are going to visit the weather station. Of course after they have been traveling in the school bus for a short while things start to happen. Don't they always? This time the bus turns into a hot air balloon and the children find themselves sitting in a basket as the balloon slowly rises into the sky. The children learn first hand that hot air rises and Ms. Frizzle tells them that scientists use balloons to study the weather all the time.

While the school party are studying a cloud they hear that a hurricane watch is in effect. Ms. Frizzle then makes the balloon take the children south to the equator and here they watch the birth of a hurricane. Fed by the warm tropical ocean below huge clouds start to build and the balloon is at the heart of it all. Then the balloon springs a leak and all its passengers are thrown out into the whirling clouds of a building hurricane.

In this thoroughly entertaining story we get to explore how hurricanes form and what their effects are. In addition to the main story the richly illustrated pages of this picture book are peppered with informative boxes which provide plenty of background information about weather related topics.