Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Magic Schoolbus Science Chapter Books

I got two box sets of The Magic School Bus Science Chapter books through the Scholastic Flier from school, and I am very pleased that I did! I had heard of the Magic Schoolbus show, but had never seen it, and I had never read any of the books before. I was betting on a hunch.

What a great hunch.

Each book covers some topic in science, and covers it well. I have learned things from these books. Evalina loves them, and is always spouting off factoids that she has learned from them.

We have gotten through 12 of the 20 so far.

Topics so far include:

outer space
Australian wildlife
and magnetism

The Story: Each book starts out the same, with an introduction by a member of Ms. Frizzle's class. Ms. Frizzle is a very unique teacher, who loves science more than anything, and loves to bring her class on impromptu field trips, aided by the Magic School Bus. Each book is told from the perspective of the child who "speaks" in the introduction. The topic being covered in the book is introduced in some sort of adventuresome way, and off they go on their Magic School Bus field trip, learning along the way.

The Good: The science is really good! I love that it is not dumbed down for kids, and I love how comprehensive it is. The topics are covered in interesting and exciting ways, and it makes me wish I had Ms. Frizzle as a teacher. The language is not too difficult for kids, and in these books, I have Evalina read a couple of paragraphs a page. She could undoubtably read more than that, but she likes me to read to her. The pictures (one or two a chapter, usually) are cute and Evalina looks forward to them.

The Bad(ish): The kids are not very interesting, in my opinion. The focus is really on the science, and less on character development, so I can understand that.

The Verdict: Absolutely wonderful. A great resource to teach kids science and get them excited about it, and fun to read. Evalina always wants to read them, even if we're working on another book. She wants to read one chapter (the chapters are short) of a Magic School Bus book and then a chapter of the other book. It's wonderful. Plus, she's retaining a lot of the information. She wanted to experiment with magnets on all of my pots and pans while we were reading the magnetism book, for example. I love it, and I will be sad when we are done reading them.

UPDATE: Evalina has spent the summer reading and rereading most of these all on her own. A complete winner of a set! So highly recommended.

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