Book Review and Giveaway: The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge

>> Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Have you ever tried to teach your kids about climate change? What a big topic! Luckily, the folks behind The Magic School Bus series are here to help us out.

The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge Review

Ms. Fizzle and her magic school bus are at it again. The students in Ms. Fizzle's class are preparing a play about global warming, and what better way to learn about the whats, hows, and whys of global warming than to visit the arctic, slide on a sunbeam, fly over a city, and search out renewable energy. Ms. Frizzle's unusual field trip inspires her students to go green and show others how they can help.

This past Sunday, we sat down as a family to read The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge. Scholastic recommends this book for ages 7 to 12, and I completely agree. My two-year-old lasted the first few pages. My almost-five-year-old lost interest halfway through ("This is a loooong book, Momma").

My very-above-average-intelligence six-year-old read the whole book with me and definitely understood all of the concepts. But he's also a very sensitive child (he gets scared watching Charlie and Lola), so I try to steer him away from doom-and-gloom topics. I appreciated that this book falls more into the "what can you do?" camp than the "we're all going to die" camp of environmentalism, but I'll probably still hold on to this book for another couple of years before reading it to them again.

Nevertheless, I think this book would make a great introduction to climate change for a slightly older child. Like all of the books in the Magic School Bus series, it explains a difficult scientific concept in a manner that's easy to understand, logical, and fun, and my kids are big fans of the pseudo-comicbook style illustrations. And in case you were wondering, it is printed on "100% recycled fiber of which 50% is post-consumer waste."

For more information, visit the official book page. You can also participate in a webcast with author Joanna Cole and illustrator Bruce Degen on April 20th at 1 PM ET.

The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge Giveaway

Scholastic is generously offering three prizes to readers of The Conscious Shopper. One grand prize winner will receive a kids organic "Go Green" t-shirt and a copy of the book. Two additional winners will each receive a copy of the book. Please note that this giveaway is only open to U.S. residents. Also, although this is a children's book, you don't have to have kids to enter. This book would make a great gift for a grandchild, niece, nephew, kid-next-door, etc.

To enter:
  • Leave a comment on this post stating your favorite children's book or series (besides this one).
  • You can earn up to two extra entries by sharing this post on Facebook or tweeting it on Twitter and then leaving a comment for each thing that you do. This is completely based on the honor system, and remember that each comment is a separate entry.
You have until Tuesday, April 27 to enter. I'll select a winner using a random number generator and announce the results on the 28th. Make sure you either plan on coming back to see the results or you leave a way for me to contact you if you've won. Good luck!

This contest has ended. The winners are Susan, Mia J, and Julie. Please contact me with your address at consciousshopperblog at gmail dot com.

You have hereby been challenged to go green in a year without going broke!
Check out the last challenge, or view the whole list of Challengicious Mondays. Sign up for my RSS feed, follow me on Twitter, and join my "Go Green without Going Broke" group on Facebook!
  • Disclaimer: Scholastic sent me a copy of this book to be able to write this review but did not compensate me in any other way. I was not under any obligations to write a positive review, and all of the opinions contained in this post are my own.


Green Bean April 13, 2010 at 12:24 AM  

Woohoo!! We love Magic School Bus series. :) Our favorite series, though, currently, are the Bone books. My oldest loves them graphic novels. Anywho, I tweeted so that's an extra point, right? ;-)

A. Moore April 13, 2010 at 12:41 AM  

I've always been a huge fan of the Magic School Bus- I've always liked the extras they toss into the pictures. I've worked with environmental issues in the past, and I seriously have used their wastewater treatment book as a jumping off point for technical discussions. Not that I told anyone, of course! lol

I must like bonus bits in the illustrations, because the other books I've really, truly loved are the Pinkerton books by Stephen Kellogg. And Dorrie the Witch. She's cute, and her socks never match, which I can empathize with. :)

Church Lady Chronic-ails April 13, 2010 at 8:56 AM  

My children are big readers,and I think the early books helped make that happen. We enjoyed reading the Edgar Eager books related to magic: Half Magic, The Time Garden...Classics that are truly timeless

Robyn April 13, 2010 at 9:01 AM  

I'm not living in the US, but if I happened to win I actually would like to have it sent to a US address- so does that make me qualified? I'm thinking of my nieces and nephews since I don't have kids.
My favorite books will always be Dr. Seuss books, but I also LOVE Berenstain Bears. When I lived in Abilene, TX- home of the National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature- I got to handle actual cells from a Berenstain Bears book and the author actually came to the museum. It was cool.

The Mom April 13, 2010 at 10:02 AM  

We love Magic school bus and my kids would be thrilled to get something like this!

Erin aka Conscious Shopper April 13, 2010 at 12:15 PM  

Yes, if you're having it shipped to a U.S. address, you're eligible.

Wonder-ful April 13, 2010 at 5:01 PM  

We show the Magic School Bus videos on rainy days at work.

My favorites are still Robert Munch books and the Pigeon books by Mo Williams. Though, Skippy Jon Jones--when read by someone who will actually do the accent--can be nice too.

But Mo Williams books can be fun for all ages. Knuffle Bunny is as much a story for parents of young children as it is for the children, and the Pigeon books can be interactive, with the children telling the Pigeon "No!" every time he changes tactics when asking for whatever he's currently fascinated with (driving a bus... hot dogs.. staying up late... having a pet dog...) and mimic childrens' begging sooooo well it's funny.

They are some of my favorite to read with my students.

Julie April 13, 2010 at 5:58 PM  

When my son (now 8) was between 2 - 5, he LOVED the Little Critter series by Mercer Mayer. My favorite is the one entitled "Just Go To Bed" because getting him to simmer down at night is something we've always had difficulty with, and that book addresses it in a humorous and sweet way. "Pajama Time" by Sandra Boynton is also good for that!!

Erin aka Conscious Shopper April 13, 2010 at 10:07 PM  

@Wonder-ful - Have you read the Mo Willems' Piggy and Elephant books? Love them! We like the Skippy Jon Jones books and have one with an audio cd of the author reading

Michele P. April 13, 2010 at 10:24 PM  

My daughter has just started reading her big brothers Goosebumps series and loves them!

micaela6955 at msn dot com

Michele P. April 13, 2010 at 10:25 PM  

I tweeted for extra entry, here is the link

micaela6955 at msn dot com

Colleen April 14, 2010 at 12:39 AM  

I forgot to tell my favorite series. Well Spencer right now loves the Winnie the Pooh books (not cartoon but the books by AA Milne). Also we re enjoying Tales of Beatrix Potter.

Colleen April 14, 2010 at 12:42 AM  

I posted but it didn't go through. Oops anyway this book idea is great. Spencer loves MSB and we read them all multiple times. I'm learning that there are those who don't believe global warming is real--huh?? Anyway glad MSB is on board.

Colleen April 14, 2010 at 12:43 AM  

Oh and I shared the link on FB. :)

Wonder-ful April 14, 2010 at 5:27 PM  

@Erin ---I've read 'em, but the students like the Pigeon better. Even better than Knuffle Bunny (but I think it's because they get to tell a character "NO").

Also posting this challenge to FB :)

Wonder-ful April 14, 2010 at 5:30 PM  

Kinda off track, but I totally have Ms. Frizzle hair today. She was my favorite fictional teacher and I try to emulate her outside-the-box teaching when I'm at work. Everything is a teachable moment. The MSB books and dvd's really teach science basics in a fun way and it doesn't fudge the science which is really important if it comprises most of the science your students get.

Katrina April 16, 2010 at 6:43 PM  

My all time favorite series was The Babysitters Club. I am so excited that they are being re-released!

ykatrina at hotmail dot com

Nicole C. April 18, 2010 at 12:15 PM  

My daughter loves the Junie B. Jones books.


Mia J. April 18, 2010 at 3:45 PM  

My daughter enjoys Junie B. Jones and also the A to Z Mysteries.

Anonymous,  April 18, 2010 at 4:06 PM  

My student's favorite series are: Babymouse and 39 clues. Thanks

clariline08 at yahoo dot com

susan April 19, 2010 at 8:40 AM  

the Magic school bus series is great, and my daughter loves it. This would be great to have!

"Miss" Anita April 23, 2010 at 12:21 AM  

My favorite children's book series is The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.
roseinthemorning [at] gmail [dot] com

"Miss" Anita April 23, 2010 at 12:24 AM  

I tweeted this...

roseinthemorning [at] gmail [dot] com

Erin aka Conscious Shopper May 1, 2010 at 5:32 PM  

This contest has ended. The winners are Susan, Mia J, and Julie. Please contact me with your address at consciousshopperblog at gmail dot com.

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