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Ms. Frizzle's Adventures: Imperial China (Magic School Bus) Paperback – January 1, 2008
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From School Library Journal
Grade 2-5–Ms. Frizzle is off to Imperial China in this spin-off series in which she travels through time to bygone cultures. During a Chinese New Year's celebration, the teacher; a Chinese-American student, Wanda; Wanda's older brother Henry; and the ever-reluctant Arnold travel back in time 1000 years and arrive in a farmers' village. While there, they learn to grow rice, eat with chopsticks, and make silk. Ms. Frizzle is as curious and irrepressible as ever as she and her students travel north by barge, cart, and foot to the Great Wall and finally to the capital city. The endnotes explain which aspects of the story are historically accurate and where the author and illustrator have taken small liberties. The cartoon illustrations, done in a mix of pen and ink, watercolor, and colored pencil and gouache, continue the frenetic, zany humor of the Magic School Bus series. Small panels on each page highlight facts about Imperial China, such as items first invented in China, how to bow, and the basics of writing. Like previous books featuring Ms. Frizzle, this one is destined to find an avid audience and may spark interest in Chinese culture.–Suzanne Myers Harold, Multnomah County Library System, Portland, OR
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Gr. 1-3. In this newest installment in the social studies-themed Ms. Frizzle's Adventures, the creators of the Magic School Bus books send Frizzle and friends to eleventh-century China. The point of departure is Chinatown, and the magical conveyance is not a bus but a giant, "cavorting paper dragon," whose dancers convey Frizzle, Wanda, Wanda's older brother, and Arnie (whom they intercept en route to kung fu class) across time and space to "the land of [Wanda's] ancestors." The plot, which involves a quest to relieve peasants of their tax burden, is less noteworthy than the sheer density of material in the graphic-novel-inspired spreads. Readers will savor sidebars touting Chinese contributions to society, pore over Degen's delightfully cluttered compositions and lovely chinoiserie embellishments, and smile at the endnote, styled as uptight caveats ("time travel is impossible") from a panel of "Very Smart" critics. A celebration of culture as bountiful as the feast that Frizzle and Arnie share with Wanda's large Chinese American family at book's end. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
But this is not a perfect world. This is a fantasy, but what a great fantasy: "Ms Frizzle's Adventures: Imperial China," a rare social studies trip instead of the usual Magic School Bus into some world of science.
The Magic School Bus series is part of those wonderful children's books that begin with the end pages--in this case, Chinese illustrations--and look, there are Ms Frizzle and her pet dragon. We meet Ms Frizzle and four of her students studying Chinese scrolls on the title page, flying a kite on the dedication page. Her Chinese student Wanda invites Ms Frizzle for New Year's Eve at her house.
Of course, as they are walking along the streets of Chinatown, they walk back 1000 years to China to the time of Wanda's ancestors. This will be a grand Ms Frizzle adventure. They will see places, experience the culture, learn new things--all in a colored picture story. In a separate column across the bottom of both pages are blocks of historical "sound bites"-- Silk, paper, umbrellas, dragons, chopsticks, lanterns, writing, tea, compass, the Great Wall, fireworks, jade, and so on.
Illustrated children's books are not just for children, especially adventures with Ms Frizzle, that talented, inspiring teacher in her trademark dresses that designate the adventure!
The book is in a larger format than the original Magic School Bus series, which leave more room for all of the sidebar explanations that typify these books. Cole and Degen explain processes, like growing rice and making silk, that are easy for kids to follow, and may teach the adults a thing or two. A common thread through the whole book is a list of things that the ancient Chinese invented before the West, another point that may teach adults something new. The plot is a little silly, but it made my son and I giggle.
All in all, it's great fun, and a nice way to introduce kids to Chinese culture. Teachers could read it to a class, then delve more deeply into subjects that they want to pursue.