Joanna Cole, the author of popular science series for children titled “Magic School Bus” that sold multi-million copies worldwide, has died at age 75.
Born in Newark, New Jersey in 1944, Cole studied psychology at City College of New York and worked as an elementary school teacher, magazine editor, and librarian. "Magic School Bus," the most well-known work of hers published in 1986, was also written based on her experience as a teacher. The series showcase stories of a fictional elementary school teacher, Ms. Frizzle, and her class, who board a school bus, which magically transforms and takes them on field trips to unusual times and locations, such as the solar system, deep ocean, and the interior of the human body.
The series earned the Washington Post/Children's Book Guild Nonfiction award in 1991 and the David McCord award in 1994. It was also remade into a TV series and Netflix announced a plan last month to produce its live-action version.
“During the fifth grade, I met a teacher like Ms. Frizzle. I wanted to show a teacher like her to young children,” Cole said during an interview. “Cole always thought about, ‘What? Why? And How?’”, said illustrator Bruce Degen who had worked closely with Cole for a long time.