My rating: ★★☆☆☆
The Magic School Bus Gets Crabby is a Level 2 Scholastic Reader, featuring “vocabulary and sentence length for beginning readers”; it’s based on the Magic School Bus series of picture books by Joanna Cole and stars the characters of the Magic School Bus television show.
In the story, Ms. Frizzle’s class is going on a field trip to the pool; little do they realize that when Ms. Frizzle says “pool”, she means tidal pool, and the class’s lesson for the day is on their local tidal pools and the creatures that live there. They learn about barnacles and hermit crabs, and the illustrations point out many other tidal pool lifeforms (mussels, anemones, starfish, etcetera). There is also some information about the impact of the tides on the lifeforms that live in the pools.
Ultimately, The Magic School Bus Gets Crabby is a good way to introduce young children to tidal pools, though I feel that children (and adults) who live in areas where there are no tidal pools (me, for example) won’t quite get the full effect. If you’re planning on taking your child on a trip to a beach that has tidal pools, however, this is a wonderful way to introduce them to the concept, or even something to read during the beach visit. I’d also recommend accompanying this book with the Magic School Bus television episode “Goes to Mussel Beach”, which explores tidal zones and how they affect sea life.