Chinese Magic School Bus Picture and Chapter Books

Chinese Magic School Bus Books

My kids are obsessed with the adventurous 魔法校车 / 魔法校車 Magic School Bus books in Chinese, and I have fond memories of reading the original English version as a kid! We’ve also enjoyed watching the Magic School Bus Netflix show in Mandarin Chinese.

Good news: The Magic School Bus books have been published in simplified and traditional Chinese. The overflowing options are a bit overwhelming, though. To save you time, I’m comparing the picture books and chapter books so you can find the right level for your child.

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Luka Reading Robot Narrates Magic School Bus Books in Mandarin Chinese

What are the Magic School Bus books about?

These science books combine teaching with creative storytelling about a teacher, Ms. Valerie Frizzle, her students, and a magical school bus. The classroom has diversity and includes Asian-appearing children and people of color.

Shrinking magic school bus takes a class on a field trip!
A shrinking magic school bus takes a class on a field trip!

When the class learns a topic, such as the ocean, solar system, or human body, the magical school bus can shrink or morph into special vehicles. Then, the bus takes the kids to these impossible destinations!

The science of space, anatomy, and other topics are mixed with make-believe events. At the end of each book, the author explains which parts are fact or fiction.

What age are the Magic School Bus books for?

When we first began learning Chinese a few years ago, the Magic School Bus series was too intimidating. Now that we’re conversational, we can understand most of the vocabulary.

In general, the Magic School Bus books are best for kids in elementary school. The publisher’s website mentions ages 6 to 9 years as the reading level.

Although the science concepts may be a little abstract for toddlers and preschoolers, they might enjoy looking at the pictures and listening to the stories!

Types of Chinese Magic School Bus Books

We love the series and have 73 Chinese Magic School Bus books in simplified Chinese! That’s a huge number, but getting as many books as possible is worth it. This series excites my kids about reading and re-reading Chinese books.

We purchased a comprehensive set. However, some stores sell partial sets or individual books.

The books we have are listed below in general order of difficulty:

  1. 桥梁版 (Qiáoliáng bǎn / Bridge books) – 全20册 (20 books)
  2. 图画书版 (Túhuà shū bǎn / Picture books) – 全12册 (12 books)
  3. 人文版 (Rénwén bǎn / Culture books) – 全3册 (3 books)
  4. 动画版 (Dònghuà bǎn / Cartoon books) – 全10册 (10 books)
  5. 手工益智版 (Shǒugōng yì zhì bǎn / Craft picture books) – 1 2合辑,12册 (12 books)
  6. 阅读版 (Yuèdú bǎn / Chapter books) – 全16册 (13 books)
Luka Reading Robot Narrates Magic School Bus Books in Mandarin Chinese
Large sturdy basket holds Magic School Bus books

Comparison of Magic School Bus Books in Chinese

As you will see, the 桥梁版 Chinese bridge books have relatively fewer words per page. My daughter finds these the easiest of all Magic School Bus Books.

The 图画书版 original picture books, 人文版 culture books, 动画版 cartoon books, 手工益智版 craft picture books are all of similar difficulty.

The most challenging are the 阅读版 chapter books. Unfortunately, this subset is not readable by the Luka Reading Robot. However, Luka Reading Robot narrates the other Magic School Bus books.

Try this: 15 Ways to Encourage Your Child to Read

Bridge Books 桥梁版

Chinese Magic School Bus Bridge Books 桥梁版
  1. Crazy Trip In Forest 疯狂的树叶旅行
  2. Lost In The Snow 雪野迷踪
  3. Leave The Nets 飞离鸟巢
  4. Space Explorers 月球漫步
  5. Polar Bear Patrol 北极探险
  6. Has a Heart 体验心脏
  7. Trip Deep In The Sea 像螃蟹一样爬
  8. Dinosaur Detectives 与恐龙一起飞翔
  9. The Search For Missing Bones 丢失的牙齿
  10. Let’s Fly 乘风飞翔
  11. First Thanksgiving 第一次感恩节
  12. The Statue of Liberty 建造自由女神像
  13. Through The Storm 经历暴风雨
  14. Trip To Outerspace 飞向太空
  15. Winter Sleep 冬眠
  16. The Truth About Bats 在蝙蝠洞里
  17. Recycle 回收利用
  18. Twister Trouble 困在网中
  19. The Great Shark Escape 鲨鱼奇遇
  20. The Giant Germ 战胜病菌
Chinese Magic School Bus Bridge Book and Luka Reading Robot
Chinese Magic School Bus - Inside the body bridge book

Picture Books 图画书版

These are the original 12 books in the Magic School Bus series!

Magic School Bus Books in Chinese

Here are the titles:

  1. Inside the Earth 地球内部探秘
  2. Inside the Human Body 在人体中游览
  3. In the Time of the Dinosaurs 追寻恐龙
  4. The Electric Field Trip 漫游电世界
  5. Inside a Beehive 奇妙的蜂巢
  6. Lost in the Solar System 迷失在太阳系
  7. Explores the Senses 探访感觉器官
  8. Inside a Hurricane 穿越飓风
  9. On the Ocean Floor 海底探险
  10. At the Waterworks 水的故事
  11. Climate Challenge 气候大挑战
  12. The Science Fair Expedition 科学博览会
Chinese Magic School Bus - Inside the human body picture book

Culture Books 人文版

Mrs. Frizzle’s Adventures focuses on the teacher without the magical bus!

Chinese Magic School Bus Books - Mrs. Frizzle's Adventures

This sub-series has three books:

  1. Mysterious Egypt 埃及大旅行
  2. Imperial China 中国大游历
  3. Medieval Castle 城堡大进攻

Of these, only the Egypt and China books are readable by Luka Reading Robot. Below are pictures from Imperial China 中国大游历.

Magic School Bus Mrs. Frizzle's Adventures: Imperial China 中国大游历
Magic School Bus Mrs. Frizzle's Adventures: Imperial China 中国大游历

Cartoon Books 动画版

The Magic School Bus Cartoon Books 动画版 are similar in layout and difficulty level to their regular picture books.

Chinese Magic School Bus Cartoon Books 动画版
动画版 and 手工益智版 books

This set has ten books:

  1. Blows Its Top 深入火山
  2. Gets Baked in a Cake 蛋糕的秘密
  3. Gets Eaten 有趣的食物链
  4. Rot Squad 腐烂小分队
  5. Make A Rainbow 点亮彩虹
  6. See Stars 星星诞生记
  7. Inside Ralphie 与病菌作战
  8. Plants Seed 种子的奥秘
  9. Kicks Up A Storm 气象超人
  10. In The Arctic 把热留住

Recommended: Fun and Free Chinese Cartoons for Kids

Craft Books 手工益智版

The Magic School Bus Craft Books 手工益智版 are just like the Magic School Bus Cartoon Books 动画版.

The difference is that these 12 books include simple crafts and experiments related to the book topic.

  1. Sound 声音博物馆
  2. Ants 蚂蚁世界
  3. Buoyancy 谁主沉浮
  4. Reptile 动物的体温
  5. Desert 沙漠之旅
  6. Flight 飞行的秘密
  7. Meteorite 神秘的太空石
  8. Salmon 三文鱼的洄游
  9. Light 光的魔力
  10. Butterfly 蝴蝶的秘密
  11. Water Cycle 水的循环
  12. Plants Seeds 植物生长的奥秘

Below is the Chinese Magic School bus book about sound 声音博物馆.

Chinese Magic School bus book about sound 声音博物馆.

Here’s a simple experiment with water in cups.

Music making experiment with water glasses

Recommended: Fun Baking Soda and Vinegar Science Experiments

Magic School Bus Chapter Books 阅读版

Last but not least are the chapter books, the most challenging version of the Magic School Bus series.

Chinese Magic School Bus Chapter Books 阅读版

These books are black-and-white with full pages of Chinese text.

  1. The Truth about Bats 探寻蝙蝠
  2. The Search for the Missing Bones 觅骨寻踪
  3. The Wild Whale Watch 怒海赏鲸
  4. Space Explorers 探索宇宙
  5. Twister Trouble 追踪龙卷风
  6. The Giant Germ 走进微生物
  7. The Great Shark Escape 逃离巨鲨
  8. Penguin Puzzle 拜访企鹅
  9. Dinosaur Detectives 恐龙侦探
  10. Insect Invaders 追踪昆虫
  11. Amazing Magnetism 奇妙的磁力
  12. Polar Bear Patrol 巡航北极
  13. Electric Storm 穿越雷电
  14. Voyage to the Volcano 火山之旅
  15. Butterfly Battle 奋飞的蝴蝶
  16. Rocky Road Trip 解密岩石
Chinese Magic School Bus Chapter Books 阅读版

Where to buy Magic School Bus books

Have you read the Magic School Bus books in English or Chinese with your kids?

Which Magic School Bus books have you read, and what did your child think of the Chinese translation? We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below!

More science books in Chinese for kids


  1. kONG KAGNA says:


  2. I really want to but this set from Taobao but don’t know how to ship them to the US. How did you do it? The books are only $50 but the shipping must be very pricey.

    1. Hi Shanna! I use an agent to help my buy books from China. But I’ve heard fluent parents use the Taobao or app to order directly, and other non-fluent parents use Google translate to help them order. Shipping from Asia is usually double the cost of the books, but rates might be higher during the pandemic due to less available flights.

    2. Were you able to order the Magic school bus books? The Chinese version is also available on Amazon and JoJo Learning (links in the “where to buy section” of the post)! 🙂

  3. Thanks for sharing! May I ask if Luka is able to read the English version of magic school bus in both English and Chinese?

    1. Hi Jenny! I’m not sure as we only have Magic School Bus in Chinese. But Luka has been able to read other English books in Chinese if the illustrations and cover are the same.

      1. I see. Thank you so much!

  4. Your library looks so awesome!!! (:

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