Ms. Frizzle’s Adventures: Imperial China
Illustrated by Bruce Degen
Picture Book (Series)
Ages 6 to 8
Scholastic, 2005, 0-590-10822-0
Ms. Frizzle has been invited to spend Chinese New Year’s Eve with Wanda and her family. They begin by visiting Chinatown to watch all the festivities there. As they walk through the streets they see a long cloth dragon winding its way through the people. In a moment Wanda, her brother, a reluctant Arnold, and Ms. Frizzle have all ducked under the costume to join the dragon performers. After what seems like an age they come out again to discover that they have been transported back in time to a China of one thousand years ago.
The travelers are adopted by a Chinese farming family and soon they are eating and working alongside them. They learn that the Chinese family have a hard life trying to make ends meet by growing rice. If the crop is small then the family will have to do without and even worse they will still have to pay high taxes to the governor. Wanda decides that she and her traveling companions should go to talk to the Emperor to talk to him about these taxes. Perhaps she can persuade him to lower them to a fairer level.
After many adventures and after seeing and experiencing all kinds of interesting things, the Americans finally get to the Imperial City and try to get an audience with the Emperor.
In this large format picture book Ms. Frizzle once again works her magic taking her readers on a fascinating journey into the past. In addition to following along with the adventures of the American visitors, readers will also find that many of the pages have boxes and sidebars which contain all kinds of facts about ancient China. Readers will learn how silk is made, how rice is grown, how many everyday items were invented in ancient China, and even how to hold a chopstick. Pages packed with engaging illustrations make this the perfect book for young readers who are attracted to a more graphic format.
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