Mrs. Frizzle and her Magic School Bus made learning fun for children everywhere.
The author Joanna Cole, who created the beloved character Ms. Frizzle and the Magic School Bus book series, died at the age of 75, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday. Cole from Sioux City, Iowa, died on Sunday from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Cole wrote over 250 books, but is best known for her Magic School Bus series with the beloved and crazy science teacher Ms. Frizzle, who takes her elementary school students on excursions through time, space, and even the human body.
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"In fifth grade, I found that I enjoyed explaining things and writing reports for school," said Cole in her biography on the Scholastic Inc website. "I had a teacher who did a bit like Mrs. Frizzle was. She loved her subject. Every week she let a child experiment in front of the room and I always wanted to be that kid. "
The books have sold millions of copies. The Magic School Bus animated show, in which Lily Tomlin expressed Ms. Frizzle, was a hit in the 90s. It was, with Kate McKinnon from Saturday Night Live, who delivers Frizzles voice. A live action film with Elizabeth Banks as Ms. Frizzle is also in the works.
Cole's first book, Cockroaches, published in 1971, was inspired by an article she read in the Wall Street Journal.
"I've found that a children's book about cockroaches has never been written," she said in her school biography. "So I thought, why not? I also had enough time to study this creature in my affordable New York apartment!"
Cole was able to mix humor and information in her books, illustrator Bruce Degen said in a statement.
"I think for Joanna the excitement was always in the idea. What? Why? How?" Degen said. "And with The Magic School Bus, you could explain that it's accurate and in a form that a child can understand and use. And you can actually joke as you learn. She had a rare grasp of what might be humorous. "
And Cole loved her career.
"Writing is hard work, but it's the most fun in the world," said Cole in her school biography.
Readers and fans paid tribute to Cole on social media.
"Thank you, Joanna Cole, for inspiring several generations," wrote a Twitter user. "I hope to be half the teacher as Mrs. Frizzle. Joanna Cole is an icon."
The author of Magic School Bus died 🥺. Many thanks to Joanna Cole for inspiring several generations. I hope to be half the teacher as Mrs. Frizzle. Joanna Cole is an icon.
– Ms. Torelleni (KaseyEdition) (@ Kaseykase14), July 15, 2020
Another said, "Thank you, Joanna Cole, for teaching me to take risks, make mistakes and get messy. Because you taught me that you can always get answers if you ask questions! And that you taught me have that science can be really fun. "
Cole is survived by her husband Phil; her daughter Rachel and son-in-law John; her grandsons Annabelle and William; and her sister Virginia.
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