Joanna Cole loved science as a child. "I always enjoyed explaining things and writing reports for school. I had a teacher who was a little like Ms. Frizzle. She loved her subject. Every week she had a child do an experiment in front of the room and I wanted to be that child every week," she recalls. It's no surprise that Cole's favorite book as a child was Bugs, Insects, and Such.
Ms. Cole has worked as an elementary school teacher, a librarian, and a children's book editor. Combining her knowledge of children's literature with her love of science, she decided to write children's books. Her first book was Cockroaches, which she wrote because there had never been a book written about the insect before. "I had ample time to study the creature in my low-budget New York apartment!" she says.
Since then she has written more than 90 nonfiction and fiction books for children, and she is the winner of the 1991 Washington Post /Children's Book Guild Nonfiction award for the body of her work, which also includes the ALA Notable Children's Book How You Were Born, Bony-legs; Cars and How They Go; and with Stephanie Calmenson, The Gator Girls series. Despite the hard work Ms. Cole insists that writing "is the greatest fun in the world." And The Magic School Bus books in particular provide the opportunity for Ms. Cole to combine the two things she loves most: science and humor.