The Magic School Bus: Explores Human Evolution is the thirteenth book in the original book series.
There aren't any people around to ask for directions. Luckily Ms. Frizzle has a plan, and the class is right there to watch simple cells become sponges and then fish and dinosaurs, then mammals and early primates and, eventually, modern humans. It's the longest class trip ever!
This is the story of a species, of our species, as only Ms. Frizzle can tell it. Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen tackle this essential topic with the insight and humor that have made the Magic School Bus the bestselling science series of all time."
- This was the final book Joanna Cole wrote before her passing. Three specials of The Magic School Bus Rides Again were dedicated to her.
- The Bus drives in reverse for the first time in the book series.
- In the TV series, it drives in reverse in Pigs in the Wind.
- Ralphie mentions his brother on page 47, but this only applies to the canon of the book series as they are not canon with the well-known one of the TV programs. His brother is neither named nor shown on the Tennelli family tree on page 8.
- When the kids say good bye in different languages on pages 44 and 45, languages with other alphabets are Romanized.
- This is the first MSB book with accented letters. They are shown in Bo's Chinese speech bubbles (romanized), as well as on pages 44 and 45.
- This is the first book in which the students stay normal size when the Bus shrinks. If one looks closely during the pages in which the kids evolve, it can be seen in different forms, except shrunken, even though the class mentions they “haven’t seen the Bus for the entire trip” on page 43.
- The students have transformed into the most species in this book.
- This is the second time the class transforms into other species in the book series. The previous is Inside a Beehive.
- This is the first classic book release during the Rides Again era.
- The Bus's overhead sign says TREE-MENDOUS.
- This is the first time that the author and illustrator themselves are mentioned in Scholastic's official synopsis for a classic series book.
- John returns to the class after his absence in the previous book.
- His outfit has changed to further differentiate him from Carlos.
- Alex also returns in this book.
- This is the third classic book in which Carlos uses his 1994–2016 design. The previous two were And the Science Fair Expedition and And the Climate Challenge.
- This is the second classic series book to include "explores" in its title. The first time was Explores the Senses.
- This is the second in the modern five not to include "and" in its title since Explores the Senses as well.
- The visitor this time is Wanda's cousin, Bo.
- The Scholastic logo does not appear on the cover of the first edition.
- This marks the first book to be teased in a previous book since The Magic School Bus Explores the Senses was teased in The Magic School Bus and the Electric Field Trip.