Betty is a nervous bus who has a tough first day, but with the help of Tractor Mac and friends, she finds the courage to try again.
When Betty drops the last students off at the farm stand, she relates to Tractor Mac and his friends how terrible the day has been: She got lost, forgot some stops, and didn’t use her signals, and the other buses were unkind to her. She doesn’t want to go back. But her friends (both male and female) help build up her confidence by addressing each of her difficulties in turn, giving her the knowledge and practice she needs to be successful the next day. Steers nicely folds in some learning as well, having Betty, who is labeled the “C” bus and is the third to line up (as Sam the ram says, it’s the third letter of the alphabet), think of words that begin with C that will help her succeed. Tractor Mac throws in a final lesson: “If we make mistakes, it’s proof that we’re trying….That’s how we learn.” That may not be true in every case, but it certainly fits this tale. The watercolor-and-pencil illustrations are full of details, especially on the anthropomorphized vehicles, and the expressive farm animals will delight.
Here’s hoping readers don’t need to learn from Betty’s lesson on their own first days, but Tractor Mac and his friends have some good advice for kids to store away for a rainy day. (Picture book. 4-7)