A BUS CALLED HEAVEN by Bob Graham
Kirkus Star

A BUS CALLED HEAVEN

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 8

KIRKUS REVIEW

A city neighborhood takes shape around an abandoned school bus as Jell-O takes to a mold, in Graham’s tickling, gladdening tale.

A bus gets abandoned on a downtown street. At first it is just a curiosity piece, but a little girl senses some greater potential. Neighbors push and pull it into a side yard. They clean it out. Graffiti artists give it a coat of paint. The bus becomes a hub, a village green, a community center, a sanctuary enlivened by Graham’s multicultural throng: Sikh, Hasidim, sitar players, line dancers—we were all strangers once, so howdy, stranger. There comes the inevitable threat, which is neutralized by the wiles of youth. It is the lovely communality of the story—an ever-presence that is elegantly, softly presented—that will grab young readers, simply because the school bus is just so cool. It's got birds nesting in the engine block, a Foosball table, music, all sorts of things going on and the usual joyful noise of people up to whatever it is they enjoy being up to. Aiding the mood of merriment are Graham’s illustrations, with their sinewy black line work, delicate, peaches-and-cream colors and loving depiction of all kinds of people.  

The destination sign on the bus reads “Heaven,” and just so, a little piece here on Earth. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7636-5893-9
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2012




NEW & NOTABLE BOOKS FOR CHILDREN: MARCH 2012:

Children THE WILD BOOK by Margarita Engle
by Margarita Engle
Children BLUE SKY by Audrey Wood
by Audrey Wood
Children STEP GENTLY OUT by Helen Frost
by Helen Frost
Children LIFE IN THE OCEAN by Claire A. Nivola
by Claire A. Nivola

MORE BY BOB GRAHAM

ChildrenTHE SILVER BUTTON by Bob Graham
by Bob Graham
ChildrenMONSIEUR ALBERT RIDES TO GLORY by Peter Smith
by Peter Smith
ChildrenAPRIL AND ESME, TOOTH FAIRIES by Bob Graham
by Bob Graham

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenYO, JO! by Rachel Isadora
by Rachel Isadora
ChildrenHEAT WAVE by Eileen Spinelli
by Eileen Spinelli
ChildrenTHE WHEELS ON THE BUS by Paul O. Zelinsky
by Paul O. Zelinsky