Grandits’ latest is a hilarious tongue-in-cheek look at the perils of riding the school bus.
Kyle is a little nervous about his first-ever bus ride. Luckily he’s got his older brother James to teach him the rules. But from the moment the bus pulls up to the curb, things start to go wrong for Kyle, who manages to break seven of his brother’s 10 bus rules on the morning trip to school and the remaining three on the way home. While many of the rules make good sense (never touch anyone’s stuff, never mess with the bully), as Kyle learns, there are times when rules just cannot, or should not, be followed. And when Kyle survives the experience, he realizes that maybe he could give his older brother a few pointers. While the rather lengthy text and relatively sophisticated humor preclude this from soothing a new kindergartner’s fears of the school bus, this is one that is sure to tickle older elementary kids and even middle schoolers who have been through it. Austin’s acrylic artwork is amazingly lifelike. He is at his best when he illustrates scenes from Kyle’s vivid imagination, which has a tendency toward metaphor. Kyle’s every thought and feeling are manifest on the page.
Worthy of being shelved next to Jon Scieszka’s funniest. (Picture book. 6-12)