Rhyming verses stretch out the job of a school bus to 12 spreads.
Driving down the road, picking up kids and dropping them off, visiting the mechanic, operating the wheelchair platform and going around a bend are a few of the things the yellow vehicle does in the job it so obviously loves, as evidenced by its smiling bumper, cheerful eyes and pink cheeks—all vehicle parts. Each verse starts with “I’m a little school bus,” so readers (especially those reading aloud) will be hard-pressed not to try to force the rhymes into the tune for “I’m a Little Teapot.” Some work better than others, both at fitting the tune and scanning well. “I’m a little school bus / waiting by the walk. / Boys and girls climb on, / sit and laugh and talk.” Kolar’s digital illustrations are cartoon-bright, the people are nicely diverse, and there’s not a grumpy face to be found. Oddly, the creators choose not to focus on a single day; the illustrations go from skirt- and shorts-clad children to a snow day and back to T-shirts in just three spreads. There’s not much on bus safety (save lining up to get on and don’t put your hands out the windows), and the pictures never show the inside of the bus.
While it’s cute and will help to complete vehicle lovers’ collections, this package doesn’t do much to address school fears or preparedness in the preschool audience it appears to be aimed at. (Picture book. 3-5)