Written for a slightly younger audience, this lacks the sparkle and story that mark Poydar’s other books.
When young Max finds a toy bus driver on the sidewalk, it immediately becomes his most beloved toy (there is no mention made of trying to track down the former owner). The two go everywhere together, which is a problem since Max can’t seem to keep track of the tiny toy. The preschooler and his mommy seem to be searching for Bus Driver on almost every spread (finding him at the last minute each time), but readers don’t get to do the same. Poydar’s acrylic illustrations rob children of the chance to search for him, although he may be so small so as to preclude that—as it is, he is a speck in most spreads. Readers who pay attention to the copyright page may spot the bus driver bouncing out of a toy bus, grabbed by a young girl after the pair were left by the garbage with a “free” sign attached. In the end, Bus Driver is reunited with his bus, once again “free” and next to the trash can, waiting for the next lucky taker—Max.
The thin story, lackluster text and the missed opportunity in the illustrations add up to make this one to skip—for tales of lost toys, stick with Karen Beaumont and David Catrow’s Where’s My T-R-U-C-K? (2011) or Mo Willems’ Knuffle Bunny books. (Picture book. 3-5)