THE WHEELS ON THE BUS by Stella Blackstone


Age Range: 3 - 6
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The familiar song gets a new setting in this trip to a Guatemalan market.

The green and orange bus, roof piled high with baskets and bowls, bags and chickens, leaves the village just as the sun is coming up: “The bus starts up with a rumble and crunch. / The driver calls out, ‘We’ll be there by lunch.’ / The bus starts up with a rumble and a crunch / On the journey to the town.” The wheels go round over dusty ground, the children shout and play along the way, the papis stand up to sing and hum and bang a drum, and the babies cry bouncing low and high, until suddenly, “BANG!” A granny is there to calm the children, the mamis find a spare, and the people all lift the bus. Backmatter includes some facts about Guatemala and the first verse and music to the song. While the lines of the song do not strictly repeat, the bright illustrations may prompt repeat readings, and children will catch on to the lines that vary. Ochre and tropical shades of blue, green and yellow fill the full-bleed illustrations with color, energy and vibrant patterns, as befits the Central American setting. Happy people share the bus’s interior with polka-dot chickens, the women all wear long skirts, the men sport hats, and donkeys and goats dot the countryside.

Why settle for ordinary? Ride a “chicken bus” in Guatemala! (Picture book/song. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-84686-787-3
Page count: 24pp
Publisher: Barefoot
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2014


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