Saturday, November 28, 2009

Book Review: The Bus for Us by Suzanne Bloom

If you follow my RSS feed, this is the post that showed up all wackified a few days ago, when I hit "publish" instead of "save." Oooops. Sorry 'bout that.

Book Review: The Bus for Us
Author: Suzanne Bloom
Illustrator: Suzanne Bloom
Source: Local Library

A little girl and her friend wait at the bus stop. Every time a vehicle passes by, the little girl asks, "Is this the bus for us, Gus?" But it's a taxi . . . an ice cream truck . . . even a backhoe! But never the bus. Oh, will it ever come?

This is one of those deceptively simple excellent books. The structure is repetitive but not redundant, predictable without all the negative connotations of the word. Kids will have fun guessing the next vehicle with the hint shown, and then being able to turn the page to see if they're right.

Bloom expands upon her simple story in the artwork, which shows all the little dramas and characters of a morning's wait at the bus stop. I especially enjoyed the urban setting, which will strike a chord with city-dwelling kids who are more used to taxis and sidewalks than lawns and shade trees. Also, the children who join Gus and Tess at the bus stop are a nice mix of ages, ethnicities, and sizes. Silly touches abound, like the changing "Bus Stop" sign or the garbage truck owned by the Bicker brothers.

Frankly, you guys, I can't wait to read this in storytime.

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