cover image The Bus Stop

The Bus Stop

Janet Morgan Stoeke, . . Dutton, $12.99 (24pp) ISBN 978-0-525-47805-8

The creator of the Minerva Louise books pens a short, catchy ode to what is a monumental event for many a kindergartener: that first ride on the big, yellow school bus. Three eager, smiling youngsters are each shown getting something ready for their trip to the bus stop. (Even the driver is shown readying the new bus with a wash.) The jaunty, albeit somewhat forced, rhymes evoke the feel of kids skipping out the door. “Stevie Beecher/ has a present for the teacher. And he can’t wait/ to bring it/ to the bus stop.” The trio of pupils meets at the stop where a large bus—its golden-yellow hue filling most of the two-page spread—and its smiling driver await. “The bus looks/ awfully big and tall./ Each kid feels/ kind of scared and small.” With only one spread depicting a cheery, busy classroom, most of the action is devoted to the journey there and back, reassuring even the most reticent riders that the bus will indeed return them to a parent’s embrace. Bright colors impart a cheerful, upbeat tone and a small trim size creates an innocent, child-friendly feel. This confidence-instilling book invites repeated readings—young audiences surely will want to revisit the final scene of the students being swept up in parental hugs at the bus ride’s end. Ages 3-up. (July)