cover image Ten Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break if You Want to Survive the School Bus

Ten Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break if You Want to Survive the School Bus

John Grandits, illus. by Michael Allen Austin. Clarion, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-618-78822-4

Though his hair recalls Conan O'Brien, first-time school bus rider Kyle's anxiety-ridden narration is straight out of A Christmas Story. Kyle is scared to ride the bus and is relying on his brother's rules for survival. Playing up Kyle's reference to a TV nature show, Austin's faux-menacing acrylics imbue the riders and setting with animalistic qualities. Kyle (who briefly becomes a zebra among lions) breaks several rules, talking both to a bully (a grizzly bear) and to a girl. But by day's end, Kyle has developed a rule of his own: sometimes it's good to take a sibling's advice with a grain of salt. Ages 5–8. (July)