cover image The Bus Ride

The Bus Ride

Marianne Dubuc. Kids Can, $15.95 (40p) ISBN 978-1-77138-209-0

Dubuc’s (The Lion and the Bird) account of a girl’s bus trip to her grandmother’s house unfolds at a leisurely pace. The girl holds her mother’s hand at the bus stop, then boards the bus: “Bye, Mom! Yes, I know! I’ll be good!” The squat, horizontal format lends itself nicely to images of the long, wide bus interior, whose fixtures and passengers Dubuc draws with tiny strokes of softly colored pencil, conveying a sense of order and calm. For readers, the spreads form a game of noticing what’s changed and what’s stayed the same as the bus travels through the woods and animal families of all sizes embark and disembark. A cat mother knits, a family of hedgehogs trudges down the aisle, and a sloth sleeps and sleeps and sleeps. Even when a sly fox in a trench coat tries to lift a beaver’s wallet, justice prevails as the girl and a new friend stick out their tongues at him and chase him away. When people (and animals) travel together, readers will realize, they begin to build a community. Ages 3–7. (Mar.)