cover image The Wheels on the Bus

The Wheels on the Bus

Maryann Kovalski. Joy Street Books, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-316-50256-6

Kovalski's frolicsome adaptation of the traditional song is an ebullient account of a grandmother taking her granddaughters into town to buy new winter coats. The girls emerge from the store in coats at least two sizes too large for them, and one can almost hear Grandma say, ""plenty of room for sweaters and maybe you'll get another season out of them.'' But the real fun begins when they pass time till the bus comes, singing ``the wipers on the bus go swish, swish, swish . . . ,'' etc. Kovalski's mixed-media illustrations are wonderfully alive. Her characterizations of Grandma and the girls are animated; pink cheeks and three sets of excited eyes peer out beneath a fetching assortment of hats. This dauntless trio turns a potentially bleak cityscape into a terrific adventure. The perfect ending shows grandma snuggled in the back seat of a cab with a granddaughter on each side. A top choice for the preschool set. Ages 4-8. (October)