Carol Roth, , illus. by Pamela Paparone. . North-South/Cheshire Studio, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7358-1646-6

For the team behind Ten Dirty Pigs/ Ten Clean Pigs, a bright yellow school bus becomes the perfect vehicle for a catchy cumulative rhyme and a quirky cast of animal characters. With a natty green-scaled fellow behind the wheel, the bus travels through the rolling countryside and into the bustling, candy-colored town, picking up passengers who eventually include "a squirmy worm,/ a hairy bear,/ a quick, quick chick,/ a fox with socks,/ a pig in a wig,/ a goat in a coat,/ riding the bus to school, to school,/ riding the bus to school." Roth's singsong rhymes and refrain bounce with the rhythm of the ride and bring to mind a timeless schoolyard chant. Paparone adds comic spice to her radiant, illustrations with witty details that convey various subplots of her own: on the bus, the bespectacled chick works on a laptop while the rapscallion fox vamps in the wig he's pinched from the sleeping, glamour-puss pig; in the city, a cat works as a fishmonger and a bug zooms by the bus on a scooter. The classroom scene sets in motion the pairings to come on the ride home. Thanks to this well-matched duo, this is buoyant fun from pickup to drop-off. Ages 3-6. (July)