cover image It’s Not a School Bus, It’s a Pirate Ship

It’s Not a School Bus, It’s a Pirate Ship

Mickey Rapkin, illus. by Teresa Martinez. Imprint, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-250-22977-9

The dedication to this team’s buoyant follow-up to It’s Not a Bed, It’s a Time Machine speaks volumes: “For anyone who sat alone on the school bus.” Whether readers have or haven’t, they will eagerly climb aboard this playfully out-of-the-ordinary ride, along with a reluctant boy embarking on his first day of school. Instead of an empty seat, the boy finds a genial captain at the wheel and a merry band of swashbuckling kids, and his shivers disappear as he joins his crewmates for a “scallywag sing-a-long” and pirate joke-telling, wondering, “Why was I so scared? We’re all in the same boat!” Martinez’s digital art gives the bus a highly imaginative seafaring transformation and fills the ocean with waggish aquatic creatures, including a taco-eating dolphin, penguins sailing an iceberg, and flamingos sporting backpacks. On dry land, the teacher welcomes her students and invites them to take a seat on what appears to be an ordinary rug—but is it really? Ages 3–6. (June)