cover image Kindergarrrten Bus!

Kindergarrrten Bus!

Mike Ornstein, illus. by Kevin M. Barry. Sleeping Bear, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-58536-398-8

What if your kindergarten school bus driver were a pirate? Ornstein (The Daddy Longlegs Blues) and Barry (illus. for Ghost Cat) imagine that he’d run a tight ship (“Keep ye hooks—errr, I mean hands—to ye self!”) and wouldn’t tolerate any first-day trepidation (“There’ll be no blubberin’ on me bus!”). But when the pirate’s parrot goes missing, the driver reveals that he’s just as fearful of the unknown as anybody, and then it’s up to the once-nervous kids to become sources of sage advice (“Being brave is when you’re scared but you still do what you have to do”) and lead a version of the pirate’s song (“We may be scared, but we’ll see it through!/ ’cause we mates gotta do what we mates gotta do!”). With its over-the-top cartooning and abundance of crowd-pleasing “arrr” sounds, this clever comedy may be powerful enough to defuse the worry of an entire classroom of reluctant school-goers. Ages 1–4. (July)