The simple, familiar experience of a school bus ride is turned into an excursion of discovery in Grant Snider’s picture book. Gorgeously enhanced with his own illustrations, the story follows one boy, one day, one ride to school. While the text is sparse, the words capture the small delights the boy observes on his long ride from his rural home to his school in town. Each page incorporates a counting theme, with concepts both simple (three pecking chickens) and more abstruse (no trains, infinite sky, countless flowers), sure to attract the attention of the keen listener or reader. Sinder’s color pencil and marker illustrations are lush and eye-catching, tying in to the school theme of the story. Bus riders are compared to crayons in a box, which echoes the feel of the artwork. As the long school day draws to a close, the boy begins to wonder what he may spy on the ride home. The story is a visual and thematic delight. Besides being fun to read, youngsters will enjoy counting, pondering the boy’s lengthy ride to school and long school day. How do they compare to their own school experience? The main character is white, while a variety of ethnicities are represented among the children on the bus.
THOUGHTS: This book would make a wonderful read aloud early in the school year, and will inspire many rereads. A worthy addition to libraries serving young patrons, especially school libraries.
Picture Book Nancy Nadig, Penn Manor SD