Sunday 12 August 2012

The Wheels on the Bus

The Wheels on the Bus [Board book] The Wheels on the Bus [Board book] illustrated by Mandy Foot (Lothian/Hachette)
BB RRP $12.99
ISBN 9780734413116
Reviewed by Hilary Smillie

This great little in-house board book offers a new slant on the ever-popular nursery rhyme/song. The driver and passengers are all Australian fauna, and Mandy Foot's bright and quirky artwork tells a great story.

The cute Wombat bus driver is taking his passengers on a trip around Australia. At Coober Pedy the wheels get stuck and help is needed from Kangaroo. In Tassie, Joey, chased by a Tasmanian Devil, is hoping the doors of the bus won't shut until he is aboard. At Bondi Beach a surf-lifesaver koala is on duty and Emu is eager to step out of the bus to go for a swim, but Kangaroo is keen to hop back in the bus...

There is plenty more fun and action throughout the book. Toddlers will laugh at the bus becoming water-borne on the Great Barrier Reef where the wipers certainly need to swish a lot. In the outback the emu family find the track especially bumpy, and when the baby emus and joey start to waah! their mothers are quick to shhh! them as the bus crosses a Darwin creek full crocodiles.

Young readers will enjoy singing the song, naming the animals, and looking for the green gecko on each spread. The music score is found on the end page while a map of Australia on the inside cover shows all the destinations, lending a further educational aspect to this delightful board book. 

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