Saturday, May 03, 2014

Just Get on the Bus, Gus!: My Bus by Byron Barton


Joe's job is to drive the bus to town, picking up commuters along the way.

The morning milk run takes the 123 bus from the countryside toward the city, picking up riders, cats and dogs, who get along amiably by taking seats on different sides of the bus and minding their own business.

Joe's bus is just the first step in their day's transportation. Soon after the bus is at capacity at five dogs and five cats, Joe begins his stops.

First he drops off a dog and a cat at the dock where they get off to board a boat in the harbor.  Two dogs and one cat  transfer to the train at the station. Then Joe drops off two cats and a dog at the airport where their plane is waiting on the runway.

Byron Burton's brand-new salute to mass transit, My Bus (Greenwillow Books, 2014), is done up delightfully in his signature flat but bright colors and minimal detail.  With a salute to retro style, Barton's bus is squarish and Joe's uniform and cap seem to come right out of the 1950s, as do his airplane, boat, and train cars, giving this combo counting book/transportation lesson a jolly Preskool toy appeal.  Preschoolers will find counting up the passengers as they board and as they get off just a little bit of challenging fun--one dog plus two cats plus three cats: how many are on the bus after the third stop? How many dogs? How many cats? Barton's iconic style and primary and secondary colors are both appealing to preschoolers and help focus attention on the main subject without distraction.

Barton's newest, along with his earlier My Car (Board Book), are perfect staples for early childhood transportation units and this newest also offers counting practice and an introduction to the concept of simple addition and subtraction. Other Barton classics include Building a House, (Mulberry Books) Trucks (Board Book) and Planes (Board Book).

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