Friday, April 24, 2020

Review: The Kids on the Bus by Kirsten Hall

A Spin-The-Wheel Book of Emotions
by Kirsten Hall
Illustrated by Melissa Crowton
Chronicle Books
 Board Book / Activity
16 pages
ages 2 to 4

An interactive board book that lends a new twist to "Wheels on the Bus"!

The feelings on the bus go 'round and 'round, All 'round the town.

Take a turn on this busy city bus to discover what everyone is feeling. Spin the wheel to match the feeling to the scene, then sing along with the familiar song in this creative introduction to emotions. A fun, updated take on the classic children's song, this novelty board book shaped like a stylishly modern bus will have kids acting and singing along—and reflecting on their own varied emotions.

• A cute and clever intro to emotions for babies and toddlers
• Classic sing-a-long for parents and children
• Unique shape and interactive features help engage young readers

A classic read-aloud sing-along book for young fans of such books as My Fun School BusTonka: Fire Trucks!, and The Little School Bus.

This charming sing-able, read-able board book helps children identify emotions, a key early childhood developmental milestone.



Playing on the familiar son, The Kids on the Bus, this book spins into the world of emotions...and I mean that literally.

Shaped as a school bus, this book immediately embraces the theme and sets the mood. Every page flows with a verse fitting to the song, making this a book which can be sung along. At first, only a few kids enter the bus, and with each turn of the page, more get on. Before flipping, though, the reader is asked 'How Are You Feeling Today?' A wheel then allows the reader to spin emotion faces—visible in a round opening above the bus driver's head—until they reach whatever emotion they believe is being displayed on the bus at that moment.

Even at first glance, this book gives a cute impression. The school bus form draws in and the animal-children are vibrant and full of excitement. The atmosphere is a very pleasant one the entire way through. The illustrator also makes sure to pack in diversity and needed politeness. So, it's a nice 'feel good' read, perfect for young listeners. Add the text, which can be easily sung in thought of the original song, and it's also a wonderful read-aloud, which is sure to grab young listeners' interest.

The point of this book is to teach young listeners to recognize emotions...or so it would seem. The idea of placing the different (and simple) emotion faces on wheel, which the reader spins, is a lovely touch. Young listeners will enjoy spinning it around and around. The emotions include mostly positive ones with only an 'angry', which hits when the bus driver gets a bit over-whelmed with the giggling on the bus. I did find this a little odd and would have liked to have seen a more solid reason for the driver's anger. But then, all the kids on the bus know is positive. Other emotions like being sad or worried aren't included, which was also a shame.  Still, it's a cute book which is sure to have young listeners flipping through again and again.

And here they are...

The Author...
Kirsten Hall is an author and literary agent. She lives in New York City.

The Illustrator...
Melissa Crowton is an illustrator. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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