Review Blog

Oct 07 2020

The whales on the bus by Katrina Charman and Nick Sharratt

cover image

Bloomsbury Children's Books, 2020. ISBN: 9781526603432.
(Age: 2+) Highly recommended. Children will have lots of fun singing along to this humorous version of the well-known song, The wheels on the bus. The narrative starts off with
The whales on the bus ride round the town,
Round the town, round the town.
The whales on the bus ride round the town,
All day long!
Then with clever internal rhyming, the story continues with cranes on the train, bees on their skis, ducks on the truck and the very popular baboons in balloons. Children will delight in shouting out the "Roar, roar ROAR!" of the dragon in the wagon and hissing with the snakes on skates as they slip and slide. What a wonderful read aloud!
Nick Sharratt's bright illustrations are brilliant and really add to the story. Little details like a fish driving the whales' bus and a crocodile driving the cranes' train will give children an opportunity to look further at the pictures and find that one extra zany detail on the page that stands out. The animals have cheeky grins on their faces and the vivid colours and cheerful backgrounds, and black outlines make for a memorable read. Beginning readers, too, will enjoy having a go at reading for themselves, as the rhymes are supported by the pictures, and the repetition and rhymes will make it easy to predict the text.
I can see this becoming a favourite read aloud that will join the popular Car, car, truck, jeep by this talented duo.
Pat Pledger

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