You can't take an elephant on the bus by Patricia Cleveland-Peck

cover image

Ill. by David Tazzyman. Bloomsbury, 2015. ISBN 9781408849828
(Age: Junior primary) Recommended. Transport. Elephants. Size and shape. London. With two odd looking creatures welcoming the reader on the opening page, to an array of bus tickets for London Transport on the title page, the readers know they will be highly entertained by this fast moving verse story. Each animal represented has been crowded into a most inappropriate mode of transport which will cause gales of laughter from the readers and listeners. An elephant on a bus, what next? Well try a monkey in a shopping trolley or a tiger on a train, a camel in a sailing boat, and a taxi driven by a seal. Each causes mayhem as the bus seat is squashed flat, the trolley skidding out of control in the shopping aisles, the boat turned upside down, and the taxi causing traffic chaos. Eleven animals are shown with a mode of transport that will cause hilarity amongst the readers, and the double page devoted to each is a delight to look at.
The entertaining illustrations are wildly imaginative as each animal is shown in its particular form of transport, delighting in the way they are moving, but by the looks on their faces, aware that there is some underlying concern. I loved the giraffe stuffed into the plane and the hippo in the hot air balloon, while the bear and the ice cream van is hilarious. Each page has lots of things to look at, ponder and seek out, while the story lends itself to discussions about forms of transport, size and shape as well as animals of the world, and the verses will be read over and over again.
Fran Knight