BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

The Bus Ride by Marianne Dubuc, edited by Yvette Ghione

The Bus Ride“This is the first time I’m taking the bus by myself,” Clara announces. With basket in hand – which holds her snack and a red sweater at the insistence of her mother in case she gets cold – Clara is off to visit her grandmother.

The number 18 bus is filled with various mobile passengers, some who get off, others who get on. Clara easily makes friends with her fellow riders, from a goat who offers her a flower, to a young wolf with whom she shares her snack, to a tiny possum who manages to enjoy her last cookie, to a young boy who helps her save the beaver from being pick-pocketed by the sly fox. So involved is she with all that’s going on, she forgets to count the number of stops. Still, she manages to get off just in time to run into her grandmother’s waiting arms.

Award-winning French Canadian artist Marianne Dubuc‘s latest title is not only an independent rite-of-passage for Clara, but the young reader is in for quite the interactive tag-along, as well. Woven into her frolicsome drawings, Dubuc adds additional narratives that don’t need words to discover and enjoy. The sleeping sloth might spend the entire journey in slumber, but he’s got some somnambulant surprises of his own. The wee possum is quite the bubble-popper, especially when the lights go out. The identity of the only human adult amidst the menagerie remains a (oh-so-clever-but-solvable) mystery, even as his or her newspaper announces warnings and clues. Hats and binkies go swapping in the dark. And, in a wink-wink to older readers, the red-sweatered Clara on her way to her grandmother’s invitingly offers her address to the little wolf. Aren’t unexpected friendships grand?

With careful attention to Dubuc’s hidden-in-plain sight chimerical details, The Bus Ride quickly becomes many adventures in a single book. So get on, already! Parents will be relieved that ‘Are we there yet?’ is not a part of this picture!

Readers: Children

Published: 2015 (United States)


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