A nursery-song staple is presented with lots of baby swagger.
Wheels turn round, doors open and close and wipers swish when a mob of energetic toddlers climbs aboard the bus in this energetic rendition of a classic preschool tune. There's an endearing energy in the busyness of the tots in tow. A little child turned driver serves not only as a willing participant as the youngsters explore their surroundings, but also attempts to corral the other babes, gleefully tooting the horn one moment and admonishing the group the next. The children's sweet faces lead an angelic sing-along, then moods drastically change, resulting in tantrums until their napping brings welcome relief. (Even the driver forgoes attempts to soothe the boisterous group and curls up on the seat, cap slung across eyes in exhausted slumber.) Sunny mixed-media scenes capture the vehicle's enclosed space until a refreshing final spread exposes the gang's exact location. Katz's signature style is in full form here; racially diverse, rounded characters wear patterned clothes, lovingly unpretentious in their soft, enthusiastic movements. Uncomplicated wording gives each verse its due, leaving no room for guessing in the buoyant conclusion. "The babies on the bus say, / 'Bye-bye, bus!' / Now it's time to go."
PreS--"The Wheels on the Bus" gets a facelift with new illustrations and a few new verses focused on babies. Each of the 13 verses is complete on a spread. Bright colors and simple patterns are eye-catching for all, but will have special appeal for babies and toddlers. Katz's familiar round-faced youngsters of different ethnicities will delight readers (singers), even when "the babies on the bus cry, 'Waah! Waah! Waah!'" The size and simplicity of the pictures make this an appropriate choice for groups, as well as for one-on-one sharing. The new verses are no more creative than those made up by librarians and children who regularly sing the song, but the illustrations make this a good buy for the youngest audience.--Carolyn Janssen, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OH[Page 88]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.