Raffi. Illustrated by Sylvie Katorovitz Wickstom. Wheels on the Bus. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1988.
Elijah had to have a book to sing for his little library. I loved to sing to and with my girls and I thought he and his Mama or his Daddy might like to sing together was well. I liked this version of Wheels on the Bus a Raffi Song to Read book so I included it in his library. I advised him to learn to sing this song so he could bellow out the words, “The baby on the bus goes ‘Wah, wah, wah’…” I figured he could make his Mama a little crazy. You are most welcome, Gigi!
This is Raffi’s version of a traditional song. I, back when pterodactyls roamed the earth, remember singing this song. Wheels on the Bus, right along with 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall, is one that parents used to keep their children amused on long car trips. Conversely, it is a song like 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall that children use to drive their parents crazy on long car trips. Do you remember when you learned a song like this? Do you remember doing the action to accompany the words? Take a look at this YouTube video with Raffi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8d8Vo72Kbrk. It will help you get in the mood to teach it to a young person in your life.
Alexis, Sarah and I loved to sing this song even when we weren’t traveling. We sometimes made up our own lyrics for it as well. Growing up in suburban and rural Texas, my girls didn’t have the city bus experience that this books represents, but we loved this book and song anyway.
I loved to read and sing this story with a group of kids when I had the chance. First, I would read it to them and we would discuss the pictures. Perhaps we might, as Raffi does in the video, discuss the type of actions to use when we sing the story. Once satisfied that we had all the bases covered, we would launch into our loud and very boisterous rereading of the story. We had such fun! If I was lucky, Jim would play the guitar for us. It kept us on key and on time, still it was an excellent edition to our efforts.
If you don’t care for this song to read, find one that suits your fancy. Read and sing with the young (or not so young) people in your life!