School Bus

A yellow bus on the cover of a Donald Crew's bookCrews, Donald. School Bus.  New York: Mulberry Paperback Books, 1984.

I can tell that school started this week. On my morning and afternoon commutes there are school buses coming and going all over the area. As I write, I think about by friend, Cyndi. Her oldest son, Owen started kindergarten a few weeks ago. Owen was so excited to be a bus rider this year. He started several weeks ago and I had the chance to ask Cyndi how he liked riding the bus.  “He loves it!”  she reported.  I hope his enthusiasm for bus riding continues for the entire year.

I see so many buses on my morning and afternoon commutes. Big buses and small buses traveling the roads in and around Austin.  All the different buses taking students to school and home again.  It is an exciting time of the year to be a bus rider!

This lovely book by Donald Crews illustrates the daily life of buses.  They wait in the bus yard to begin the day.  Buses, large and small, leave the bus yard to drive all through the town.  They pick up children here and there and deliver them safely to school. Full buses arrive at school right on time for student to begin their day.

Faithfully these buses wait for the school day to end.  Empty buses arrive at school to collect their charges and traverse the town again to deliver students safely to their homes.

This simply illustrated books shows readers the secret life of the school bus.  At the end of the day, once the bus has delivered all its students, it makes its way back to the bus barn.  The buses are home again!  They need lots of rest!  They are on the road again in the morning!

The drawings in this book are bold and simple.Crews’ graphic style makes these drawing accessible to even the youngest child.  His pacing is beyond compare.  Reading this book with a child you get a sense of the buses’ movements throughout the town.  They stop, they go, they wait.  They pick up students and drop them off. It is a good book to use to prepare a student for their first school bus ride.

School Buses and School
Today I passed buses of that special yellow hue,
Carrying students from home to school.
School has begun. Are students glad?
To be back in the classroom, it isn’t so bad!

New things to learn and new friends to find,
Working to increase the powers of the mind.
At the end of the day, weary to the bone,
School buses are there to carry them home.

Donald Crews

He is an American author and illustrator. He is noted for his books with transportation themes.  He won the Caldecott Honors in 1979 for his book Freight Train and again in 1980 for his book, Truck. He is the winner of the 2015 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award.  This award honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children. His books are full of color and wonder and are worthy of this award.

He grew up in Newark, New Jersey.  Reading his various biographies it sounds like he had a good time.  When he and his siblings weren’t eating, sleeping or going to school, they were out in the street playing games with all the other neighborhood children.  He spent two months out of every summer visiting with his Grandma in Florida.  His book, Big Mama, chronicles some of the time he spent with her.¹

As he was growing up, his artistic talents were noted.  He had a mentor teacher, who believed in him and assured him that he would go to school and would succeed.  Donald noted the importance of teachers in children’s lives.  Outside of family members they are the first people who can show confidence in a student.  As Donald said, “…the opinions of outsiders usually make a stronger impression that relatives.”²

Here are places to read more about Donald Crews.

Here are some interviews with Donald Crews.




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