Bus! Stop! by James Yang is the delightfully fanciful story of an unnamed boy who misses his bus. "Bus! Stop!" he shouts as the bus pulls away. The bus doesn't stop and he has no choice but to wait for another bus. As a series of strange buses and people (or even creatures) file to the bus stop, each picks up its unique passengers and leaves, the boy making brief observations about each:
"This does not even LOOK like a bus!" he says about a bus that picks up sailors and is shaped like a ship.
Each bus is unique: a bus with its wheels on stilts whose passengers who fly up to the door, a stagecoach-type bus with a horse and passengers who look like they arrived via the 19th century, a domed bus that may have bouncy seats as the passengers all appear to be bouncing or floating, and possibly a bus full of aliens. I found an interior spread of the domed bus (which I hope you'll be able to enlarge if you click on it):
After regretfully watching it leave and wondering if he should have taken the bus shown above because it looked like a fun one, the boy climbs onto the next bus and is taken into outer space. As the bus flies away, it passes an outer-space bus stop where a girl with a cat shouts, "Bus! Stop!" and the boy seems to empathize with her predicament.
Highly recommended - I absolutely loved this book. It has few words, relying instead mostly upon the artwork to show the boy's dilemma and the totally unique buses and passengers that arrive. Full disclosure: I received a copy of Bus! Stop! for review from Viking (in return for my unbiased review) and I went to high school with the author and artist, James Yang. I appreciated his art and sense of humor back then, when he had a comic strip in our school newspaper. James' art has matured and he has long since found his personal style as a commercial artist. Bus! Stop! is classic James Yang. I love the detail of the cat in the background that moves from one window to another, the variety of crazy buses and passengers, and the simple idea of how it feels to miss one's bus and then have to wait and wait and wait for the right bus to show up.
Note: I'm dedicating this week to children's books. If you've got a little one to read to (especially if you or the child in your world is a cat lover), don't forget to sign up for my Giveaway of I Am the Boss of this Chair. The winner will be announced on Friday, which also means Fiona Friday will be shifted to Saturday, this week.