The wheels on the book get lost all over the house, all over the house, all over the house

This book is falling apart.  Which paradoxically means that it’s of the highest quality.  Because in a house with an active 3-year-old, nothing of low quality gets played with enough to fall apart.  But this book?  My son has literally loved it to death.  (It’s own death, not his, although I would say that it’s not totally destroyed yet, just on it’s way to a well-deserved rest home…)  This book has been read at bedtime and in the car.  It accompanies my son around the house when he wheels his toy bus on his hands and knees.  It’s even used as a reference book–when he sings the song and plays his banjo, or his drums, or his piano, or his accordion (we are big into the toy instruments here), he dutifully checks the book between each verse to see what’s next.  God forbid we sing the song in the wrong order…

It’s even been peed on.  (Notice that I only give book advice, not potty-training advice.)

Title: The Wheels on the Bus
Adapted and Illustrated by: Paul O. Zelinsky
Genre: Picture Book
Age: Toddlers and Preschoolers

Summary and Review:

The pictures in this book are vibrant and interesting.  After probably hundreds of reads, I’m still not tired of looking at them.  Each page has something tangible for the kids too–wheels to turn, doors and windows to open and close, etc.  I don’t love books with moving parts in general because I find them hard to maneuver and they don’t usually stand up to a curious toddler.  However, this is one of the longer-lasting ones, and definitely the most played with.  If it weren’t for a short temper tantrum a few months ago, we’d still have both wheels attached to the book.  🙂  I highly recommend this interactive version of the popular song!

Follow-up with the kids:

Music is the best follow-up with this book.  You can read it to your toddler and then sing it the next time.  You can have him practice moving the pieces at the same time as the song lyrics and get a sense of the rhythm as he does so.

Also, there is a lot going on in the pictures that isn’t in the text.  I love it when an illustrator makes a book even more interesting!  There’s a whole story to be told with the boy with the box of cats.  Why does he have them?  When does he lose one of the cats and when and how does he get it back?

Another example of this is when the song talks about the windows open and closing, notice the weather and how it changes over the few pages before and after.  Asking your child to notice these illustrated “subplots” helps hone their observation skills, which helps not only with reading comprehension but also is an early science skill.

Also, the book is animated in a wonderful DVD by Scholastic that also comes with some other great animated picture books.  We don’t do a lot of TV, but this is something I really recommend.  I found it here on Scholastic’s site as part of a travel pack, but I’m sure it’s also elsewhere online:

Hope you enjoy it as much as we have in our family!

5 Comments to “The wheels on the book get lost all over the house, all over the house, all over the house”

  1. I still have this book. It’s one of my favorite interactive books. You’re right. There are so many things going on in the background that you can look at it again and again and again.

  2. Oh this sounds just lovely! I will have to look into this for Jensen. He is only 15 months but he loves when I read to him. I am glad you visited my blog so I could find yours! 🙂

  3. As a Children’s Book Writer, I absolutely LOVE the topic of your blog. Kidlit books are awesome 🙂 I’ll definitely keep stopping by and seeing what you’re blogging about.

    Hip Chick’s Guide to PMS, Pregnancy, and Babies

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