When a train packed with toys and food for children becomes stranded on the wrong side of the mountain, the toys onboard try to get help from passing trains like the Shiny New Engine and the Big Strong Engine — to no avail.
When the driver of a double-decker bus decides on a whim to break away from the monotony of driving a fixed route every day by literally taking a different road, little does he know that this will lead to an epic road-trip for him and his surprisingly game passengers.
What begins as a simple bus ride for a girl and her red balloon quickly turns into a mini adventure when she accidentally allows her red balloon to float out of the purposefully open-topped bus.
Books on vehicles are usually rather dull and uninspiring affairs — well, at least to someone who has very little interest in them! This 40-year-old gem, however, has overturned my expectations in the best possible way.
Sam is used to being the top dog, so to speak, on the race track. Then one day, an unexpected loss threatens to derail his winning streak and — more disastrously — his relationship with his friends. Only when faced with a moral dilemma does he finally realise that losing a race is small potatoes compared to doing the right thing and winning the respect of his friends.
At some point in life, one comes to the realisation that sometimes, it’s not just about what you know, but also who you know. Thus, nurturing good relationships with the people you meet is always a good idea, especially since you never know when you’ll need their help.
Case in point: the eponymous protagonist in Little Blue Truck, who takes time to exchange friendly greetings — “Beep!” — with all the various animals he meets along the way.
I was lucky to stumble upon School Bus a couple of weeks before my son was due to take the school bus for the very first time. The book is very graphical, with minimal words, but manages to convey the whole process of getting on the bus, arriving at school, and then taking the bus home after school — from the perspective of the bus.
Firefighters: Speeding! Spraying! Saving! is a great book for children to learn about what firemen do, taking them through a complete and rather detailed cycle of what happens when there’s a fire — from the firemen leaving the fire station to what they do to put out the fire and rescue the people who may be trapped; finally, it even shows the exhausted firemen heading back to the station to rest before the next emergency.
The simple, rhyming prose (with ‘sound effects’!) is pleasant for parents to read and easy enough for the little ones to understand.