I have had the absolute pleasure of bringing you previous books by Sue Wickstead on my blog, and today I am delighted to share* Gloria The Summer Fun Bus with you.
From the back cover:
“Gloria is a special Playbus. She is painted with bright colours that makes her stand out.
Now she is ready for a summer of fun, but will Max enjoy the adventure?
Why don’t YOU join in the fun, too?”
What did we think?
As always with children’s books, I’ve asked my boys (aged 9, 7 and 5) for their opinions. I will start with my own though.
Gloria is a well paced, engaging story about a bus that is transformed into a summer holiday playbus. It follows in particular one little boy, Max, who doesn’t appear keen to partake in the activities on the bus. The story is supported throughout with lovely, interesting illustrations that really highlight how special Gloria is. I also liked that there were questions asked partway through, relating to a particular activity. If you give time to pause on these, they provide a lovely opportunity to reflect on the story so far and use your imagination to think of what might happen on the children’s adventures. Conversations were certainly sparked here, and immediately led to a playful session of re-enactment!
I would highly recommend this book to all parents or carers to read to any child who might enjoy an engaging picture book. My thoughts aren’t the only ones that matter though, so I’m going to hand over to my boys:
Chief (aged 9)
“I liked this book. It reminded me of a bus that I went on and made me feel happy.”
Munch (aged 7):
I enjoyed this book. I wish I could go on the bus this summer, in real life! It looks as though it has loads of fun stuff on it. I would like to play with the construction bricks! The pictures were fun and made me think about what I could do on the bus.”
The Loud One (aged 5):
What I liked about this book was the activities that were on Gloria. Especially the paint, the dressing up box and the big bricks. My favourite part was seeing that Gloria had sand on her too! She looks so fun! I would like to play on her.”
Sounds like your kind of book? If you would like to find out how Max got on in the story and whether he enjoyed the adventure too, the purchase links are below:
Sue Wickstead is a teacher and an author and writes children’s picture books with a bus theme. She has also written a photographic history book about the real bus, which is where her story writing began.
Sue once worked with a playbus charity based in Crawley. This led her to write the photographic history book about the project. The ‘Bewbush Playbus’ book was published in 2012.
Sue then began to write a fictional tale about the bus. ‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus’, his number plate JJK261 gave him his name and has now been followed by more picture books which all indeed have a bus connection as well as links to her teaching journey.
Gloria is the most recent book and is based on the summer play-schemes which operated during the school holidays providing a safe place for children to meet and to play.
To find out more, take a look at Sue’s website and/ or social media links below:
Giveaway to WIN a signed copy of Daisy Daydreams Bus Rhymes and Jokes (Open to UK Only)!
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*N.B. Big thank you to Sue Wickstead who gifted me (and my boys!) a copy of Gloria the Summer Fun Bus for the purposes of my review, and to Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on the book tour. All thoughts are my own. For more information please see my disclosure page.