red car red bus

Red Car, Red Bus by Susan Steggall

Turn to the first page of this picture book and you will see people waiting at a bus stop.  Another page turn has them aboard the bus and only two words: “Red bus.” The next page has a red car join the red bus and readers will see two people dashing for the bus stop.  By the time the bus reaches its next stop, the page is filled not only with a yellow van, yellow car, the red car and the red bus, but the people running for the bus have dropped their teddy bear.  As the pages turn, the road gets more crowded with vehicles and it becomes all the more fun to figure out what the story is on the side of the road.  The only words in the book describe the colors of the vehicles and name the vehicles themselves, otherwise it is more of a wordless book as the complicated action takes place in pictures only. 

Steggall has created a picture book that really plays with the reader.  At first, I thought it was going to be a very simple color and vehicle book for toddlers, but it is something much more.  The intricate cut paper illustrations tell the story along the roadside, as each page turn moves the reader further down the road.  There is a wonderful sense of motion to the entire book.  The vehicles appear in patterns with colors and sorts of vehicles. 

This is a delight of a read, surprising in its depth and yet fully appropriate for the youngest reader who enjoys cars and trucks.  This is one to linger over and discuss, talking about the story that is told wordlessly, perfect for curling up with your special little one.  Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from library copy.