HURRAH! Today's the day that the Blog Tour for Sue Wickstead's Gloria The Summer Fun Bus stops here at Pen and Paper. Just one of many participants you can find the links to the others in the Tour Schedule below.
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?
Brigit drove the big red bus into the airport hangar. - First sentence, Page not numbered
Some of the children complained about the noise. Max just grinned and carried on, banging the drums ever louder. Harry began blowing a didgeridoo. Max laughed at the rude raspberry noise it made. Another child joined in by picking up a drum and gently creating a rhythm. Harry played along to. Max shook the tambourine roughly. Why wasn't anyone telling him off? - Memorable Moment, Page not numbered
MY THOUGHTS ...Another of my and my little assistants' favourite authors, we've come to expect great things of Sue Wickstead and this, one of several books in her 'Bus Series', does not disappoint. Based on an actual bus. Yes, that's right, Gloria is based on an actual bus. A Leyland Atlantean (NRG176M), which, as we were informed at the back of the book, replaced a previous playbus, the real Gloria, was often found parked at Gatwick Airport, where it offered a haven to children and adults whose flights were delayed. An ideal length for its intended audience of children aged five to nine years of age (though in my opinion it will be enjoyed by even younger children) Gloria The Summer Fun Bus is the story of a playscheme on wheels which amongst other families is visited by a young mum and her three children of whom middle brother, Harry, is eager to play and make new friends whilst oldest brother, Max ... Well, Max isn't nearly as enthusiastic. The engaging story of never giving up before you give things a try, perfect as both a shared reading experience for younger/less confident readers and as something to be enjoyed by older/more confident readers able to read for themselves. Supported by creative and colourful illustrations that even pre-readers will find appealing, I thought this a fun read, its plot providing ample opportunity for children to learn making it a fun and imaginative educational tool in not only reading and language skills but also social skills. I loved the characters; that children of colour were depicted reflects the diverse society that we live in, that children will know children just like Max and Harry, or, who knows, might even see something of themselves in them is a great way to engage them in discussions about/get them to reflect on the character's/their own behaviour.
SUMMED UP IN A SENTENCE ... A story of never giving up on things before you give them a try; bright and colourful and written in such a way as to be engaging and easily understood.
ABOUT SUE WICKSTEAD ...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.