The Pirates on the Bus
Using the classic format and tune of, ‘The Wheels on the Bus’, The Pirates on the Bus follows a pirate crew as they go searching for treasure and adventure.
This is a good introduction to traditional ‘pirate life’ for young readers featuring pirate language and phrases, symbolism (the skull and crossbones), and the inevitable objective of finding treasure, while the repetitive formula is perfect for a pirate story as it lends itself to gruff pirate voices and enthusiastic physical activity!
Tony Neal, the illustrator, has created simple illustrations in bright, bold colours that tell the story without the need to read the text but with enough detail to hold the attention and initiate conversation and questions - ideal for very young readers.
The only reservation I have, which might also be shared by the children reading the book, is why the pirates are in a boat on wheels alongside the sea? If the author had changed the vehicle to a boat, in the title and text, it would still have the same rhythm and make a bit more sense to the reader.
Having said that, I think this is a perfect picture book to share either singly or with a group of young children.
Title: The Pirates on the Bus
Author: Peter Millet
Illustrator: Tony Neal
Publisher: Ladybird Books
Date of Publication: July 2022
Ages: 0-5 years
Reviewer: Anabel McPhee, Librarian, The Catlins Area School, South Otago
Recommendation: Highly recommended
Opening sentence: The Pirates on the bus go, “Yo ho ho!"
Buy this book here.