**We were gifted a copy of this book in return for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are our own**
It’s safe to say here in the Fraser household we are huge fans of Sue Wickstead’s Children’s books and those featuring her cast of buses with ‘character’ are some of our most read. Today I’m delighted to be sharing the latest edition to Sue’s ever growing collection of kids books as I take part in the publication tour for Sparky The Dragon Bus. Having taken part in the cover reveal for this title last year we have been eagerly awaiting this new offering and I’m sharing our thoughts today as part of the tour organised by the wonderful Rachel. Thanks to both Rachel and Suefor allowing us to take part in this tour and for gifting us a copy to share together.
About The Book
Sparky isn’t your typical double-decker bus.
Behind the dragon and magical paintings, she’s full of fun and adventures for all children.
Jump aboard to find out what makes Sparky so special.
Sparky was your average double decker bus; spending her days carrying passengers all over town. That was until she was decommissioned and given a very special new purpose. She was to become a playbus! But her refurb was to be very different to those that had gone before her, filled with special adaptions for those with additional needs.
This wonderful book is based on the real Sparky The Dragon Bus which was commissioned to include unique features for children with disabilities and additional needs. The book follows the story of this special bus as it is transformed from a run of the mill, everyday bus to a colourful fun place for children of all abilities to play together. At the back of the book there is a page filled with information and pictures about the real Sparky, including a Royal visit from Princess Anne, which i felt really helped give a deeper understanding and context of the story.
As with all of Sue’s books the story is beautifully written in easy to read and understand language that children of all ages can enjoy. The colourful illustrations perfectly complement the story, helping engage children as they listen. Sparky The Dragon Bus has quickly become my favourite of the books we own by this author as I feel very strongly about inclusion for all regardless of any disability or additional needs after witnessing the struggles my brother experienced growing up as a wheelchair user. The message of inclusion for all is really important for children of all ages to learn to enable them to grow up with an understanding and this book is a fantastic way to open the communication channels with your child for further discussions.
Once again Sue Wickstead has produced a thoroughly enjoyable read that we will be sure to share time and again. Two massive thumbs up from us!
About The Author
I am an author and a teacher and have written six children’s picture books, all with a bus included somewhere.
Having been able to share my first book, ‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus’, it was time to think about writing a book for younger readers.
While visiting a local school the children were writing stories about a journey, we read Jay-Jay’s book and then I remembered a book that I had written some years before and I read this to the class too,and they loved it.
The original story was based on a walk with my class around the neighbourhood of Bewbush,Crawley. The walk had led to map work and sequencing. Then together with the class I wrote an imaginative adventure.
The events we imagined were put into a class book. The book was shared with many classes and it was always a favourite.
Now years later I decided it was time to update, improve and look at publishing the book.
There is indeed a walk around the district of Bewbush. and following the publication of the book I went back to see if and how the neighbourhood had changed.
‘Oh, I see you have written a book without a bus!’ commented a friend.
But, look through the pages and you will see there always has to be a bus!
The neighbourhood of Bewbush was a new estate built in Crawley town in the1970’s. The area was built without any shops, school or safe places for children to play. It was an area of high need and was supported by a special playbus which offered a much-needed playgroup venue.
I also undertake events and author bookings and love to share my stories. There are also a few more stories in the writing process, with links to real events and buses.