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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Ben and the Little Blue Bus: A Caribbean Adventure is a children’s adventure/travel picture book written by Stephen K. Scott and illustrated by Shelby Irwin. Cruise ships often make stops at Caribbean islands to allow their passengers to spend some time exploring, which is how the Prigmires, a respectable British family, ended up in St. Melvin, a harbor town on the island of Antibulla. Mr. and Mrs. Prigmire were accompanied by their somewhat rambunctious twins, Harold and Harriet. Mr. Prigmire wanted to find a proper limousine and driver to give them a guided tour of the island, but the twins discovered a far better mode of transportation. Harold and Harriet were enthralled by a little blue tour bus and its driver, Ben, an island native. To overcome their parents’ reluctance, Ben had a number of good reasons why his tour would be much more entertaining and informative than that offered by the limo drivers. Finally the Prigmires gave in, and the family boarded the little bus. With a roar of its engine and a blast of the bus’s aoogah horn, the family set off on a thrilling and unforgettable adventure.
Stephen K. Scott’s travel adventure book for children is a sheer delight to read, and I’d be quite surprised if it’s not the most asked-for story book in any home where it’s made its way. Ben and the Little Blue Bus is uproariously funny. It had me sitting here laughing out loud as Ben takes the Prigmires on the tour of their lives. Scott is a very funny man, and his story works with sights, sounds and every possible sense of smell and even taste as he give readers their own unforgettable ride in that Little Blue Bus. Shelby Irwin’s illustrations are superb! Each panel is brightly and beautifully colored and adds additional comic touches and highlights to the tale. Scott’s use of action and descriptive language additionally makes this an incredibly entertaining read for any adult fortunate enough to have an appropriate audience. And, because learning can actually be fun, the author has included a Little Learner’s Vocabulary List, which introduces some of the new words found in the text. When I checked the author’s website, I noticed that he has several other children’s books available, which is a very good thing indeed. Ben and the Little Blue Bus: A Caribbean Adventure is most highly recommended.