Jay-Jay The Supersonic Bus

Children - Adventure
42 Pages
Reviewed on 01/25/2015
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Have you ever been on a Playbus?
Not an ordinary bus taking you on a journey, exciting though this is, but a bus stuffed full of toys and imagination!
When my two children were young they attended a playgroup on such a bus and as a volunteer I became involved with the committee running the project.
I ended up painting the bus, as well as working in the groups and raising the profile of the project and its work.
I became involved in fund raising to replace the old bus with a newer project.
I also taught in the local school for over 20 years but even then I remained involved with all aspects of the play project in my spare time assisting in fund-raising and events, as well as working voluntarily in after school play clubs and holiday play schemes.
I left teaching in order to write the history book about the original bus.
I have been able to tell many children and adults about the bus as well as show them the photograph. There were always lots of questions about the playbus.
What is a Playbus?
What does it do?
This led to me telling a story which I eventually wrote down.
Jay-Jay is the fictional story to go with the factual project.
I have other book ideas in draft or indeed still in the telling but for now I can turn my attention to the next part of my bus journey!

    Book Review

Reviewed by Michelle Robertson for Readers' Favorite

Jay-Jay was an old double-decker bus (a bus with a downstairs and an upstairs), who was sent to the scrap yard because he was no longer used. In the scrapyard, children would play on him occasionally before the yardmaster began to scold them and say, "It's too dangerous." Jay-Jay was feeling very lonely and began to worry that he would never leave the scrapyard, and would be dismantled and used for parts for other vehicles. Then one day that all changed and he was soon taken away and ended up in the airport hangar. What could he be doing in the airport hanger? He then heard talk about children and playing. Interesting! What do you think Jay-Jay will be used for that involves children? Come find out what fun children will have with Jay-Jay.

Jay-Jay The Supersonic Bus by Sue Wickstead is an exciting children's pictorial book that introduces children to the concept of repurposing or recycling. Sue Wickstead has created a lovely story with a very intriguing main character, and a heartfelt and happy story plot. The illustrations are perfectly designed to help create vivid mental pictures that will entice a young reader's imagination as they listen to the story being read to them or read for themselves. The book is a great tool and resource for parents and teachers to help children understand the concepts of recycling and repurposing something that is old. In other words, bringing back to life something old but with a new idea. Jay-Jay The Supersonic Bus will be enjoyed by readers of all ages.


Fantastic book with a delightful story and brilliant illustrations, perfect for bedtime reading.

Book guild

This is a delightful book about Jay-Jay’s transformation from an old bus into an exciting venue for children to play.
The narrative is from Jay-Jay’s perspective, and he has a strong character. The language is just right for infants, and they will be charmed by the descriptions of Jay-Jay’s transformation.

Theodore Cohen

This sounds like a wonderful story.

Jo Ann Hakola

I admire people with enough imagination to see something good in an old abandoned bus and then take the time and effort to make it possible. I think this is a grand idea. It gives the children something fun to do even if the weather outside isn't cooperating. It also challenges their imaginations and gives them a chance to be creative. I bet this bus is helping a lot of children learn to have to fun and to work with each other. Why not share this story with your young one and see what sort of creative ideas you two can come up with? You might not have a bus but you can experiment with a big box or create a blanket tent or use a spare room for your fun activity center. Just use your imagination.


My grandson is 7 and is a good reader. He enjoyed the book and could easily read it to himself. He chose to read aloud to his younger brother who kept pointing to the bus!

Deb Hockenberry, Children

I just loved this magical and entertaining picture book. I know that you and your younger readers will too. In fact, I know that you’ll want this book for your home library!

K. Hanchard Goodwin

Staff and children love the book. I'm looking forward to sharing it with many more.
We'd love to hear more adventures please.
Children often ask us for the 'Story of our bus' and ours is quite dull -I doubt a tale about
failed applications and lottery funding would hold quite the same appeal!
Beautiful pictures -really bring it to life.


It's a story that will appeal to young children of both sexes and I've been asked to read it several times since it arrived. It has led on to discussions about recycling/upcycling, overcoming adversity and fun things to do in the holidays, as well as designing our own fun bus and even making a cardboard box bus during the hoidays.

Jade Hewlett

A Fun Story About A Loveable Bus

May 2, 2022
Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus is a lovely story about a bus named Jay-Jay who was rescued from a scrap yard and given a new life as Supersonic where he gets to enjoy being around lots of children and fun activities.

This is a really fun story and it flows so well to read. We loved the character of Jay-Jay and it was nice to see how he learnt that he could still be appreciated and needed even if it's not in the traditional way a bus would be used.

The illustrations are colourful and eye catching and the children loved to see all of the vehicles within the story as well as the toys and big makeover Jay-Jay had as they thought it looked like a lot of fun.

This is a lovely story to show how we all have worth and a purpose and it's nice to see Jay-Jay being shown more love and care after his transformation. This is such a heartwarming and positive story that we enjoyed reading.


Fantastic read

November 20, 2021
Our children loved reading this and looking forward to reading the other books in the series. A huge shout to the author, well done


Very good book

December 13, 2020
My daughter loves this book. She is 5 and keeps asking for it to be read over and over. It’s a great interesting story. I can’t wait for her to read it to me one day.


Beautiful illustrations and great story.

December 18, 2019

Bought two of Sue Wickstead's books for my friend's son. Delivered really quickly, beautiful illustrations, great story - I think journeys and ways of travelling are always a winner with children. So glad I found this author - now my go-to at present time!

Splashes into books

Delightful children's book!

May 12, 2019
This is a delightful, colourful, children’s story based on something that really happened. It is beautifully illustrated throughout and tells the story from the point of view of Jay-Jay, the bus transformed from dropping to pieces in a scrapyard to being a source of fun and excitement in a new role as a ‘Playbus’. The story is engaging and the illustrations add to its appeal. This is a relatively quick but engaging read that will appeal to children – younger ones will enjoy having it read to them and more competent readers will be able to read it independently. It is a story for sharing, one to laugh and enjoy with others – I certainly enjoyed sharing it!

I requested and was gifted a copy of this book and this is my honest opinion after choosing to read it.


Super sonic bus

April 30, 2019
I really enjoyed this book, I liked how this book is clearly the beginning of a series. The book tells the tale of a bus that was found on a scrap yard. One day some people came along and he was pick and renovated into a play bus. This story really captures the imagination of my youngest Melanie. Though at one point Alex was a bit like "they are fitted alot of things on that bus!" This book is ideal for those little ones and a great starting point for hopefully more amazing books to come.

Alex: You liked the book because it tricked me into thinking that the bus was just going to be used at the airport for shuttling passengers :)

Melanie: I liked it all.


ood book

April 30, 2019
I was really looking forward to reading this book with Amelia, my 5 year old daughter, as she loves buses so I thought this book would be perfect for her.

Neither of us were disappointed as the book itself has some lovely pictures in it and the story was entertaining enough to keep the pair of us entertained.

The story follows Jay-Jay the bus who is in a breakers yard at the beginning of the book feeling very sorry for himself, when some people come along and take him away.

They perform some magic on him and bring him back to his glory days and use him to help teach children learn and play at the same time.

Once he is nicely painted and ready for the children he is taken to an airport during the school holidays and all the children get to play on him and everyone is happy.

This is a very nice feel-good book, which Amelia has picked up numerous times for us to read together in the evenings.

Steph Warren

ood book

April 30, 2019
I was really looking forward to reading this book with Amelia, my 5 year old daughter, as she loves buses so I thought this book would be perfect for her.

Neither of us were disappointed as the book itself has some lovely pictures in it and the story was entertaining enough to keep the pair of us entertained.

The story follows Jay-Jay the bus who is in a breakers yard at the beginning of the book feeling very sorry for himself, when some people come along and take him away.

They perform some magic on him and bring him back to his glory days and use him to help teach children learn and play at the same time.

Once he is nicely painted and ready for the children he is taken to an airport during the school holidays and all the children get to play on him and everyone is happy.

This is a very nice feel-good book, which Amelia has picked up numerous times for us to read together in the evenings.


Wonderful Picture Book

April 22, 2019
Written from Jay-Jay's point of view, this is a wonderful picture book which is a delight to read.

Based on a true story, we join Jay-Jay on his adventures, as he is rescued from the scrapyard and becomes a playbus.

The book is well-written and the colourful illustrations help to bring Jay-Jay to life and complement the tale perfectly.


This is a great children’s book that focuses on an old bus that thinks it useful days are over. Luckily for Jay Jay he gets a make over so children can play on him.

I think children will love this, it is bright and cheerful and contains lots of brightly coloured pictures.

Nicola in South Yorkshire

Fab story for children

April 20, 2019
I got Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus to read with my five year old son, but actually I really enjoyed it too. It's a fabulous tale and what makes it even better is that it's based on a real life bus.

Jay-Jay gets a new lease of life when he is found in a scrap yard. His name comes from his registration number - JJK 261 - in case you were wondering. He's taken to an airport where he is made into a play bus. All his seats are removed and carpets and cupboards are put in so that children can come along and have fun. Jay-Jay is over the moon to be so useful.

This is a delightful story. It's a nice length, just short enough that it can be read in one go but long enough to offer a bit of depth to the story and to look at Jay-Jay's feelings, first of all about being left in the scrap yard and then being useful all over again.

The illustrations are gorgeous and complement the story perfectly. They're lovely and colourful and really helped to bring the story to life.

I'm pleased to say that this is not the last we have seen of Jay-Jay as we've since read the next instalment. I know my son would be happy to read lots more about the supersonic bus and his adventures, and so would I.

K R review

A delight

April 12, 2019
The story of Jay-Jay, The Supersonic Bus is just a pure delight for younger children. As a child, my son was a bus fanatic and would have loved this story. 

Jay-Jay is an old bus, gathering dust in a yard somewhere until one day somebody comes along, buys him and turns him into a fabulous playbus loved by all the children. This little gem has so many layers to discover and discuss with young children and is written so entertainingly, without being complicated. 

The main theme is the feeling of being loved and what that feels like and what it feels like to belong as part of something.. This book is such a great way of looking at different ways to show love and how people show it to us. There is also the theme that sometimes, old things can be amazing with just a little bit of work. This leads brilliantly into recycling and upcycling and even the impact this can have on the environment. Additionally, it looks at how with care and attention, people can bloom with confidence which leads nicely into being kind and taking care of people/things. 

As a teacher I'm excited about using this with younger children and asking them to design a playbus with their favourite things in it and then some writing based around it and also using it to delve into the themes above.

What really makes this book are the beautifully done illustrations. More in the traditional style of children's book illustrations, they really bring the story to life in a simple and beautiful way.

This is such a beautiful little book. 

donnas book blog

I have read a couple of books by this author now I have to say that she creates some fabulous books to read with some excellent characters – this book is great and I can easily see Jay-Jay being a firm favourite with younger children especially as I really enjoyed it as an adult!

The story is easy to follow and it has a nice natural flow to it. I loved seeing what happened to Jay-Jay and the new lease of life he is given. It is a nice, genuine feel good story!

4 stars from me for this one, it is a well written story with some great characters – highly recommended!!


Lovely book for young readers

March 6, 2019
Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus is a sweet story about an old bus, at a dump, longing for a new adventure. Jay-Jay, feeling worried about the future became excited when he was taken and given a new life.

A wonderful book for early readers, it would make a great series for primary school reading. The illustrations are lovely and are a great addition to the story.

I look forward to reading with my little boy as he loves any transport at the moment and will keep for when he is reading at school. It is a lovely story and shares a wonderful message of reusing what we have.

Jay-Jay is a fictional story based on a real bus. This information is also great to share with young readers as may help to encourage reading.


A wonderful story about a bus for young readers

February 28, 2019
This book has lots of really beautifully drawn illustrations to captivate the imagination and engage young readers as they follow this story.

The story is about a decommissioned bus called Jay-Jay. We meet Jay-Jay in the breakers yard, where the bus has been sent, and is waiting to be broken up for scrap.

Before work can start on Jay-Jay, he is sold to a group of people who have a new purpose for him - as a children's playbus.

Jay-Jay is the narrator of this story, and we learn how he feels about the prospect of being broken up, the refurbishment, and his new status in the community.

This is a delightful, happy ending tale, with Jay-Jay being given a new lease of life. It is written in easily understandable language for young readers, whilst introducing a few more difficult words to extend their vocabulary.

This is the first of several books in this series, and one which I'd recommend for young readers, especially those with an interest in buses.

Suzie C

Great books for children

March 28, 2018
Good book for children. The illustrations are bright and colourful and will certainly draw attention to them, the story of Jay-Jay is fun and easy to follow. Definitely one for the little ones to enjoy

Jennifer Gilmore

An easy read that is a lovely tale and story behind it

March 9, 2018
I was delighted to read this book after connecting with the author. My nickname for many years and I still get called it was JJ, it was my initials for my maiden name. We laughed at the connection.

I read Jay-Jay with my 7 year old daughter who was interested in the storyline, when we got to the end she was fascinated with the real Jay-Jay Supersonic. It made the story more valuable and most likely more memorable for her. Now she is excited to read the next one.

My daughter found it easy to read which is what I expected although there were some trickle bigger words which I am delighted Sue has kept. I do think it is important that children have a large vocabulary because it will equip them even more for their future.

The storyline, without giving too much away was a lovely tale. I can understand why Sue has written this book and I can see her passionate throughout.

The illustrations are colourful and of a professional quality.

We cannot wait to read the next one now.

Natasha Murray

A Supersonic Children’s Story

August 24, 2017
This story is based on a true story about a bus that is given a second chance and becomes a supersonic star in the hearts of children. Children of all ages will enjoy reading about the old bus JJK 261 (Route B) and will discover how it became Jay-Jay the Supersonic Playbus. Jay-Jay has a cheerful disposition and just loves bringing joy to children. This is a great read for early readers and the excellent illustrations will keep the pages turning. Author, Sue Wickstead, also known as Lego Lady, has captured Jay Jay’s adventures beautifully.


Entertaining read that kids will enjoy

April 9, 2017
Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus is a great read that will be enjoyed by kids. The pictures are bright, colorful and full of life. It's the story of an old, near broken down bus being brought back to life and used in an amazing way to create fun and excitement for others. The neatest part of the story is it's told from the view of Jay-Jay the bus. Then at the end we discover another amazing part about the stories inspiration. Well done.

I was provided with a free copy of this title in return for an honest review.

Autumn Fallen over book reviews

his was a really awesome kids book

August 5, 2015
We received this book to give an honest review.
This was a really awesome kids book. K enjoyed watching the bus go from almost being recycled to becoming a bus that kids got to play in and enjoy themselves. He actually asked if we could find a bus like that to play in. I think this was a neat idea for a bus to be turned into for kids to be able to have some type of play time and the fact that it is based on a real bus that is amazing.
The pictures are colorful and go perfect with the story being told. Jay-Jay gets to see new things as he travels to get "fixed" up and then towards the end receive an award from someone very special.
I recommend this for the ages I would say 5 on up.