Sparky the Dragon Bus

Children - Picture Book
39 Pages
Reviewed on 10/28/2019
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Author Biography

I am a teacher. I love telling, and sharing stories with children.
When my children were little, they attended a Playbus, this was a play project based on a double-decker bus. We had many adventures and lots of fun on the bus. My story books have links to this involvement as well as adventures from my teaching career.
Following the first Jay-Jay story based on the Playbus my daughter suggested I should write about some of the fun things we did with the bus. She remembered how our bus would join in with bus rallies, where lots of different Playbus projects would meet and share ideas.
At one rally we met Sparky the Dragon bus which was a real bus which operated in Glasgow, Scotland. The bus supported children with disabilities and even had a stairlift to enable users to access the top deck of the bus.
The bus was the inspiration for the story of a little girl, who having designed Sparky’s beautiful exterior paintwork, finds she can join in even with her wheelchair disability. The message of Sparky was based on inclusion and now, with the stairlift she can climb to the top deck of the bus and join in.
The patron of the original Playbus project was The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, who once came to visit the bus.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite

Sparky the Dragon Bus was a normal bus, just like any other double-decker bus. Every bus on the city street looked the same except their number plates and destinations were different. It was a normal day and some important people came to the bus yard. They inspected Sparky's interiors and made notes. Sparky wondered what they wanted. She heard them saying they were going to make her a playbus. They took her to the garage and made a lot of changes to her upstairs and downstairs decks. There was even a competition held within local schools to design pictures for Sparky's exterior. She was renamed the Dragon Bus and she definitely looked different from the other buses. Let's get into the Dragon Bus and explore what Sparky has to offer.

Sparky the Dragon Bus by Sue Wickstead is an adorable and charming story filled with lots of fun and excitement for young readers. The little girl who came in the wheelchair felt so included and happy inside the bus that she wrote an article and sent it to the local newspaper. Everyone wanted to know about the little girl and the Dragon Bus. The Princess met the little girl after reading her article and she wanted to see Sparky. The Princess's visit made Sparky happy and she was glad she was different and special.

Justin Wyatt and Keiron Ward bring the story alive and palpable to readers with their magical illustrations filled with color and charm. It is wonderful to see Sparky having a story of her own to tell the other buses. This is a good storybook to help children accept their differences and celebrate them. Tutors and parents can use this book for read-aloud sessions in classrooms and homes to encourage children to appreciate their differences and uniqueness in a positive way. The fact that the story is based on a real bus makes it even more special to readers.