Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite for Jay Jay and His Island Adventure, and thank you to the author for the ARC. Here is my review:
Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus is not an ordinary bus taking you on a journey. He is a Playbus. Find out what happens when he is invited to an island where the children have never seen a double-decker bus – and certainly not one full of toys!
Behind the story:
‘Jay-Jay and his Island Adventure’, was originally written for a Scottish book bus.
‘Play,Talk, Read’ was the project which visited remote areas if Scotland to encourage reading in the very young. It was a great success and the bus even visited the Shetland Islands travelling on a very small ferry.
The children had never seen a double-decker on their island before and certainly not one to play on.
However, the Scottish project was too busy with referendums and with the book ready and edited I changed the name of the bus from Benji, sending Jay-Jay instead.
The island on the cover of the book was based on a piece of mainland Spain which I have visited many times.
Cap D’Or is the promentory near to a little village of Moraira.
The villagers in Moraira invited me to read this book in their library and local schools.
The people in this little village were surprised to find that Jay-Jay was a real bus.
(Jay-Jay may not have got to Spain in reality but in my imagination he did and now all of the books are in the local library in both Teulada and Moraira.)
What does TWG think?
The idea of a play bus which takes books to children, is definitely a magnificent idea – Jay Jay is no exception.
My daughter was giggling at the fact that Jay Jay had hurt his ‘bottom’, despite trying to work out where a bus’ bottom was! She was so enthralled by the different activities on the bus, including digging for treasure in the sandpit. It really made the whole island adventure theme come alive.
From an adult point of view, I am delighted that the story was enjoyed by my little girl as she is a huge bus fan. However I would have liked the story to contain more details around what the children got up to, what books they read etc, as I felt that we read more about Jay Jay travelling to and from the island, than the actual play bus activities themselves.
All in all, Jay Jay and His Island Adventure is a colourful and fun read which gives children the gift of books.
About the author.
I am a teacher and an author and have currently written six children’s picture books with a bus theme.
For over 20 years, alongside my teaching career, I worked with a Children’s Charity, The Bewbush Playbus Association, which led me to write a photographic history book about it.
I soon found that many children had never been on a bus before, let alone a ‘Playbus’ and they wanted to know more. I decided to write a fictional tale about the bus, his number plate JJK261 gave him his name.
‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus,’ came out in print in 2014. It is the story behind the original bus and is his journey from a scrap-yard to being changed into a playbus for children to play in. From Fact to fiction the bus journey continued.
This story has now been followed by five more picture books.
I also undertake events and author bookings and love to share the story. There are also a few more stories in the writing process, with links to real events and buses.
The story has been read in many schools in the south-East of England, where I teach as a cover teacher, it is always well received and certainly different.