Sunday, May 27, 2012

a bus called heaven by Bob Graham

Bob Graham is an author and illustrator from Australia. I don't know why, but I've yet to come across an Aussie author that wasn't unique...even quirky, in some way. This is no exception. An abandoned bus shows up one day in front of the house of a small, pale little girl named Stella. A hand-painted sign, held down with packing tape reads "Heaven". Books with illustrations that beg to be looked at over and over...those that reveal something new each time your eyes meet the page, are an indicator for me, of a great children's book. The first sentence reads, "The bus brought change to Stella's street". On this page, the people are curious about the bus and from every walk of life: young, old, different backgrounds, and Stella, gently pushing the door of the bus open. On a post is a no parking and a towing sign. The community comes together and makes it a place for everyone to gather, which makes it sound formulaic and preachy. Please, please don't assume here, the story is still Stella's, a young girl just doing what her heart tells her. Graham's book is so original and lovely that you don't want to miss what happens when the men come to tow Heaven away. The illustrations wonderfully provide the story with gentle humor. This will be my read aloud to end my school year...I feel it's that kind of story. One that reminds us that each night we are all looking up at the same stars...we are all in this together.

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