The wheels on the bus keep going

My family says, “There’s a bus!” a lot.

We’ve been saying this for four years. At two, Calvin discovered his one true love was a school bus.

He hasn’t stopped loving buses since – he’s now six. As we drive or walk around town, pointing out buses has become a family obligation.

He has branched out to city buses, Mega Buses, and the very-cool London double decker buses.

A school bus and his friend T-Rex.

A school bus and his friend T-Rex.

Bus birthday cakes, bus shirts, bus Halloween costumes, bus stickers, and yes, BUS BOOKS are just part of the daily experience at the Mace/Rush household.

Thanks to the kindness of friends, both Calvin and Max have had some real bus experiences.

When Calvin finished chemotherapy at age four (believe me, toy buses helped those long hospital stays), a friend arranged for our family to ride a school bus. A few months later, another friend was able to take the boys on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Cincinnati Metro bus garage. Both rated as the coolest days ever.

Calvin on a school bus.

Calvin on a school bus.

Calvin and Max at the Metro bus garage.

Calvin and Max at the Metro bus garage.

Bus Books

Calvin’s first bus book literally stopped his birthday party. He ignored everything and everyone to read School Bus by Donald Crews. He loves this book and now has two copies and still wants to check it out of the library. I guess you can’t have too many copies? Crews’ graphics are engaging and I recommend his other books.

Stop the party. I got a bus book!

Stop the party. I got a bus book!

A recent find is The Bus Ride written and illustrated by Marianne DuBuc. Both boys love this beautiful book. DuBuc uses the story of Little Red Riding Hood in a new way and includes a bus ride.

There’s the simple but sweet Bryon Barton book My Bus and Carol Roth’s funny The Little School Bus, illustrated by Pamela Paparone.

Night Light by Nicholas Blechman is also a graphically pleasing book and a great one for kids learning to count.

I’ve spent a lot of time looking for bus books. I’ve learned that books about school, cities, London, and transportation usually sport a bus.

Calvin’s buses

We also photographed the majority of his toy buses and made our own bus book. We used Shutterfly to create this. (I can send you the link if you would like.)

If you RIDE a bus, let us know.

More info

We love Marianne DuBuc’s book Animal Masquerade.

Donald Crews’ Freight Train was a big hit when the boys were younger.

At Christmas, Cincinnati Metro brings out Holly Jolly Trolley that give free rides around town. We caught one in front of the Westin. (I can’t find the schedule or I would link to it.)

Glasses are cool

Paige says she can see just fine.

Paige says she can see just fine.

If your kid brought home a skunk, thinking it was a stray cat, you’d probably have his or her eyes checked. This is what happens to Paige in I Can See Just Fine by Eric Barclay.

I picked this book up at the library when we found out Max needed glasses. Believe me, he wasn’t having trouble adapting. There was a fight at our house about the glasses. As twins, my boys always want what the other one has. So, Calvin wanted glasses too.

“But you don’t need them,” my husband and I would explain. “But I want them!” he’d protest. Calvin is stubborn. He used to whisper, “I do,” thinking he could bend us to his will with his Darth Vader voice. He wasn’t going to give up on the glasses.

After several hilarious antics, including the skunk, wearing two different socks, walking into the boys’ restroom (my boys LOVE this one), Paige’s parents decide to have her eyes checked. She picks out her frames out of wall of glasses. That’s where Calvin found his glasses too. “I want those,” he said, pointing to a pair of pink cat eyes.

Paige and Calvin like lots of options.

Paige and Calvin like lots of options.

Paige got her glasses and could see. Max got his glasses and could see. And Calvin, poor buddy, had tubes put in his ears. “Will they stick out of his ears like straws?” Max asked. Calvin could hear just fine but he still wanted the glasses.

One night during the holidays, I popped into a local shop and there on the wall were child size, pink, cat eye sunglasses!

Everyone's happy!

Everyone’s happy!

I’m not sure Calvin can see just fine – he wore his new specs for a while on cloudy days. But hey, he’s happy!

Where to find the book and more info

You can buy I Can See Just Fine from Eric Barclay’s website. His book Hiding Phil looks funny as well.

Another great book about glasses is Calvin, Look Out! A Bookworm Birdie Gets Glasses by Jennifer Berne and illustrated by Keith Bendis.