‘It’s Your First Day of School, Busy Bus!’

By Jody Jensen Shaffer

“It’s Your First Day of School, Busy Bus!” by Jody Jensen Shaffer, might help make a child’s inaugural ride to school more a joy than a fright. Bus driver Ben, decked out in blue, narrates this simple story of assurance.

“Busy Bus is wide awake. He can’t wait to meet the children! He hopes they will like him,” Ben says.

Before the pair begins their rounds, Ben has chores to do. He has to air up Busy Bus’ tires, put gas in his fuel tank, polish the mirrors till they’re shiny and double check that the emergency door is A-OK.

As Ben works away, Busy Bus has some misgivings. “Everything is tip-top,” Ben assures the bus, but “Busy Bus isn’t so sure.”

This empathetic book uses a friendly-faced bus as a vehicle to quell fear.

Large, clean-lined, illustrations by Claire Messer offer comfort, as each stage of bus readiness is explained and a more confident Busy Bus welcomes a cheerful bunch of children aboard.

Ages 3-8.


‘Fairy’s First Day of School’

By Bridget Heos

In the company of a curly-topped sprit, imagination blends with what-to-expect-facts in “Fairy’s First Day of School,” a helpful honey of a read by Bridget Heos.

With a wake-up call from a ladybug, a fairy is roused from her petal bed, her life in academia unfolding like a flower. After her mom serves her a cup of tea in an acorn-topped teapot, the sprite and other fairies will ride to school on the back of a goose, unless they opt to fly there with their families.

The fairy learns that once at the school, “a nice teacher will greet you with a sprinkling of fairy dust . . . show you where to hang your backpack.”

Every aspect of a child or fairy’s first day is displayed in this charmer, from meeting new friends, to better understanding school activities — circle time, show-and-tell — as well as tips on mastering proper classroom behavior.

“Fairy’s First Day of School,” is an entertaining way to ready students for an all-important milestone in their lives. Colorful, whimsical illustrations by Sara Not add to this book’s appeal. Kids will pore over its pages, noting all the tiny special details that make fairy world so magical.

Ages 4-7.


‘Babymouse, Miss Communication’

By Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

Good books for tweens can be difficult to find — a personal favorite features a mouse with innocence, posh and charisma, Babymouse is now more grownup and the star of a series that kicked off in 2017, “Babymouse Tales from the Locker,” by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm.

The graphic novels are funny but feature serious issues kids in middle school face — like owning a cellphone, the subject of the second book “Miss Communication.”

On the bus the first day of middle school, Babymouse is the brunt of bullying; all of the kids have a cellphone except her. After days of convincing her parents she’s responsible, they take her to the mall to buy a Whiz Bang Mini.

Babymouse is over the moon until her classmates make fun of her new gadget — the Whiz Bang Mini is last year’s model — the new, cool phone is the Whiz Bang Boom. To further complicate matters, in math class Babymouse is caught using her phone and it’s taken away from her, necessitating a trip to the principal’s office to get it back.

It doesn’t take Babymouse long to learn there’s more to owning a cell phone than texting an emoji, in a page turner that highlights the issues kids face with phone ownership, like stranger danger, the competition of gaining followers and app angst.

“Miss Communication” has lots to say, but its message isn’t delivered in a heavy-handed way. It’s sure to be embraced by tweens and parents too, and would make a perfect gift for a new cellphone user.

Books suggested in Book Sprouts can be purchased at Neighborhood Reads in Downtown Washington.