Pete the Cat: Wheels on the Bus

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Book Information

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Publisher
Harper Collins June 2013

"The bus came by and I got on, that's where it all began"

-- Grateful Dead (I'm currently listening to a scorching TOO from 11/4/77, the Cotterell Gym at Colgate)

Move over, Pigeon and Cowboy Neal!  Pete the Cat's in the driver's seat on this bus. 

"The kitties on the bus say 'Come on, Pete!'

'Come on, Pete!' 'Come on, Pete!'

The kitties on the bus say 'Come on, Pete!' all day long."

According to the collective wisdom at Wikipedia,

"'The Wheels on the Bus' is an anonymous United States folk song dating to the mid-20th century.  It is a popular children's song, particularly among pre-teens, in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom and is often sung by children on bus trips to keep themselves amused.  It has a very repetitive rhythm, making the song both easy for a large number of people to sing, as well as having the potential to infuriate adults as chorus after chorus drones on, in a manner similar to the song 99 Bottles of Beer.  It is based on the traditional British song Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush."

Well, given the song's great potential for annoying adults who find themselves trapped on a bus with a bunch of kids, I can't help but want to tell you all about this catchy little book which is an illustrated edition -- Pete style -- of the song's verses, and a bus full of (mostly) cats. 

This is a book for preschoolers and kindergartners.  And while, back in the days when preschool was called nursery school (and TVs were black and white and Tricky Dick was playing second-fiddle to Ike), they actually had busses pick us up at home and transport us to nursery school, that is generally not the case today.   So this book can actually serve as a great lesson to preschoolers about what to expect when they are old enough to board a school bus.

There is one dog on the bus.  And so, when you put together a bunch of construction paper headbands with cat ears for all of your preschoolers to don in preparation for singing this song while turning the pages of the book, be sure to make one headband with doggie ears and let kids take turns on different days being the dog and doing a woofing solo when you reach "The dog on the bus goes woof woof woof" verse.  I'd also recommend some natural, hypoallergenic makeup for drawing whiskers on kittens. 

That dog is a total crack-up.  The spread with the dog sitting next to two cats, clearly wondering how the heck he got stuck on THIS bus, is absolutely priceless. 

 
Recommended by: Richie Partington, MLIS

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