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A Bus Called Heavenby Bob Graham
Synopses & Reviews
Could a broken-down bus really bring a whole city neighborhood together? Could it all start with a small girl named Stella?
One morning in front of Stellas house, an abandoned bus appears, looking sad as a whale on a beach. On its front, held up with packing tape, is a hand-painted sign that says Heaven. Right away, the bus brings change to Stellas street when people stop to talk about it instead of rushing by. And as Stella looks past all the empty bottles and cans inside, as she sees the sparrows nesting in the engine, she changes, too. "This bus could be ours," she declares. With a masters eye for finding the magic in the mundane, Bob Graham creates an encouraging story about community — a whimsical tale about neighbors of all ages and stripes coming together, and about one little girl who comes into her own.
"An abandoned, broken-down bus — destination 'Heaven' — unites a community and inspires Stella, the heroine of Graham's (April and Esme: Tooth Fairies) uplifting story. 'It could be... ours,' whispers Stella, a quiet girl 'the color of moonlight' who sees only potential for the battered vehicle. Stella's visionary attitude is contagious, and soon all the neighbors are helping clean and decorate the bus, making it into a lovely community hub, complete with table soccer, a fishbowl, and a library of books for everyone to enjoy. Even when city regulations threaten the bus, Stella finds a truly original way to save the day. Graham's ink-and-watercolor scenes capture the small details (overgrown yards, vacant lots, old tires, and refrigerators) of a struggling urban neighborhood eager for a sign of hope. And he effortlessly depicts a slice of city life, in which people of various religions, races, ages, and occupations pull together as one. As Stella shifts from meek to bold, and the bus transforms into a rainbow of color and activity, Graham's artwork grows brighter, too, highlighting the story's transformative message. Ages 3 — up." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Bob Graham is the author-illustrator of many award-winning books for children, including How to Heal a Broken Wing and April and Esme, Tooth Fairies. He lives in Australia.
"I left those people on the last page of Heaven knowing that there is still rust under that new paint job, but if the developers stay away from the vacant lot, the bus has surely reached a happy destination. There is a kettle inside, a row of mugs on cup hooks, and quite often a cake from Mrs. Stavros. Hopefully for years to come it will be a happy refuge for people, baby birds, and snails." — Bob Graham
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