Sparky the Dragon Bus
Sparky isn’t your typical double-decker bus.
Behind the dragon and magical paintings, she’s full of fun and adventures for all children.
Jump aboard to find out what makes Sparky so special.
Having a friend who is a teacher and a grandmother, I am always on the lockout for books to recommend to her as a teaching aid and also to purchase as presents for her grandchildren. Since being introduced to Sue Wickstead’s books, they have become a firm favourite, because they are suitable for both these groups and always prove entertaining and informative.
Why? For a teacher they always have a strong theme within them, with Sparky The Dragon Bus, it’s about including disabled children in fun activities on a mobile play unit, adapted from a bus, that can travel to areas that lack a play area of their own. It shows young readers that all children, no matter how physically active they are, or if they are disabled, that there should be no reason why they should not enjoy the same activities of their able bodied friends. Sparky has been adapted for wheelchair use and which allows the little girl in the story, to be included in all the activities her friends enjoy. It has a strong story about inclusivity and if teachers have wheelchair users in their class, it gives that a positive representation in story form, which is rare. Disabled children need strong stories that represent their needs and which they can identify with, while their friends through this story, will learn that disability need not be a reason to exclude their friends from the activities they enjoy. There are always calls for disabled children to be given representation in books and this book does so in such a positive way, children will learn from it and that is to be celebrated. It also has at the back the real story behind the real Sparky The Dragon Bus, which could be used as part of a teaching project around disability and access to provisions for young children, who often are left feeling excluded, by a lack of simple to do adaptions.
The joy of this book is that because of all of the above, because it is such a fun, well written and boldly illustrated story, it can also be used as a guided read for parents and their children, or for as an independent read for young readers. The story matches the illustrations perfectly, the child having fun and the pictures emphasis the sense of joy and excitement for a young child, finally able to enjoy the same games as her friends. It all makes you smile and the young reader will absorb this theme of equality, while being told a wonderful and informative tale.
It’s rare to find a book that can be both a teaching aid and a fun general reader, but this one fulfils both brilliantly and I can’t recommend it enough.
My thanks to the author for the ARC in return for an honest review.
You can purchase this book from Amazon
Free 3D bus template with book orders from Sue Wickstead’s website or direct message to author – www.suewickstead.co.uk
I would like to thank the author for ARC in return for an honest review
About the author
I am an author and a teacher and have written six children’s picture books, all with a bus included somewhere.
Having been able to share my first book, ‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus’, it was time to think about writing a book for younger readers.
While visiting a local school the children were writing stories about a journey, we read Jay-Jay’s book and then I remembered a book that I had written some years before and I read this to the class too, and they loved it.
The original story was based on a walk with my class around the neighbourhood of Bewbush, Crawley. The walk had led to map work and sequencing. Then together with the class I wrote an imaginative adventure.
The events we imagined were put into a class book. The book was shared with many classes and it was always a favourite.
Now years later I decided it was time to update, improve and look at publishing the book.
There is indeed a walk around the district of Bewbush. and following the publication of the book I went back to see if and how the neighbourhood had changed.
‘Oh, I see you have written a book without a bus!’ commented a friend.
But, look through the pages and you will see there always has to be a bus!
The neighbourhood of Bewbush was a new estate built in Crawley town in the 1970’s. The area was built without any shops, school or safe places for children to play. It was an area of high need and was supported by a special playbus which offered a much-needed playgroup venue.
I also undertake events and author bookings and love to share my stories. There are also a few more stories in the writing process, with links to real events and buses.