The Bus to the Zoo by Mary Murphy and illustrated by Josh Lee, paperback picture book, first published by Omnibus Books in 2009, this edition published by Omnibus Books in 2011.
The big blue bus is on its way to the zoo, picking up passengers at every stop along the way. The passengers waiting for this bus are a bit unusual though, there are seagulls in school ties, a donkey with earrings, a goose in a party hat, and many other animals. The bus driver is a penguin, and she wants the passengers to keep moving down the bus to make room for more and more passengers, but it’s getting pretty crowded, and it’s looking very chaotic. Who is the last passenger to get on the bus?
The bus to the zoo is also the bus carrying the zoo, a bit of a Noah’s ark on wheels. It quickly becomes packed with an assortment of interesting creatures. While the story is fun, and it rhymes, it is the illustrations that make this book so engaging. My preschooler loves to study the pictures, finding different animals, and strange things that the animals are wearing or holding, such as the monkey’s camera, or the toad’s snow globe. When we read this book together we like to try to name and count as many of the animals as we can. This is a great book for sharing with preschoolers, and for independent reading for lower primary school children.