Jay-Jay and his Island Adventure

Sue Wickstead


Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus is a Playbus. Once an ordinary bus left in a scrap-yard he has been converted ready for children to play on. He is able to visit children wherever they are. Upstairs the children can play with toys, read books or dress up in fancy dress clothes. Downstairs the children can paint or draw or even play with sand. A bus full of fun and imagination. In his island Adventure Jay-Jay goes on a small ferry across to an island where the children have never seen a double-decker bus and certainly not one full of toys and games.

*****

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Lovely–classic and professionally designed. Good text treatment, and very nice layout.

Illustrations

Lovely artwork throughout this book as well. Each page–including cover page–has a unique piece of artwork. A lot of care went into crafting the illustrations (kudos to Chris Hahner and Jon Mitchell), as well as into the layout of the book (Claire Shaw).

Story

I reviewed a previous Jay-Jay book, and loved it. The whole idea of a playbus makes me feel like a big kid. It’s the kind of thing I would have adored as a child, and I love the idea still.

The story is very well written. The author has a wonderful, descriptive style (e.g. – an excited Jay-Jay “felt his diesel pumping and his engine racing,” and Jay-Jay gets seasick as the diesel in his tank sloshes around).

I kind of wish I had grown up in an area where Playbuses were a thing.

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About the Author

I initially became involved with a local charity, the Bewbush Playbus, when my son and daughter attended the playgroup on board. Offering to repaint the bus and against all the odds the bus was given a new bright livery and was able to proudly lead the local Crawley Carnival. My interest in the Playbus continued and for many years I became actively involved in raising funds to enable the organisation to buy a new bus and convert it into a suitable and safe play area for children. I was involved in promotion for the project and kept an exhibition of photographs to help further with the projects development and funding causes. The bus really got into my blood and became very much a work of the heart. I had trained and worked as a primary school teacher but left full-time teaching in order to write a photographic history book about the Playbus project. As a visiting supply teacher, I had the opportunity to visit many schools in Sussex and Surrey (England) and told the children about the Playbus. What it was and what it did. The children were both interested and curious and asked lots of questions. This led me to write the first part of its ‘Supersonic’ journey as a ‘Young Fiction Picture Book’. With more bus stories planned to be developed the bus journey continues.

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