Jay-Jay and the Carnival

Written by Sue Wickstead |

Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus is a brightly coloured playbus full of toys. He’s always ready for adventure, and after an eventful summer the bus is ready for his journey to the carnival. The children are also excited – but what will happen on the way?


The Jay-Jay series is always a fun one to come back to. I really look forward to each new book, because they feel like a throwback to the books I grew up with. The style is classic, slightly nostalgic, and wonderfully wholesome. Obviously, that starts with a great cover. This one is as bright, fun, and engaging as the previous ones, and I continue to be a big fan of the illustrator.


As you might expect, the artwork throughout this book is wonderful too. There’s not much that I can say that I haven’t already said in reviews of previous Jay-Jay books. The illustrator continues to turn out fabulous, fun, engaging artwork that perfectly fits the tone of the story.


Forget treehouses – I want a playbus in my backyard! This is the kind of thing I would have loved as a kid … and to be honest, I’d still love this now. This Jay-Jay episode is as great as the first two. It’s a simple story, but written in an engaging, entertaining way. If you haven’t read the first two books in the series, I highly recommend them.


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.

– Sue Wickstead

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