“Bess the Book Bus”, written by Concetta M. Payne and Freda Roberts is a book that I was excited to read before I even opened it to the first page. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of the library bookmobile that used to visit our school every week. “Bess the Book Bus” takes this great concept and goes even further with it.
Like the bookmobile that many of us are familiar with, Bess is a real-life bus that delivers books and joy to children. However, Bess is unique as well. For one thing, Bess was created by a woman named Jennifer E. Frances. Jennifer named Bess after her late grandmother, Bess O’Keefe, who taught Jennifer how much fun reading could be.
Another characteristic that sets Bess apart from the traditional bookmobile is the the children who visit Bess actually get to keep the book they pick out! I don’t know about you, but that would have made my day when I was a kid! Free books would still put a big smile on my face today! Reading this book made me wish that every town had their own version of “Bess the Book Bus”.
As for the story itself, it is told in a charming, personal manner that kids will find easy to relate to. Bess is personified during the story, making her more accessible and exciting to kids. You feel like you really get to know her. The illustrations that accompany the text, which were done by Andrieanna Barnes, are colorful and visually appealing, with a hand-drawn flair to them. I feel that is is also important to emphasize that a portion of the proceeds received from the sales of this book go to support Jennifer Frances’ cause so that Bess can continue to deliver books to children.
I would definitely recommend this book for any school or library system and also think it would make a great gift for any child ages 3-9. For more information about this book and how to order it, please visit the “Bess the Book Bus” page on MagicBlox, http://magicblox.com/books/bess-book-bus.