Friday, September 28, 2012

The Babies on the Bus Is Great, Great, Great!

Read It. Move It. Share It. 
Every month I recommend a picture book for dance educator Maria Hanley to use with her young dance students in New York City. Then I post about the book here, and Maria posts about it on her incredibly resourceful blog Maria's Movers. This month we are exploring The Babies on the Bus by Karen Katz. It's especially great for the toddler and preschool crowd!

The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round. The wheels on the bus go round and round, all through the town! I think just about every toddler or preschooler has heard that song, don't you? It's just so fun to sing!

The Babies on the Bus by author/illustrator Karen Katz is a perfect book to go along with the song, which is just begging to be accompanied by movement. The bright and festive illustrations depict nine cute and cuddly multicultural children, a bus driver who looks like a toddler himself, and a brave teacher who is leading the children on a field trip to a local museum. There is a lot of movement in the illustrations, as you might except from a group of youngsters. You can get a feel for some of the movement in this trailer from the publisher...

After hearing the song in my head and seeing the energetic children in the book, I can easily imagine some of the movements that could accompany the song in a creative dance class. I envision children sitting in a straddle position on the floor and moving their legs "open and close" like the doors of the bus. They could tiptoe across the floor when the "driver on the bus says shush, shush, shush." Or they could create a movement sequence and perform it at different speeds when "the motor on the bus goes zoom, zoom, zoom."

When snooping around the web, I also found a really neat YouTube video called "The Wheels on the Bus with Miss Melodee." While singing the song -- with a beautiful singing voice I must say! -- Miss Melodee demonstrates how it could also be incorporated into a ballet class. Sometimes she uses classic ballet steps that fit the words perfectly, and other times she changes the words a little to fit a particular step. Here's the video if you want to take a look.  

So, I've been collaborating with Maria enough to know that she probably came up with something even different than I did or Miss Melodee did. What do you think? Let's find out here!

Also, in case you didn't know, I love Karen Katz! If you do, too, you might like to check out two other books I've featured on my blog. One is Nutcracker Twinkle Toes and the other is Subway, which Anastasia Suen wrote and Karen Katz illustrated. Like The Babies on the Bus, both are great for promoting movement with toddlers!

The babies on the bus say, 
"Bye-bye, bus! Bye-bye, bus! Bye-bye, bus!
The babies on the bus say "Bye-bye, bus!"
Now it's time to go.


  1. This sounds and looks like a fun book. We're Karen Katz fans, too. :-)

    Thanks for linking up to RAT!

  2. Thanks for the opportunity, Amy. RAT is a great feature!

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