What can I say other than, ‘What a pleasant surprise!’
Jay-Jay the Supersonic bus is five this year. He has been plodding merrily along the ‘independent' road. Slowly but surely, carrying on in the right direction, he might encounter a few pot holes or bumps in the road, but with the warm diesel in his tank carries on, purring contentedly.
Along the way he has received many wonderful comments and has stayed evenly on his road. Not going fast, but buses rarely do. But occasionally, as you are waiting at the stop the buses may come along in threes and 2018 was just such an occasion.
The first book had been followed by a second and a third and even a fourth and now there are six books in production with more engines revving up ready to follow.
In November 2018, ‘The Christmas Play Rehearsal’ went on a blog tour and it was certainly a lot of fun.
So perhaps, I thought, maybe Jay-Jay needed to start his engine once again.
Hearing that he had also been shortlisted in ‘the wishing Shelf’ book awards, I felt proud and confident to let him join in the book parade.
The date was set for Saturday 20th April. Time ticked by and with everything ready, including the engine, it was time to go.
A momentary panic as the date drew nearer. Anxiously waiting at the bus stop and ready.
(Even the Kent Book Fairies had left a copy of Jay-Jay in a bus stop nearby. A sign?)
The phone began to ‘ping’ and throughout the day the Twitter comments and reviews continued to arrive. The ‘pings’ got more frantic at times but with a few moments of calm, I was able to reflect on what was said.
Blog Tour Reviews
Thank you Rachel Gilbey for setting up the tour and re-tweeting the comments as they appeared throughout the day
‘Beautifully illustrated and exciting to read’, says ‘Laura’s Interests’ @DogsMomLaura.
‘The story flows well and has colourful pictures that enhance the story,’ – ‘Jessica’s Reading room’ @JessReadingRoom
‘I liked the underlying messages around taking care and belonging to a community after a fresh start,’ – ‘Cat and Mouse Reading’ @Bookslifethings
‘The story is sweet and inspiring and makes a happy tale to read out to children’ – ‘Booksaremycwtches’ @Walescrazy.
‘I also liked the range of emotions that Jay-Jay went through which provoked thought from my boys as his journey took him from a scrapyard to an airport to being Supersonic.’ – ‘Cup of Toast’ @cupoftoastblog.
‘My boys loved it! We as a family loved it! This children’s book ticked all the boxes for me’ – ‘Writing from the Heart’ @StephGearyUK
‘Written from Jay-Jay’s point of view, this is a wonderful picture book which is a delight to read’ – ‘Just Books’ @1_12005
‘A heart-warming story that will spark your children’s imagination’ - ‘Rae Reads’ @Rae-Reads1
‘This little gem has so many layers to discover and discuss with young children and is written so entertainingly without being complicated.’ – ‘Herding Cats’ @cats-herding
‘Not only is it a sweet story but also shares a wonderful message of reusing what we have’ – ‘Jera’s Jamboree’ @shazgoodwin.
‘It was a fabulous tale and what makes it even better is that it is based on a real bus’ - @ShortBookandScribe
‘The author has perfectly incorporated recycling and repurposing into this book. It shows children, that whatever it may look like, it’s possible to use it in some other way.’ - @RachelBustin.
‘Good storyline that catches children’s attentions. The illustrations are very good.’ - @CheekyPee27
‘I think children will love this, it is bright and cheerful and contains lots of brightly coloured pictures.’ @theDivineWrite1
‘recon this is perfect for that tricky age where kids are starting to read independently but absolutely insist on lots of pictures.’ - @lexi_rees.
‘This is a very nice feel good book, which Amelia has picked up for us to read together numerous times in the evening.’ - ‘Black Books Blog’ @SimonJLeonard.
‘This story really captures the imagination of my youngest, Melanie. – ‘A story about a girl’ @ClaireeeSheldon
‘It’s a beautifully written, happy ending tale that’s perfect for sharing time and again and a real asset to our bookshelf.’ - @FrasersFunHouse
‘This is a really lovely picture book – not too wordy, not too simple – with beautiful colourful illustrations’ - @bookshineblog.
‘It’s a story for sharing, one to laugh and enjoy with others – I certainly enjoyed sharing it,’ – ‘Splashes into Books’ @bicted
‘This book has lots of really beautifully drawn illustrations to captivate the imagination and engage young readers as they follow this story.’ – ‘Against the flow press’ @DeborahMiles7
‘We have never heard of a Playbus before Jay-Jay but thought it was an amazing idea – benefitting children and saving poor old buses from the scrap yard,’ - Bookshine and Readboes - @bookshine
‘I can easily see Jay-Jay being a firm favourite especially as I really enjoyed it as an adult.’ – donnas book blog @dmmaguire39
‘The illustrations offer just the right amount of details and reflects the emotions wonderfully.’ – ‘Bookworm for kids’ @TDrecker
‘I loved the colourful, happy vibe to this book and feel that it will be a firm favourite in households and schools’ – ‘WaggyTalesBlog @loucapxx
‘A very magic and entertaining read, guaranteed to keep your child entertained time and time again’ - @writinggarnet
‘I’ve always got my early years practitioner head on, and this is a lovley book to introduce lots of valuable conversations to children.’ - ‘Wrong side of forty’ @bookaddictionuk
‘the illustrations are bright and colourful which support the story to a great extent. I love the story to a great extent. I love the narration and I am sure that kids will find it easier to read on their own.’ – My baby and my books’ @sindhuharith
‘an entertaining story, with fun illustrations that are able to keep the attention of three different age groups’ – @worldgeeklynews
‘Sue is an amazing children’s book author and has a way with words and bringing smiles to children’s faces!’ @yeahlifestyle
'This is one of the cutest picture books we’ve read this year. It starts out as an old bus that used to transport passengers, living in a scrap yard and feeling a bit lonely.' Ginger Mom and the Kindle Quest - @ginger_mom17
'I read this book numerous times with my two children aged 6 and 3 who both seemed to love the idea of a play bus. They spent ages looking at the pictures of everything you could do in the playbus and kept asking if we we could make one too.' - Over the rainbow book Blog - @JoannaLouisePar
Some bloggers chose to ask me questions too.
'Thanks for your time answering my questions. I love this bus!' - The Magic of Wor(l)ds - @MagicOfWorldsBE
Thank you to Rachel Gilbey too for sorting out the BookBlitz. It was fun.
Next stop. 'An Island Adventure'.