“Pirate lovers will delight in this tale of overcoming fear, even if it stays in the shallows.”
A young boy is hesitant to board the school bus on the first day of school, but his fears are alleviated when the bus driver whispers to him as he climbs aboard, “You don’t have to be afraid . . . This isn’t a school bus, it’s a pirate ship!” The commute to school becomes an adventure on the high seas with jokes, songs, and even sightings of taco-eating dolphins. Most importantly, the voyage brings new friends who share in the imaginative fun that continues even upon arriving at school, where the classroom rug is actually a magic carpet. Rapkin’s story brings laughs and smiles with its humorous pirate jokes and catchy sea-faring sing-alongs, but while fun and imaginative, the ride to school is fairly uneventful and the story feels a bit anticlimactic—perhaps as a ride to school should. However, Martinez’s digital illustrations are too bright and colorful for the story to be considered boring. Her portrayal of a young person’s undefined fears of a scary bus ride—she fills the seats with black and gray hued sketches of ghosts, stick figures, snakes, and spiders—are especially insightful in conveying an abstract dread of the unknown. Young readers who love pirate stories will appreciate this tale, as will adults looking for a fun story to help a child overcome fears, especially fear of going to school.
A boy overcomes his first-day-of-school fears by imagining It’s Not a School Bus, It’s a Pirate Ship! Set sail on the high-seas with him in this picture book adventure by writer Mickey Rapkin and illustrator Teresa Martinez!
The first day of school means the first ride on the school bus. But who will I sit with? What if no one talks to me?
Luckily this isn’t a school bus, it’s a pirate ship!
And this crew has one motto: “One for all and all for FUN!” So set sail on a voyage across the high seas! And prepare to make some pirate buddies along the way in this adventure about overcoming your anxiety.
An Imprint Book
Praise for It’s Not a Bed, It’s a Time Machine:
“Where the Wild Things Are meets Harold and the Purple Crayon with an imagination that’s brand new…These are illustrations that deserve to be explored again and again.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Dreamlike…the simple story and colorful illustrations successfully combine to spark readers’ imaginations.” ―School Library Journal
Mickey Rapkin is a journalist and screenwriter whose first book, Pitch Perfect, inspired the hit film series about a cappella singing. Previously a senior editor at GQ, he is the author of Theater Geek, and has written for The New York Times, ELLE, Bon Appetit, and National Geographic Traveler. He lives in Los Angeles when he isn’t time traveling.
Teresa Martinez was born in Mexico. She was a very shy girl at school, and drawing helped her connect with other children. When she grew up she studied graphic design and started illustrating picture books. Now she lives in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, drawing for kids as she did during her school days, and that makes her happy. Her books include The Little Girl with the Big Voice and The Halloween Tree.