It’s a Field Trip, Busy Bus! + Giveaway!

Last summer, I posted about an adorable new character, Jody Schaefer and illustrator Claire Messer’s Busy Bus, introduced to us in IT’S YOUR FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL, BUSY BUS! (Beach Lane Books). In that first outing, Busy Bus’s worries mirror that of a new kindergartner as he struggles with first-day jitters. Plus, kiddos got to see all the behind-the-scenes steps that happen before the bus rolls in to pick them up. Very cool.

So I was happy to hear that Busy Bus is coming back September 3rd, and this time he’s taking the kids on a field trip to the fire station, where he experiences his first bout with jealousy. 

After all, how can he compare to the impressive Engine 4? He’s red. He’s shiny. He’s huge. (Pronouns my own.)  As anyone can see, the children LOVE Engine 4. And, THE THINGS HE CAN DO! Save people. Carry water hoses and ladders. Make loud WEE-OOO WEE-OOO WEE-OOO sounds (so fun to read aloud!).

What I love about these books is that Busy Bus has perfectly child-like emotions, emotions kiddos might not even recognize in themselves until seeing them in Busy Bus.

And when BB eventually realizes that everybody has their own talents—that he can, in fact, do things Engine 4 cannot—it’s so satisfying for kiddos.

The simple, spot-on story + Claire Messer’s sunny, color-saturated illustrations = a preschool/kindergarten storytime winner! Pre-order now!

Or maybe you’ll win one! We’re giving away an autographed copy of IT’S A FIELD TRIP, BUSY BUS! to one lucky reader. All you have to do is comment below. (Winner must live in the continental U.S.)

Can you think of other field trip books to pair with Busy Bus?

Attention, midwest picture book writers/illustrators! Have you heard about the SCBWI-IA retreat this coming October 25-27 in Cedar Rapids? These smaller state conferences provide AMAZING opportunities to get your work in front of business pros, not to mention ample time for schmoozing! Look at this lineup:

Jill Esbaum

Jill Esbaum

Jill Esbaum is the author of many picture books. Her latest is How to Grow a Dinosaur. Other recent titles are Frankenbunny, If a T. Rex Crashes Your Birthday Party, Elwood Bigfoot– Wanted: Birdie Friends!, Teeny Tiny Toady, and I Am Cow, Hear Me Moo! Learn more at


  1. Thanks for sharing about this darlingly illustrated book. Your review made me think more about how non-human characters can provide a safe distance and model for kids to look at their own emotions.

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    Sheri Delgado-Preston

    What a wonderful story for kids and adults. It’s important to remember we all have different talents and are unique. This brings us together. Comparing separates us. I love Busy Bus!

  3. Enjoy this field trip, Jodi, Claire and Busy Bus!

  4. What a great way to show how our unique abilities make us all special! Congratulations to Jody, Claire and Busy Bus!!

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    Debra K Shumaker

    Sounds like an adorable book!

  6. I love the original BUSY BUS and its relatability to young kids. How wonderful to have a sequel!

  7. Jill, thank you for sharing this book! Sounds like a winner for the early education age cohort!

  8. What a fun book! Perfect! I can’t think of any other field trip books per say, but what about singing (and reading, several book versions reside in my library) “The Wheels on the Bus?” That would tie in nicely. Thanks for sharing.

  9. This looks so sweet!

  10. This looks so cute, Jill!

    So glad we finally got to meet!!

  11. Such a sweet book…I have to meet Busy Bus!

  12. A perfect book to share with young children!

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    Danielle Hammelef

    Busy Bus does experience emotions that everyone does at some time and the message of finding your own place/talent is an excellent one to share with readers.

  14. What a fun book to read to a child. Love the primary colors. Red and Yellow!

  15. this sounds like a super cute book, love how it deals with emotions and coming around them.
    i dont live in the US but i can provide my sisters address for sure!

  16. I love that Busy Bus is so relatable! 🙂

  17. I love Busy Bus! I’m excited for his newest adventure. I think I’d pair It’s a Field Trip, Busy Bus! with Are We There Yeti? by Ashlyn Anstee.

  18. I am a big fan of IT’s YOUR FIRST DAY BUSY BUS and read it aloud to all kindergarten classes last year as a guest reader. I already pre-ordered IT’S A FIELD TRIP BUSY BUS but would love to donate to my school library. Love the message!

  19. I am a big fan of IT’s YOUR FIRST DAY BUSY BUS and read it aloud to all kindergarten classes last year as a guest reader. I already pre-ordered IT’S A FIELD TRIP BUSY BUS but would love to donate to my school library. Love the message!

  20. I adore books like this where children can relate to the emotions of the characters even when they’re things like vehicles!

    (I don’t live in the US but in the event of winning would love to gift a signed copy to a US-dwelling friend with young kids!)

  21. I’ll look and see if the original Busy Bus is read aloud. I have a call with my granddaughter this week and this would be the best book to read.

  22. I enjoyed the first one! I have the Busy Bus poster greeting my students into our classroom! Can’t wait to read this one!

  23. Thanks for the great review, Jill. This new Bust Bus adventure sounds fun!

  24. Congrats on the book! Looks adorable.

  25. Really enjoyed Busy Bus’s first adventure so I will be on the lookout for this one. Thanks for sharing, Jill.

  26. This looks so sweet, and the bold beautiful illustrations are adorable! Thanks for sharing with us, Jill!

  27. Finally catching up on my PBB reading. 🙂 This looks like a real charmer! Thanks, Jill!

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