Reviews for Gus, the Dinosaur Bus

Booklist Reviews 2013 November #2
Gus, a large apatosaurus, has found his niche in the big city: he serves as a vehicle for transporting children to school. More huggable than a yellow school bus, the dinosaur is loved by the children and they look forward to riding Gus the dinosaur bus to class each day. Recently, however, his huge size has become a problem for city workers and the complaints are increasing--Gus accidentally creates potholes, knocks roofs off buildings and gets tangled in wires. When told he can no longer carry children to school, Gus' tears surprisingly help direct him to his new and equally satisfying line of work. The watercolor-and-pencil illustrations--in gray, black, red, and green--have a childlike quality and vitality, and the endpapers are, appropriately, apatosaurus green. Read this along with Tomi Ungerer's Crictor (1983), a story about another friendly and helpful reptile. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2014 Spring
Translation adapted by Jamie White. In this Taiwanese import, "supersaurus" Gus traipses around the city picking up schoolkids. He's beloved by all, but his heavy-footed-ness creates giant potholes and traffic snarls. After being pulled from duty, Gus finds a new lease on life. The story's mild suspense is just right for the audience. Scribbly watercolor and pencil illustrations have a child-drawn look.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2013 #5
For lots of little kids, riding a school bus is excitement in itself. The schoolchildren in this Taiwanese import are lucky enough to have for their mode of transport. . .a dinosaur. "Supersaurus" Gus traipses around the city picking up kids. "The children who live in apartments don't even need to walk downstairs. They hop out their windows and slide down to their seats" (a cute bit of foreshadowing). Gus is beloved by all, but his heavy-footed-ness and long-necked-ness create municipal challenges including giant potholes and tangled telephone wires, not to mention the traffic snarls caused by him hogging all the lanes. After one too many complaints, the school principal has no choice but to pull Gus from active duty. The dino starts to cry, creating an Alice-like pool of tears. . .into which the children eagerly dive. They slide down his neck into the water -- and that gives everyone an idea, not to mention a new lease on life for Gus. The story's mild suspense is just right for the book's audience, with the solution likely to have kids wishing their own play spaces were so much fun. Scribbly watercolor and pencil illustrations on creamy paper are just how a child-drawn city might look, all shaky-lined rectangular buildings and imperfect-circle-headed people. And the kindly pea-green dino steals the show with his huge smile and even bigger heart. elissa gershowitz Copyright 2013 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 June #1
In an odd mix of Syd Hoff's Danny and the Dinosaur (1999) and Steven Kellogg's The Mysterious Tadpole (1997, 2002), Liu and Lynn team up to present the tale of Gus, a dinosaur whose bus duties are not appreciated by all the townspeople. Kids in this city don't ever pretend to be sick and are quick to be ready for school on time--they can't wait to ride Gus, the dinosaur bus. The apartment dwellers just slide down Gus' neck--no need to go downstairs. But while the children all love Gus, he is not without his problems. Though the city builds him his own road, Gus still sometimes fouls the phone lines, bumps the overpasses and knocks down traffic lights. And that's not even considering the damage his tail does. The school can't continue to pay the bills; the principal sidelines Gus, who cries huge, bathtub-filling tears. And just like that, the children discover a new role for Gus that pleases everyone. Muted blues, reds and greens give the illustrations a retro feel that contrasts with Lynn's scribbly style. The rough, watercolor-and-pencil artwork may just inspire readers to pick up art materials of their own, though it does make it difficult to make out details in the larger spreads, in which people often get lost in the lack of definition. Dinosaur lovers may be enchanted, but others will want to stick to Gus' predecessors. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 May #2

Liu begins with the high points of a unique student transport system: "Who needs a bus stop when you have a dinosaur bus? Gus comes right to the door." Attendance improves, too: "Nobody sleeps late or pretends to be sick. They can't wait for Gus to arrive." But there are problems, as Lynn's goofy, childlike drawings show. "Lately, the school is getting more and more complaints.... The bills to fix the things Gus has broken are piling up." At last the principal has to shut the dinosaur bus down, and Gus is brokenhearted until the children discover that he makes an excellent living playground. Lynn's scrawled figures convey a surprising amount of feeling, as when the harassed principal is shown a photo of some new damage Gus has caused and hangs his head in despair. Liu focuses less on Gus as a character and more on a lighthearted examination of dinosaur infrastructure, a lure for kids interested in buses, highways, and big things generally. The ending doesn't quite live up to the initial excitement, but it's still a promising outing from this Taiwanese duo. Ages 4-8. (July)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 July

PreS-K--When a long-necked dinosaur serves as the bus, none of the kids want to miss school. Though everyone loves Gus-the city even builds a special road just for him-the principal finally tires of complaints about him knocking down traffic lights and getting tangled in phone wires and removes him from the road. Relegated to the school gym, Gus makes a swimming pool with his tears and finds a new life as the school's playground, with a swing on his tail and his long neck serving as a slide. In tone and visual details, this gentle story is reminiscent of Syd Hoff's classic Danny and the Dinosaur (HarperCollins, 1958). Lynn's scratchy, childlike watercolor and pencil cartoons have a daydreamy quality that suits Liu's simple text. Gus's story holds universal appeal; even a dinosaur can learn to turn lemons into lemonade.--Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD

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