Reviews for Axle Annie and the Speed Grump

Booklist Reviews 2005 November #1
K-Gr. 3. Axle Annie was the best school bus driver in Burskyville. She loved the kids and the kids loved her. The only problem was the Speed Grump, a maniac driver named Rush Hotfoot. Every day the kids watched for him. "Here comes Rush!" He's shaving; he's plucking his nose hairs; he's changing from his PJs into his work clothes; he's ignoring the bus stop-sign arm! When Rush's dangerous driving results in a near plunge over a bridge, Axle Annie saves his hide, and the kids sing their favorite songs to take his mind off his car, which is dangling over Great Gulping Gulch. Thereafter, repentant Rush rides a tricycle to work. Executed in colored pencils and watercolor washes, the cartoon artwork is as over the edge as Rush's car, and the story has plenty of RPMs (riotous, punny moments) to keep kids laughing out loud. Let's hope Axle Annie, in her red-framed glasses and denim cap worn backwards, will steer her bus back down the road for another adventure. ((Reviewed November 1, 2005)) Copyright 2005 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2006 Spring
In this second rambunctious Axle Annie tale, the "best bus driver" is back, ferrying her charges to school and watching out for "speed grumps," like the notorious Rush Hotfoot. Children are bound to laugh at Hotfoot's vehicular antics (like changing out of his pjs while driving). Illustrations full of popping eyes and squiggly lines contribute to the frenetic feel. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2005 August #2
Type-A lead foot Rush Hotfoot is the nemesis of Axle Annie's school bus in Pulver's droll poke at all those drivers who feel a creeping road rage when they get stuck behind Big Yellow, the vehicle that can't get off its brakes. Every morning, Hotfoot comes roaring up behind Annie's bus; the children have come to look for him as he streams by, grabbing a quick shave, picking his nose hairs, blatting his horn, popping beads of sweat: "Here comes Rush! Bearing down fast! Driving full blast!" Annie confronts the menace, even calls the cops on him after a particularly outrageous display, but to no avail. Only after his own life is threatened, and his sorry rump is saved by Annie and her bus, does Hotfoot mend his ways, opting for a tricycle with helmet. Arnold gives the story a good, frenetic twist of the tail with his high velocity artwork (his bug-eyed people are perfect for these roles), while Pulver tempers the insanity of Hotfoot's behavior with little puns at his expense, and showcases Annie's level-headed, big-hearted protectiveness. (Picture book. 4-7) Copyright Kirkus 2005 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2005 August #4
Having made her debut in Axle Annie (which PW called a "lively tale of an idiosyncratic bus driver"), the heroine once again takes the wheel of the big yellow school bus in Burskyville for Axle Annie and the Speed Grump by Robin Pulver, illus. by Tedd Arnold. She conquered the cold in the previous adventure, now she must contend with a hotrodder in a red convertible. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

School Library Journal Reviews 2005 December

K-Gr 3 -This title lives up to the high standard of its predecessor, Axle Annie (Dial, 1999). Here, the good-natured and supremely competent school bus driver confronts the most dastardly and dangerous motorist in Burskyville. Rush Hotfoot is determined to get where he's going fast, faster, fastest--and he zips by Annie's bus while brushing his teeth, plucking his nose hairs, and changing out of his pajamas. As so often happens in real life, it takes a scary accident to slow him down. Still, the book's bouncy language and illustrations create a cushion around the situation, and readers are given a happy ending along with a welcome message about safe driving. Arnold's trademark pop-eyed characters and magnetic colors mask the sophistication of his enormously appealing artwork. The exuberant cartoons conspire with the outrageous prose to present a lesson in road safety that's both goofy and memorable. This offering has all the requisite qualities of a big hit.-Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY

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