Let’s Tell a Story!: Pirate Adventure / Jungle Adventure and I’m the Bus Driver / I’m the Tractor Driver

Let’s Tell a Story!: Pirate Adventure
Lily Murray illustrated by Stef Murphy
Let’s Tell a Story!: Jungle Adventure
Lily Murray illustrated by Essi Kimpimaki
Wide Eyed Editions

These books offer a way into those choose-your-own-adventure fiction series for solo readers as well as story making. They would have been especially useful during the periods of lockdown and school closures in the past couple of years when youngsters were stuck indoors much of the time and adults often struggled with home schooling. However they can act as fun prompts for story telling or writing at any time.
Each has an introductory spread telling how the book works and then follow fourteen pictorial spreads each one offering lots of options such as: Which hero will you be?; Which clothes will you dress in? What will be your destination? Why are you going? Who will accompany you? How will you get there? What will you take? There are potential disasters in the form of enemies who appear with ‘dastardly’ plans,

and finally, ways to end your chosen story. And, there’s a penguin that keeps appearing in both books adding a search and find element.
It’s possible to have fun creating hundreds of different stories though I suspect in the pirate adventure, some children (as well as this adult reviewer) would find the female characters somewhat stereotypical. On the other hand a hijabi doctor is a welcome possibility: indeed the crew members choice spread is definitely inclusive.

There’s a wealth of learning potential in these imagination sparkers be that at home or in the classroom.

I’m The Bus Driver
I’m The Tractor Driver

David Semple and Kate Woolley
Oxford Children’s Books

If you watch youngsters playing you might well catch sight of a child pretending to be a bus driver among them. Now with the first of these books they’ve got the opportunity to sit behind the wheel of bus number 4 on its 8am morning journey that takes among others children going to school and other passengers off to work or the shops.

In the second title, little ones can try their hand at driving a tractor down on the farm. It’s definitely an eventful day in the driver’s cab with Scally the sheepdog for company: the cows need their breakfast, there are empty barrels to collect from the barn, as well as a hay baler that has got stuck in the mud and needs assistance.
The bright stylised illustrations provide opportunities for colour and shape recognition, and simple counting in these interactive books for the very young.

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