ONE BOY WATCHING
By: Grant Snider
Published: June 28, 2022
Publisher: Chronicle Kids
Much like the author, as a child, I grew up riding the bus to school every day until I got my driver’s license. We lived in the country quite a distance from the school, so I got on the bus at 6:50 AM and off around 4:00 PM. I also had long bus rides to check out the fields, the cows in the pasture, and the deer grazing in the early morning hours.
In this story, you follow a young boy as he starts his day getting on the bus. You’ll follow along as he travels to school as well as his ride back home after the school day. Of course, there may be a train or two to wait for, or maybe some deer to see out his window. But, there will always be a few grain bins and a water tower to mark his arrival in town.
I can’t even tell you how much this book made me feel nostalgic for my childhood. Even though the bus wasn’t always an enjoyable place…bullies liked to pick on little girls sitting by themselves….I do remember the good things about the bus ride as well. I remember the songs on the radio (70s and 80s country), the giggling with friends, and the hilly gravel roads that gave you that roller coaster feeling.
Snider, both the author and the illustrator, has created beautifully simple illustrations of countrysides using colored pencils and markers. There are very few words on the page, but the illustrations are the real star of the story. This one is a keeper and perfect for kids going on their very first school bus ride this fall.
Grant Snider is an orthodontist by day, finding hidden hours to write, draw, and create cartoons and picture books, including What Color is Night? and What Sound is Morning? For 11 years, he rode Bus Number Four to school in Mulvane, Kansas. His favorite things about riding the bus were listening to ’90s Top 40 radio, the feeling of going over a big bump on a country dirt road, and occasionally getting to school late when the bus had to wait for a long train to pass. He lives in Wichita, Kansas, with his family.