Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus: Book Review

Jay-Jay and the Supersonic Bus by Sue Wickstead. Miss Jenny's ClassroomJay-Jay is on the scrapheap; a sad bus he waits in hope of being on the road once more. One day he is purchased and taken away to be fixed and painted ready to start a new adventure.

Title: Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus
Series: Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus (Book 1)
Author: Sue Wickstead
ISBN: 9780993073700      Language: English

Classification: Fiction
Themes: repurposing, 70s, play

What’s it about?
Jay-Jay is a discarded bus that has been left to rust in a scrapyard. One day his life changes when he is purchased and taken away. Repaired and repainted, Jay-Jay begins his new life as a playbus – visiting children and bringing joy to their lives.

A well formatted book with a mixture of text and spot illustrations throughout. The story itself has a balance of dialogue and description that keeps the story moving at a steady pace.

Skip…nothing here.

Jay-Jay and the Supersonic Bus by Sue Wickstead. Miss Jenny's ClassroomMy Thoughts
Okay so technically I wouldn’t call this a picture book but it’s not a chapter book either – it sort of caters for that inbetween phase to connect the two. Strangely, this reading age isn’t that well catered for so it was pleasantly surprising to find Jay-Jay.

Firstly, I really like the spot illustrations. They complement without taking over and provide enough of a quick snap shot of the page to work perfectly. These illustrations are important in my opinion to engage children who may not be that keen on reading and yes, I’m specifically thinking of boys of this age.

The story is well written without unnecessary buffing. I liked the voice of Jay-Jay who comes across as very approachable – I think children would really connect well with the character. Speaking of the character this is a great story that could be used for personification activities in the classroom. I would also be looking at using it to make Text-to-World connections – particularly from a history perspective (this is perhaps more relevant for my UK readers where these playbuses seemed very popular in the 70s!).

Another aspect of the story I really liked is the fact that this is about repurposing something. In a time where we are focusing on the “reduce, reuse, and recycle” to help the planet this book shows that we actually were doing this years ago too! To go with this I can also see STEAM related activities being completed – such as designing their own Jay-Jay.

Overall, a really enjoyable story for a difficult to find books for age and ability level. My kids liked reading about Jay-Jay and are looking forward to the next book in the series. A must for the junior primary (grades kindy-3) classroom.

Sue Wickstead - author of the Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus series. Website link

Special thanks to author, Sue Wickstead, for providing me with a free copy of the book.


  1. ronkeadeyemi
    May 15, 2018 / 8:59 pm

    It sounds like a great book with a wonderful message behind it.

  2. Sue Wickstead
    May 15, 2018 / 9:22 pm

    I am glad you and your children enjoyed the book it is good to hear.

  3. May 15, 2018 / 9:50 pm

    This sounds like a great book. It’s hard to find things that cater to the age between picture books and chapter books isn’t it!

  4. May 15, 2018 / 10:03 pm

    What a great idea for a story, I can imagine it really appealing to kids. I agree that the re-purposing aspect is a great theme too 🙂

  5. May 15, 2018 / 10:35 pm

    This sounds like a book my 7 year old would love. He’s in that inbetween stage, and in to anything with cars or other vehicles.

  6. May 16, 2018 / 6:41 pm

    Sounds like a great book. My boy is obsessed with recycling at the moment for some reason so I’m sure he would enjoy that aspect of his book xx

    • Miss Jenny
      May 17, 2018 / 10:29 am

      My two at the moment have a thing for “donating” which is great so long as they don’t change their mind! LOL

  7. Charley jay
    May 16, 2018 / 6:57 pm

    This sounds like a wonderful story with a purpose behind it I’m glad to hear you and your children enjoyed it x

  8. May 16, 2018 / 8:45 pm

    My son is bus/cars/vans daft, he has been ever since he was able to play with toys, this would be a great book for the collection as he has so many of cars etc… but hardly any on buses, it sounds like such a fun read.

    • Sue Wickstead
      July 27, 2018 / 11:53 am

      I hope your son does enjoy this book. There are 2 more about Jay-Jay as well as a fourth book out this autumn.

What do you think?