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Next Stop!

Next Stop!

by Sarah Ellis, Ruth Ohi (Illustrator)

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Award-winning author Sarah Ellis's new book Next Stop! introduces this acclaimed author to a new, younger audience.

On Saturday, Claire rides the bus and sits right up front so she can help the driver. At the front of the bus Claire can see all of the chaos as people rush to and from their transit rides. Claire helps the bus driver announce the various stops on


Award-winning author Sarah Ellis's new book Next Stop! introduces this acclaimed author to a new, younger audience.

On Saturday, Claire rides the bus and sits right up front so she can help the driver. At the front of the bus Claire can see all of the chaos as people rush to and from their transit rides. Claire helps the bus driver announce the various stops on the route so everyone can get to their destinations. Before long a very special surprise passenger joins Claire and the driver for the final leg of the happy bus ride home.

Sarah Ellis's text is simple and repetitive making it perfect for very young readers. Ruth Ohi's portrayals of the frenzied bus passengers captures a city on the move in this fun tale.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
K-Gr 5-This original fable offers a lesson about faith through the fall and rise of a kingdom. A once-great realm has declined into poverty, both of wealth and of spirit, until a passing stranger loans a magical spyglass to the king. Through it, the ruler and his subjects can see "what might be." A barren pasture appears as a fertile field and a crumbling cathedral looks magnificent when viewed through the spyglass. These images restore faith to the people, who then work together to restore the land to its past prosperity. The stately tone of the narrative keeps readers at a distance, inviting observation rather than true involvement. Children and adults will grasp the obvious message without difficulty, so when the stranger returns to explain the power of faith to the monarch, the revelation lacks impact. Handsome full-page oil paintings accompany the tale, though some figures appear posed and sterile, which adds to the artificiality of the story. Despite these limitations, The Spyglass does succeed as a discussion starter. Those who are looking for substantial storytelling will need to look elsewhere.-Steven Engelfried, Deschutes County Library, Bend, OR Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher

"This charming, enjoyable romp will have your young ones reading along with delight and great fun. It is a gently reassuring tale of the relationship between a young girl and her bus driver, who spend time together riding the bus through the streets of a bustling city. It is Sarah Ellis's first book for young readers and I hope that she will try it again.

Claire is a bold and likable child who announces the stops that the bus makes and watches the frantic energy of the passing city which is in constant motion. Listeners will joyously revel in the repetitive text that tells her story; and be envious of Claire and her independence, as well as her helpful nature.

Ruth Ohi's use of red in the lovely watercolour paintings draw attention to the many details that will have readers and listeners feasting their eyes on the energy that is the bus route that Claire shares with someone very special. The surprise ending will have young readers smiling in harmony with their new friend, Claire."

- Sally Bender, Books for Kids, Brandon Sun

"Ruth Ohi's bright and beautiful paintings leave little room for text, but Ellis's well-chosen words don't require much space. This book, one to look at and listen to, features a small girl named Claire who sits right up at the front of the bus. As the driver calls out the stop, Claire announces the reason why you might get out there. So, for instance, if the driver calls out Moss Road, Claire says Museum and the bell says "Ding!" Passengers getting on and off are closely observed and the end of the line produces a gentle surprise."

- Susan Perren, The Globe and Mail

"In the big business of writing books for small people, simple definitely does not mean easy. It takes a particular savvy. As an adult, Canadian children's writer Sarah Ellis still possesses that child's sense of wonder and a fascination for the apparently simple joys of life. She understands the complexity of apparent simplicity. In Next Stop! aimed at the pre-school to kindergarten crowd, Ellis has left her usual young adult territory. She knows how important buses are. They can be an important part of daily life at a certain age. Ellis tells the story of Claire, who is certainly old enough to put in her own ticket. She seems to be riding the bus by herself. That is mysterious and intriguing; perhaps a big worrying, too. Repetition is one reason buses are fun. People keep getting on and people keep getting off and you never know who will be next, but Claire stays on and helps the driver. She knows what is at each street. The driver calls out "Green Lane." Claire announces "Shopping mall." and "Ding," says the bell. Finally, Claire's mum gets on the bus and kisses the driver who turns out to be Claire's dad. Claire was safe after all, and her father is a bus driver! Illustrator Ruth Ohi echoes Ellis's wonder in the variety and detail of life on and off the bus in her happily coloured mixed-media paintings."

- Elizabeth MacCallum, The National Post

"Ellis stays true to the small child's viewpoint --A baby gets on. The baby is in a stroller. The stroller is pushed by a Dad..), and Ohi's ink-and-watercolor pictures extend the words to capture vignettes that Claire glimpses on and off the bus. The pictures never get too busy for the young audience, who will recognize Claire's fascination with seeing strangers in a crowd and imagining each person's story, from the busy lady with a cellphone to the boy with rainbow shoes. This is more than a situation; there's a simple plot and a surprise. Claire's mom gets on and kisses Claire and the driver: he's Claire's dad, and the next stop is home."

- Booklist

"Working with about 300 words, award-winning novelist Sarah Ellis has written Next Stop, her first picture book. Its text is the height of simplicity, in both structure and vocabulary . . . The text pattern is repeated throughout, forming the spine of the story. Ellis knows that street names are abstractions to kids: they navigate by landmarks -- libraries and shopping malls and parks. Ellis also makes sure that her descriptions are very much those of a child, right down to the vocabulary and details. . . Some illustrators may have felt downcast at the prospect of illustrating a book that takes place entirely on a bus, but Ruth Ohi, who excels at small domestic details, combats the visual limitations of the setting by cutting back and forth between the inside and outside of the bus, and putting plenty of people and activity in every double-page spread. Sometimes she creates mini-dramas: a woman's dumped groceries on the bus floor, a lost toy being returned by Claire, a crying toddler who has dropped her ice cream. The simplicity of the vocabulary is an asset for children just beginning to read."

- The Quill and Quire

Product Details

Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Limited
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.32(w) x 10.30(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Award-winning author Sarah Ellis grew up in a family that loved to share stories and read books. Passions that lead her to become a children's librarian and eventually to start writing books herself. Ellis's awards include the Governor General's Award, the Mr. Christie's Book Award and the Vicky Metcalf Award. She lives in Vancouver, B.C.

Ruth Ohi has illustrated over 40 picture books and novels, and has written several of her own, including Pants Off First.

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