Gus The Dinosaur Bus


I hope it isn’t going to be an annual event, but today La Serpiente fell over on her face, and has a big bump under her eye. The kind of wound where I worry about taking her to school tomorrow and people thinking I’m the Bad Dad With Anger Issues. It’s not quite a year since she fell over and got a black eye, and it’s almost a year and a half since she dived into some gravel head first, but regardless of the periodicity, she’s showing a talent for minor calamity, and so to try to take her mind off it tonight I read her Gus The Dinosaur Bus.

The title is a bit misleading, because by the end of it Gus isn’t a bus at all, but a sort of play area for small children. Gus The Ex-Transit Apparatus wouldn’t cut it as a title though.

The first time I read it to her, she got a little upset, at the point where Gus hides in a gymnasium and weeps at his situation. On rereadings, she’s not been provoked to heights of emotion again, but it does seem strange to base a story on a lachrymose diplodocus.

And it is tonally all over the place, even to the odd last line, a vague admonition that if you want to play with a dinosaur, you might have to wait a long time. Honestly, it would be truer to say that we’ve probably waited too long to play with dinosaurs, barring a Jurassic Park-style renaissance.

The drawing style is a bit crude, purposely so, I suppose, but as saurian themed books with slightly unsettling messages that I’ve read to my daughter this week go (what a genre) I prefer Allysaurus, which doesn’t deal with mass transit, the parlous state of highway infrastructure projects in the US, litigation or inaccurate (and non-salty) tears at all. But that’s just me. La Serpiente appears to be quite satisfied.

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One response to “Gus The Dinosaur Bus”

  1. I surmised that Gus the Dinosaur Bus was going to break down, tragically revealing his imminent mortality to his offspring buses, so it was quite a relief to find out that his only problem was that he was a play area.

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