Do you remember play buses as a kid?

I’m thrilled to introduce todays guest, Sue Wickstead, as we recently did a joint creative writing workshop for kids at Crawley WordFest. Sue writes picture books based on the real play buses inspired by her work with the children’s charity, The Bewbush Playbus Association (is it only me that finds that a terrible tongue twister?!?). She’s also written a non-fiction photographic history book about the original bus which is worth a look too.


If you scroll down, there’s a giveaway competition for one of the books in the series and a free build-your-own-bus toy. Before we get there though, let’s take a look at the first book in the series, Jay-Jay The Supersonic Bus.

I have to say this is quite text heavy for a picture book: it’s really closer to a chapter book. Personally, I’d be tempted to reprint in a chapter book size format rather than laid out as it is in gate big square picture book style, but the illustrations are really lovely, so I would still want them. Ah it’s tricky! I wonder what the pictures would look like converted into black & white? Actually that could give quite a nice image.

Anyway, I reckon this is perfect for that tricky age where the kids are starting to read independently but absolutely insist on lots of pictures. The language itself is simple and straightforward. If you’re bored to tears with Biff and Chip, and who isn’t – can anyone tell me why schools still insist on using this dull and dated series? – then this is well worth a look. Overall, I can see this working really well for KS1 (UK school system – ages 4-7).


Jay-Jay the bus is rescued from the dirty scrap yard, where he was sadly gathering dust and cobwebs. Feeling nervous yet excited, he’s taken to an airport where he is magically transformed into a ‘Playbus’ full of toys, games and adventure.

A fictional tale based on a real-life bus ‘Supersonic’, which flew in the imaginations of the many young children who visited it.


Giveaway to Win a copy of Jay-Jay and the Island Adventure (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using Rafflecopter.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

And another special offer:A free 3D card bus can be claimed via the website site ‘Enquiry button using ref code JJay

Additional bus models and books also offered as a promotion on request.


And if you miss out on the giveaway, Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus will be 99p until 22ndApril. Purchase Links –– Amazon– Amazon .com

Author Bio


I’m a teacher and an author and have currently written six children’s picture books with a bus theme.

For over 20 years, alongside my teaching career, I worked with a Children’s Charity, The Bewbush Playbus Association, which led me to write a photographic history book about it.

I soon found that many children had never been on a bus before, let alone a ‘Playbus’ and they wanted to know more. I decided to write a fictional tale about the bus, his number plate JJK261 gave him his name.

I also undertake events and author bookings and love to share the story. There are also a few more stories in the writing process, with links to real events and buses.

The story has been read in many schools in the south-East of England, where I teach as a cover teacher, it is always well received and certainly different.

Social Media Links –

Facebook: – Author Page– Bewbush Playbus– Teacher in the cupboard



About Lexi Rees of adventurous books for children, horse-mad sailor and crafter, caffeine fuelled.

One thought on “Do you remember play buses as a kid?

  1. Hi Lexi,
    Thanks for taking part in the one day book blitz for ‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus’.
    What a whirlwind of a day!
    It was good to work with you ar the Wordfest and make a few badges.
    Today I am off to a museum to talk about the real bus and tomorrow a bus running day, in the local town of East Grinstead.
    Books, badges and banter.
    I know what you mean about the Biff and Chip books but my daughter loved looking for the glasses and the illustrator himself in each book. Hence the bitd on every page in the Jay-Jay story.
    I hope to write a chapter book one day, who knows.
    Indeed I have one written but it will need a very good edit!
    Thanks again for taking the time and I hope you enjoyed it too.

    Liked by 1 person

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