The Frightful Ride of Michael McMichael

Ages: 4 - 8Publisher: Candlewick Press Author: Bonny BeckerIllustrator: Mark Fearing


The night is dark and rainy, the bus appears to have fangs and its driver is decidedly creepy, but the wide-eyed little boy carrying a small, covered wicker basket boards the bus anyway. What could go wrong? In this child-sized chiller with a twist by author Bonny Becker and illustrator Mark Fearing, the little fellow on the bus is clearly a nice little boy, intent on transporting his grandmother’s “dear pet” to her, despite the spooky situation. He even helps the weird passengers off at their stops. But when he’s the only passenger left, both bus and driver show their true, fiendish colors (gleefully pictured in Fearing’s colorful, digitally painted pencil drawings). Will the little boy make it to his destination? Some young children might be alarmed by the cartoony images of the escalating threat (lots of pointy teeth), but undoubtedly, many will relish the dark humor that propels the tale to its unexpected, turn-the-tables ending.

Lynne Heffley ©2018 Parents’ Choice

A freelance writer and editor for the arts and non-profit organizations, Lynne is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she established the paper’s first weekly children’s arts and entertainment beat.