The Wheels on the Tuk Tuk
Kabir Sehgal and Surishtha Sehgal, Authors
Jess Golden, Illustrator
Beach Lane Books, Fiction, Jan. 12, 2016
Suitable for Ages: 3-6
Themes: Transportation, India, Tuk Tuk, Nursery Rhyme, Multicultural
Opening: Tuk tuk wheels go / round and round, / round and round, round and round. / Tuk tuk wheels go / round and round, / all through the town.
Publisher Synopsis: This picture book brings an international twist to the beloved nursery rhyme, The Wheels on the Bus, by bringing you aboard a busy three-wheeled taxi in India! Anything can happen as the tuk tuk rolls through town—from an elephant encounter to a tasty treat to a grand fireworks display. And in the midst of all the action, one thing’s for sure: passengers young and old love every minute of their exciting ride as the wheels of the tuk tuk go round and round!
Why I like this book:
This mother and son writing team have created a clever multicultural spin on the popular children’s song “The Wheels on the Bus.” Children are introduced to Indian culture in this joyful story about the riders traveling around town in a three-wheeled motorized tuk tuk. Readers will get a taste of street life as riders hop on and off the packed tuk tuk, pay their rupees (money) to the wala (driver), greet each other with “Namaste,” stop for a cow that blocks the street, get sprayed with water by a roaming elephant, munch on papadoms (snacks) and “bobble-bobble-bobble all through the town.”
As you read the story out loud, you can’t help but slip into the melody of the song. The language is lyrical and a delightful way to engage children using different words, “ching, ching, ching,” “squish, squish, squish,” and “om, om, om.” Jess Golden’s lively pastel illustrations are colorful, playful, expressive and encourage exploration. His quirky humor transports children to another country and shows the daily lives of the children and families who live there. My favorite illustration is of the Yogi sitting cross-legged on top of the bus chanting “om” as the tuk tuk driver waits for the cow to move.
I won “The Wheels on the Tuk Tuk” in a giveaway on Sue Morris’ blog, Kid Lit Reviews. Stop by Sue’s website!
Resources: Sing the “Wheels on the Bus” and then “The Wheels on the Tuk Tuk.” Talk about the differences in the type of transportation, food, and dress. This book lends itself to many discussions as children study the illustrations. Would they like riding in or driving a tuk tuk? What would they do if a cow stopped the tuk tuk they are riding in? Have them draw a picture of a tuk tuk.
Kabir Sehgal started his class newspaper in second grade and has written ever since. A bestselling author of several books, he is also a jazz bassist and Grammy-winning producer. One day he hopes to drive a tuk tuk through the streets of India. But for now he rides the subway in New York City.
Surishtha Sehgal was a university professor for many years and now enjoys reading to children during story time. She is the founder of a nonprofit organization that promotes social responsibility among students, and she serves on the boards of two universities and a national arts center. She loves sipping chai with her family in Atlanta.
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.