The Wheels on the Bus

The Wheels on the Bus:
a favorite of children everywhere

Though its 25th anniversary is well past, it keeps the fun cover featuring a lot of 25s, some extremely hidden. Can you find them?

The popular song "The Wheels on the Bus" has a catchy tune, and with its accompanying hand movements, it is addictive to little children. Paul Zelinsky thought that motion in book form would be a fun and memorable adaptation for this song; fun and also developmentally and educationally useful for young children. This resulting moving-parts book, where you can spin the wheels, pull the tabs and open flaps to express the action words, has become immensely popular with children everywhere. In the twenty years since its first publication, its international sales have topped three million copies.

If you are in the USA and wish to buy The Wheels on the Bus from an independent bookseller near you, click here.


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Before the beginning of this video, the little girl announced, "This is the page that's missing!" and started to sing "The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round..."

That first page, with the wheels going round, was so special to her that she had torn it out.

This is litttle Natalie in Wisconsin. Her mother grew up with The Wheels on the Bus, and now she is getting an early introduction to it, too! Thanks to her family for sending the beautiful pictures.

A Special Education teacher in New Jersey writes:

“I remember the first time I saw your Wheels on the Bus book. I was 19 years old, enrolled in undergraduate school for teaching, and walking around Manhattan. I stopped to look in the window at Barnes and Noble. I was captivated by the window display of your book. That is when I purchased my first copy. Over the past 19 years, I have gone through 10 copies of this wonderful book. For 15 years, I have had the pleasure of introducing young children who have autism to your wonderfully captivating book. Each student has sat and attended in awe. For me, however, this is not just a book, it is a teaching tool with which I'm able to teach a familiar fingerplay, joint attention skills, fill in words / signs to the book, fine motor skills (pull the tabs on the book), gross motor skills (students completing the movements), attending to a task and finally reading. Each September when I pick up your book, it brings me back to the magic I felt the first time I opened it in Barnes and Noble.”

A three-year old fan named Marlon, with some assistance from parents, created this two-doored bus of his own, and sent it to Paul Zelinsky!

fan mail bus

A mother from South Carolina writes:

This was my son's favorite book, he loved it so much we went through four copies. The illustrations and pull tabs couldn't have been more creative and I will keep the last copy forever. My son is now 21 and was delighted to stumble upon this book along with other treasures from his childhood. I hope someday to read it to my grandchild. Thank you for enriching our bedtime stories!

The Wheels on the Bus was animated by Scholastic's Weston Woods Studios, with music performed by the Bacon Brothers, a band featuring Kevin Bacon and his brother Michael.


A Book-of-the-Month Club selection, Bratislava Biennale selection, Parenting Magazine Reading Magic Award, ALA Notable Book, Redbook Award.