Posted by: Kathy Temean | August 15, 2019

Book Giveaway: IT’S A FIELD TRIP, BUSY BUS by Jody Jensen Shaffer

Jody Jensen Shaffer has a new picture book titled, IT’S A FIELD TRIP, BUSY BUS. Claire Messer created the fun illustrations. It is being published by Beach Lane Books and will hit the book shelves on September 3rd.

Jody has agreed to share a copy with one lucky winner. All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you do to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter, reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. Thanks for helping Jody and Claire!

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!


Busy Bus takes a field trip—and becomes a little jealous of a shiny red fire truck—in a warm-hearted sequel to It’s Your First Day of School, Busy Bus!

Today is Busy Bus’s very first field trip! He takes the children to a fire house, where they meet Engine Four, a big, shiny, red firetruck. Engine Four has a hose to put out fires, a ladder to reach tall buildings, and a loud and impressive siren. Busy Bus has none of these things. Will the children still like him? This darling picture book offers a gentle exploration of jealousy and a reminder that we each have our own unique talents that make us special.


In November of 2017, I was looking forward to the July 2018 release of It’s Your First Day of School, Busy Bus! with Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster. Claire Messer had done a fabulous job with the art, and I couldn’t wait for kids to meet Busy Bus. I also couldn’t wait to see if Busy Bus had another story to tell. I began brainstorming. What else could a school bus do? Where could it go? Then I thought about my own experiences riding school buses, and I knew: a field trip!

In my first draft of It’s a Field Trip, Busy Bus!, Busy Bus took the kids to the zoo. But I quickly discovered that once they arrived, Busy Bus could only look on from the parking lot as the kids met various animals. That wasn’t much fun. I had to choose a different kind of field trip, one where Busy Bus was more active. Then I thought of a fire station. Community helpers! More vehicles! Perfect!

I drafted that story fairly quickly, and although conventional wisdom says a publisher won’t sign the second book in a series before the first has come out, we sent it off and crossed our blinkers. Within a couple months, Andrea Welch had made an offer, and by June, we had a contract. Of course, none of this would have happened had Claire not agreed to illustrate again. Fortunately, she did. Whew!

It’s a Field Trip, Busy Bus! releases on September 3, 2019, and just as with It’s Your First Day of School, Busy Bus!, I can’t wait for kids to see Claire’s art, meet Engine 4, and welcome Busy Bus on their own adventures.


I loved illustrating It’s Your First Day of School, Busy Bus!, so I was thrilled to hear that Jody had written another adventure for Busy Bus. As soon as I read the manuscript for It’s a Field Trip, Busy Bus!, I was instantly smitten!

I created the artwork in exactly the same way as the first book, by drawing onto Linoleum in reverse and then carving out the areas that were to remain white, before rolling out and applying black ink to the blocks. I then laid the paper on top of the inked up blocks and applied pressure mostly with a glass baren. Finally, I scanned in the black lino prints and applied each layer of colour digitally in Photoshop – this process takes many, many hours!

Unlike Busy Bus’s first outing, where the majority of the book takes place within the bus barn, in his second adventure, he is outside from the get-go so I had to create more of his outside community and imagine what sort of town or city he lived in. The biggest challenge though was trying to show off Fire Engine 4 and Busy Bus on the same spread as they’re both quite large vehicles! I also did a lot of research into different types of fire engines and how they worked as I live in the UK where believe it or not, our fleets are quite different! As part of this research, I toured around California searching out different fire stations and  had a wonderful in depth tour of a station in Santa Monica. Engine 4 and indeed the fire station in the book are based on this real life station!

I also had a very specific vision of how I imagined the teacher would look as soon as I read Jody’s manuscript -I immediately pictured a male teacher wearing bright blue glasses. I also envisaged the Fire Captain to be female. Funnily enough, the editor and art director were on the same wavelength as they made both those suggestions as I was working on the first sketches!


Jody Jensen Shaffer is an award-winning poet and the author of more than thirty-five books of fiction and nonfiction for children. Her books include Prudence the Part-Time Cow, which was chosen to represent Missouri at the National Book Festival in 2017 and has been nominated for the 2019–2020 Show Me Award; A Chip Off the Old BlockIt’s Your First Day of School, Busy Bus!It’s a Field Trip, Busy Bus!; and more. Jody’s poetry and fiction have been published in great children’s magazines like HighlightsLadybug, and Clubhouse Jr. Jody lives in Liberty, Missouri, with her family. You can find Jody online at and on Twitter at @JodyWrites4Kids.

Claire Messer is a graduate of the Cambridge School of Art. She works by hand, using traditional printmaking processes to create her picture books, which include the Busy Bus series by Jody Jensen Shaffer and her own Grumpy Pants. She lives in the UK.


Claire Messer is a children’s author and Illustrator. Her debut picture book ‘Grumpy Pants’ was published in 2016 and received several starred reviews. She also wrote and illustrated LAZYBONES and is the illustrator for the Busy Bus series written by Jody Jensen Shaffer.

Claire grew up in Scotland and studied Illustration & Printmaking at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design. In 2015 she graduated from Cambridge School of Art with a Masters in Children’s Book Illustration. Claire loves to work with linoleum printing to create her art and is usually very closely supervised by her dog. She loves working with relief printing techniques to create her art and she does this from under a thatch near Cambridge, England, where she lives with her husband and their dog. Visit Claire at

Thank you Jody and Claire for sharing your book and it’s journey with us. Kid’s seem to have a fascination with fire truck, so they should love visiting the station in your book. Good luck!

Talk tomorrow,




  1. Good luck Jody with your new book! Thanks Kathy for all your blogs. I get your blogs every day and i love them.

    I’ve also reposted to Facebook and Twitter.


  2. This looks like such a cute book!


  3. Perfect for young readers! Congratulations! I get your blogs, and thank you!


  4. Love seeing these talented women team up for another fabulous book! Congrats!


  5. Darling!


  6. Such a fun idea to show the places a school bus can take you! My son will love reading these. He desperately wants to ride a school bus. Shared on Twitter.


  7. Thanks for having us, Kathy! And thanks, everyone, for your kind words!


  8. This looks absolutely darling! I love how evocative the bus’s facial expressions are.


  9. What a cute book and who doesn’t love field trips? Congrats on a wonderful book for kids!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Danielle and Ptnozell! I feel really lucky to have been paired with Claire. And to top it off, she’s a super nice human, not grumpy at all!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. What a perfect back-to-school book! I love the point-of-view, Jody, & Claire’s illustrations are stunning (Grumpy Pants is a favorite picture book). Congrats on you both!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. It’s nice to see these writer/illustrator combo interviews. Looks like a wonderful book.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m sure It’s a Field Trip, Busy Bus! will be just as well received as It’s Your First Day of School, Busy Bus! Congrats to Jody and Claire on another wonderful book!


  13. Terrific idea and flip of the first day of school genre. Congratulations. Will post of FB and order copy from Library to read to my students.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thanks, everyone, for your support!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. A must-read follow up Busy Bus story! Congrats, Jody & Claire! I’m following, Kathy…thanks for these great interviews! Sharing on Twitter

    Liked by 1 person

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