While LD is past the stage for this type of all-picture-few-words children’s book, he did help me review this book from two-time Caldecott Medal winner Chris Raschka (note: I was sent a review copy of this book). Published this past April, this read-aloud book of very few words tries to capture what it feels to learn to ride a bike.
Raschka’s watercolor style makes the story of the little girl learning to ride a bike kinda fun, and not like some sort of lesson or training manual. Some of the other reviews of the book that I have read praise the book for showing the fears that kids have about falling, followed by the girl falling off her bike, and getting back up and trying again. For their young cyclists, the fact that someone else bikes, falls, and gets back on the bike again, knowing they may fall again, was a positive thing. Others thought it would scare their young riders too much. Given the road-rash-inducing falls we went through with LD, and the fear that followed those falls for a while, I think for us, a book showing another kid going through the same thing would have been a positive, not a negative.
The illustrations are very swirly, very typical of Raschka. Some people don’t like the swoopy head that the dad displays throughout the book, or the colors and style. I thought it was lovely to look at, easy on the eyes, yet creative and slightly off – enough to make it a dreamy sort of story and not a literal guide to riding a bike, which I think was the idea.
The story follows the girl watching others ride, choosing a bike, riding with training wheels, and then the big move to riding without the training wheels. Some falls occur, but in the end, she’s an expert rider.
But enough of my part of the review , let’s hear from an actual kid (now 9 years old), who has learned to ride his own bike through trial and error, a few falls, and of course, a bit of road-rash.
This is a really great book. It’s great for encouraging kids to learn how to ride a bike.
This book should go viral!
Put it on your blog, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook.. did I leave anything out?
I think that about sums it up.
- Everyone Can Learn How To Ride A Bike by Chris Raschka
- Publshed by Schwartz & Wade Books ( an imprint of Random House Children’s Books)
- Available in hardcover, ebook, & Read & Listen eBook with Audio.